With the loss of a spouse comes the loss of being held and being touched lovingly. That, all-important, caress.
Studies have shown that newborns don’t thrive and grow without being touched, sensory deprivation. Don’t underestimate the importance of human touch in our lives.
Widows too, can be sensory deprived. Hugs from family and friends do help but they may be few and far between as you move through your journey. One of the tools that helped me after Joe’s death in loving myself was the technique of Abyanga or self massage. The body doesn’t distinguish where the loving touch is coming from. Ah, the wonders of a great massage! However, affording a once a month massage is, for most people, not an option and once a month is not enough. But doing a nightly or daily morning massage will stimulate endorphins that make you “feel good”. You can use organic sesame oil, not toasted sesame oil for the massage or perform a dry massage.
Start at the top of your head and begin to massage your scalp. Be as firm as feels comfortable.
Work your way to your ears and massage both the outside and inside of your ears. Move down your jaw and massage jaw particularly at the hinge if you tend to clench or grind your teeth. Massage your cheeks, around your nose and gently around the orbit of the eyes. Now move down to your neck and gently massage the sides of your throat and around to the back of the neck. Move to the area between your neck and shoulder where most of use hold tension and massage the area. When massaging the shoulders, use circular movements then move down the upper arm in long strokes. Massage the elbow in a circular motion and then move down the forearms in long strokes. Massage the hands and the fingers, gently pulling on each finger.
Massage the upper chest and breasts and use a circular motion on your abdomen. Massage the hips in a circular motion and move down the buttock area. Massage the thighs as you did the arms in long strokes. Make a circular motion around the knees and continue down the front of the legs to the feet. Lastly, massage the bottom of the feet. The feet are considered especially important, and proportionately more time should be spent here than on the other parts of the body. Use the open part of your hand and massage vigorously back and forth over the soles of the feet. Take as long as time allows to complete your massage, using oil or not. The key is to do it! Your mind and body will derive immediate benefits.