Dears, I am delighted to introduce you to Jenn Hebert, #boymom and maker of magic. Jenn was one of the first friends I made after moving to Bellingham in 2015; having met through the Volunteer Center I think we both immediately knew we had found a fellow kindheart, and our friendship continued to grow as our journeys took us each in exciting new directions. She has been an inspiration long before and certainly since I joined the mama tribe, and I am so very grateful for her love and guidance and support.
If you’ve never heard of Abhyanga before (I hadn’t) or are new to the concept, Jenn has some terrific guidance for getting introduced with the loving self-massage practice. See below for her insight, and give her Facebook Page @ Songbird Bodywork a Like to stay connected!
Hi! I’m Jenn Hebert. A Bellingham mama and wife, home loan officer and licensed massage therapist.
By day, I help people with real estate loans and by evening and weekend, I practice the most wonderful healing art…Thai Massage AKA Thai Yoga Bodywork. Have you heard of it? Imagine a bodywork session that reaches beyond your muscles and into your joints, being pressed and stretched as your whole body and mind regain clarity and strength. It is like having “yoga done to you” and sharing this beautiful bodywork is my JOY. My business is Songbird Bodywork and I practice at The Shanti Center in downtown Bellingham, WA.
About a year ago I met with my Thai Massage teacher to receive Thai massage. At the end of the session, I received a “prescription” for some simple at home exercises to strengthen my hip joint and this ultra-nurturing self care practice that was completely new to me: Abhyanga. Abhyanga is the anointing of the body with warm oil – a loving self-massage. I’ve included this wonderful video from Banyan Botanicals (no affiliation). Watch the video and you will be ready to get started.
Banyan Botanicals oil was recommended to me and I adore the scent and feel of it. Just the tiniest whiff makes me feel more relaxed and grounded. Banyan offers oil specially formulated to specific Ayurvedic Doshas, if you’re into that. A simple almond oil would work too. Using the “perfect oil” is not important, but an oil that you really love will enhance your experience.
My personal Abhyanga tips:
- Watch the video.
- Warm your bathroom with a space heater before you begin. I get the room really hot – almost sauna-like. Sooooo good!
- Music. I enjoy music during my Abhyanga. May I suggest Jessita Reyes (Native American Flute) or East Forest (album: Orbits)
- Warm your oil by putting the bottle in mug of hot water.
- Take your time.
- Start at your head (yes, your hair and face and even inside your ears…everywhere.) Continue head to toe.
- Take time to greet and appreciate all of the parts of your body – the beautiful, tender and powerful vehicle that carries you through your days.
- To close the practice, take a warm bath or shower. Use soap only where needed. Let the oil, except what is washed away in the water, stay on the skin. The nourishment continues…
I am so excited to give this a try! There is absolutely nothing more sacred than self-care, and we certainly could all use as many tools in our kit of calm as possible. When we love ourselves it is so much easier and rewarding to let that love overflow into others, and therefore helps us to better caregivers. So remember: taking time to take time for you is absolutely not selfish, it is ESSENTIAL.
Have a question for Jenn Hebert about Abyhanga self-care gentle massage or interested in her Thai massage services (I cannot recommend enough!) in Bellingham, WA? Feel free to post questions here or ask her directly on her Facebook Page: Songbird Bodywork.
Thank you for sharing, Jenn!