Ayurvedic Massage - Abhyanga

Ayurvedic massage is known as abhyanga. The word ‘abhyanga’ is composed of two Sanskrit words, abhi and anga. Abhi means ‘towards’ and anga, in one of its meanings, refers to ‘movement’.

Oil massage should be resorted to daily. It wards of old age, exertion and aggravation of vata. It bestows good vision, nourishment to the body, long life, good sleep, and good and strong healthy skin. It should be done to the feet, head, ears and palm.

Abhyanga may be done using oil, herbal powder, herbal pastes or ghee. It is a part of the dinacharya or the daily routine suggested by Ayurveda. It is used for relief of pain, stiffness and tiredness. It also forms an important part of snehana or oleation which is an indispensable prelude to panchakarma treatments, the five Ayurvedic detoxification therapies.

The scientific reason for abhyanga may be to increase the blood flow towards the most distal parts of the body and avoid overwhelming the heart through increased venous return if the massage is done towards the heart, or in other words, in the direction opposite to that of the body hair.

Abhyanga is considered an important treatment modality for balancing the doshas. The choice of oils should preferably be made according to your dosha and the area to be massaged. For the head, generally oils with cooling properties are used.

  • For Vata constitution, use sesame, olive or castor oil.
  • For Pitta constitution, use coconut, sunflower oil or ghee.
  • For Kapha constitution, use mustard, sesame, corn or olive oil.

In Ayurvedic pharmacy there are several herb-infused oils available for different purposes and can be selected following the advice of an Ayurvedic Practitioner for example Mahnarayan oil to relieve Joint pain in Arthritis.

What To Expect From Your Ayurvedic Massage Treatment

At Ayurveda heaven, your Ayurvedic massage treatment will begin with a consultation with me (Dr.Kanchan Sharma, Ayurveda consultant). I will go through your health and lifestyle check-up to establish your needs and expectations and choose suitable oil for you. This is completely confidential and will take around 15 minutes. Depending on your need and prescribed treatment, the massage can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 90 minutes. The oil,especially mixed for your condition, is heated and applied directly to your skin.

Please bear in mind that you may feel very relaxed after the treatment, so it’s suggested not to plan any strenuous activities following the treatment to match this feeling. Make sure you stay warm after your massage.

Benefits of massage

  • Reduction in Stress, Heart Rate and Blood Pressure
  • Reduction Of Burning Sensations In Diabetic Neuropathy Patients
  • Reduction In Heal Cracking, Roughness And Dryness Reduction in     Knee Pain In Osteoarthritis Patients
  • Lower Levels Of Anxiety And Depressed Mood
  • Newborns who receive massage from their mothers also tend to cry     less, and are more active, alert, and sociable
  • Reduction in Atopic dermatitis/eczema
  • Reduction in Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Useful for many musculoskeletal problems, such as low back pain,     osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, and sprains and strains.
  • Massage may also relieve depression
  • Increases your chance of sleeping better

When to avoid massage

Ayurvedic massage should not be done in the following conditions according to Ayurveda.

  • Fever
  • Indigestion
  • Kapha aggravation
  • In ‘ama’ conditions which includes an acute swelling
  • Immediately after Ayurvedic detox therapies like Vamana (induced     vomiting) and Virechana (induced purgation)
  • During chemotherapy. If you have DVT (Deep vein thrombosis)

How to do self massage

  • Begin by heating a quarter cup of massage oil suggested for your body type. It should be slightly warmer than body temperature.
  • Massage the oil into your entire body,beginning at the feet and working up the legs toward the middle of the body and then take up your arms.
  • Use long stokes along the limbs and circular strokes on the joints.
  • Use moderate to light pressure particularly on the heart area. Use a very gentle circular motion over the abdomen, moving clockwise, in the     direction of the large intestine.
  • Massage the face and outer part of the ears, using the fingers. Massage the outer ear using your little or index finger.
  • Put a small amount of oil on the crown.Give gentle dabbing strokes using your palm.. The stroke should be circular, describing small circles.
  • Massage the front and back of the neck, and the upper part of the back using firm and long strokes along the direction of muscles fibers.
  • Massage the back, spine and sides as far as your hands can reach using firm and long strokes.
  • The ideal length of a daily full body massage is 15 to 30 minutes, but even a quick massage for 5 minutes could be very beneficial. In these short     massages make the priorities the head and feet.

Finishing up your Ayurvedic Massage

  • Take a warm shower 20 minutes after your massage. Do not use soap on the body. For taking oil out of the hair an herbal shampoo can be used.     Dab the body dry with a towel. It is better to keep separate towels for the massage routine as ultimately they get oily and need to be changed.
  • Caution: Never put oily towels in a dryer or hot vehicle as oil and heat can start a fire.

Get Healthy with Our Verity of Products

Experience A Holistic Approach Towards Life.