Close-up of a middle of a woman's body lying in the grass showing beautiful abs
  • Close-up of a middle of a woman's body lying in the grass showing beautiful abs
  • Front cover of Pratima Raichur's Absolute Beauty: Radiant Skin and Inner Harmony Through the Ancient Secrets of Ayurveda

Pratima’s gorgeous ayurvedic beauty products line our vanities. From the gold-labelled bottles to the sexy blend of herbs and spices, Pratima’s oils and masks are a compelling way to introduce yourself to some of ayurveda’s effective, somewhat luxurious-feeling traditions. Pratima Raichur, with her namesake beauty brand and skin care clinic in Manhattan, is our go-to for all things ayurvedic. She has an intuitive way of diagnosing and treating that comes from her years of study beneath India’s premier Ayurvedic physician.

Since Pratima herself is not always available to us here in L.A., we were thrilled to discover her book, Absolute Beauty: Radiant Skin and Inner Harmony Through the Ancient Secrets of Ayurveda. Through the fall, we’ll be sharing a series of insights from it’s pages, starting with this unfamiliar, but sensible-sounding massage technique. We rub children’s tummies when they’re not feeling well, but somehow the habit hasn’t crossed over into adulthood. Check out this traditional method that actually promises to flatten your stomach. There are no crunches involved…

The Abdominal massage for strong abs
A stomach massage twice a day, first thing in the morning and again at bed time, is the easiest and healthiest method for flattening the tummy, besides dieting and regular exercise.

THE BENEFITS: Abdominal massage not only reduces fat deposits and cellulite around the abdomen but also strengthens and tones the muscles, especially following childbirth. (For even greater results use Pratima Kali Rai Toning Body Oil.) It is also an excellent method for reducing the effects of stress. Other benefits include relief from chronic constipation, improved digestion and improved kidney function.

WHY IT WORKS: Most of us hold unexpressed emotion in our guts, so the stomach and solar plexus (the second and third chakras) are major depositories for toxins. In addition, seventy-two nadis converge at the navel, so abdominal massage stimulates energy flow throughout the body. It also balances the elements of water and fire, which are seated in the second and third chakras.

HOW TO DO IT: Pour massage oil directly into your belly-button area. With your fingers, gently massage the navel in a clockwise circle. Then, using your palm, slowly make the circles bigger until you have massaged the entire abdominal region. Reverse direction, and slowly make the circles smaller until you are back at the navel. Massage 30 times clockwise, 30 times counterclockwise. Note: Skip the abdominal massage if you are pregnant, or have intestinal ulcers or heart problems.

What do you think, readers: would you or wouldn’t you massage your abs for a flatter stomach? Willing to try it – or making a hard pass?

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