Just Relax – Part Three of Three
by Mary Taylor Fullerton
Now lying on my back, the warm-oil massage and acupressure continued: each finger, in between each toe, ears, major muscle groups, all the while re-applying the warm oil and connecting with the lymph system to help flush those unwanted fluids.
Over an hour later, it came time for the warm oil forehead drip or “third-eye.” I was intrigued, though the set-up brought me back to a very present, even mildly apprehensive state. Sanghee wheeled the cart over so it rested in line with the massage table. Per her instruction, I slid up to the very edge of the table so the catch basin was under my head and the gently swinging copper pot over my forehead. After some re-positioning, Sanghee spritzed rosewater on two cotton eye-pads and placed them over my eyes to prevent the warm oil from dripping in. As the drip began, I felt a warm sensation dancing between my eyebrows. Similar to a hairdryer, when you hold it in one place for too long it burns, but keep it moving and it feels great – this was my experience with the “third-eye.”
After a little more adjusting, Sanghee added cooler oil and I was able to sustain the drip. And here’s where those questions that I should have asked at the start, came into my mind (which was supposed to be busy relaxing) – Will these eye pads really keep the oil out? How long does this go on for? And, huh, what will I do about my oil-soaked hair afterwards? Once these questions began, I couldn’t exactly “let go.” So while it wasn’t a “total mind relaxation,” it did draw attention to my forehead with a soothing sensation.
When it was over, Sanghee encouraged me to take my time. I was definitely more relaxed than when I walked in, and was totally sold on trying acupressure again. As I began to towel off the oil from my skin and attempted to wring out my oil saturated head, I recalled that Sanghee typically gives her treatments in her clients’ homes and so they likely just shower… like I really wanted to do. I got dressed and met Sanghee back out in the waiting room.
We spent a few minutes after the treatment checking in and I learned a little more about Ayurveda, Sanghee’s history and interests. She got into this profession, following an intense career in the technology and banking field, to re-connect with her Korean roots of linking diet and the healing arts, much of which she learned from her grandmother and traditional Korean medicine. Sanghee also recommended a few other treatments that matched my particular body. For example, for continued muscle relaxation and to ease my female cycle, she encouraged me to use warmed, organic coconut oil to gently massage my abdomen; or I could opt to learn more about the specific Ayurvedic medicine, herbs and food to help improve my sleep.
I walked out breathing a little slower, a little deeper, with a clearer mind. I also walked
out, however, a little hungry and with an oily head of hair. I was meeting friends for lunch before settling in to enjoy this day of relaxation, and thankfully there was a hair salon across the street and I stopped in and got a great scalp massage and hair wash!
Just relax. Sounds so simple. What I learned this day is that, in fact, it can be simple – I just have to be willing to adjust my expectations of “relaxed” and accept moments of relaxation. For me, it’s often difficult to achieve and sustain that coveted relaxed state; but by intentionally carving out time in my week for such moments, I can string together those cherished moments of relaxation. Yoga, swim, pet my cat, walk the beach, laugh with my husband, read, paint, add Ayurveda treatments, and it’s simple – just relax.
Oh, and by the way, that third-eye treatment – it totally cleared my sinuses! Later that day I began sneezing a little and my nose started running, after a few hours my head was totally clear – a very cool benefit of the treatment and one for which I was both surprised and grateful.
© Serve the Warrior 2013 All Rights Reserved
TFGP Editor – Shari Goodhartz
Mary Taylor Fullerton lives near the beach in Northern California, and works in the mental health and addiction field as an Art Therapist. An avid lover of all things outdoors, Mary found her way to the San Francisco Bay Area after growing up just north of Boston, MA, where it is really hard to play softball in a t-shirt in January.
To learn more about Sanghee check out: