Abhyanga Massage Therapy For Health

Abhyanga massage or oil massage is a kind of massage that is recommended even on a daily basis. It is a massage therapy, wherein oil is applied over the entire body of the individual. Strokes that are smooth and gentle help in spreading the oil, both outside and inside the body.

Abhyanga massage is recommended for a healthy and balanced life. The type of oil and the ingredients added depends on the dosha of the individual.


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Dosha is the Ayurvedic term used for humor, which represents the concept that results in decay. Body type or doshas are the life forces and are of three types, namely, vata (wind), pitta (bile), kapha (mucus).

Abhyanga massage is preferably done in the daytime, to enable rejuvenation and stimulation. The individual is made to lie flat on a table. This massage is not performed with clothes. Warm oil is poured by the therapist on the client. Commonly used oils are coconut and sesame with a variety of herbs. The individual is allowed to lie on the special massage table for quite some time, soaked with the oil. Strokes or movements that are gentle are used in a rhythmic manner. The soaked oil enhances the circulation. It also rejuvenates the joints, though it fails to penetrate deeply into the tissues. It is at times, used with yet another massage therapy referred to as shirodhara, in which 'shiro' means head and 'dhara' means flow. Shirodhara is a healing technique which comprises of warm and fragrant oil, being poured on the forehead.

Warm massage oil is used in Abhyanga massage.

Put pressure with palm, fingers and the hand. Do not apply excess pressure. Light pressure is applied, especially over the heart and abdominal region. More time is preferred at areas, such as base of fingernails, palms and soles. These areas have the nerve endings, thereby requiring more attention. Relax for fifteen minutes and follow it up with hot shower. Abhyanga massage is preferably done thrice a week.

The duration of each massage ranges to an hour and this is followed by a hot shower. This helps in the oil absorption and thereby proves beneficial.

Opting for abhyanga massage on a daily basis is difficult, due to the lack of time. Massaging the oil on the hands, feet and body at home is an option. The oil is used according to the body type. Abhyanga massage ensures overall health and relieves fatigue. It helps in proper sleep. The other benefits of abhyanga massage are:

  • promotes longevity
  • nourishes the body parts
  • enhances the complexion
  • eliminates impurities
  • lubricates the joints
  • improves mental alertness
  • tones the muscles and
  • provides stamina
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