Abhyanga Massage: Everything You Need to Know

by Shinjini Guha January 01, 2021

Abhyanga Massage: Everything You Need to Know

The ancient Indian science ofAyuvedabelieves in the principle of preventing physical and mental ailments by leading a lifestyle attuned with nature and one’s consciousness. Bodily massages form a significant part of this lifestyle. They have multitudes of benefits like improved blood circulation, well-toned muscles, and reduced stress, among others.

The most common and popular type ofAyurvedicmassage isAbhyanga. A combination of two Sanskrit words,abhimeaning ‘towards’ andanghameaning ‘movement’,Abhyangainvolves a generous amount of oil that is massaged on the body in the direction of blood circulation.

Abhyangamassage has been in practice for thousands of years and has an array of benefits that aids both physical and mental well-being, which is the core principle ofAyurveda.Several studies have also proven that this massage significantly reduces stress and helps one feel more rejuvenated. 

Other benefits ofAbhyangamassage:

  • A decrease in blood pressure. This happens because blood flow is increased during a massage, thereby reducing resistance in arteries, and preventing high blood pressure. 
  • Improvement in your skin.Abhyangamassage aids in the improvement of the skin by improving the texture, reducing pigmentation, scars, and wrinkles. 
  • Greater flexibility. When the massage is performed efficiently, muscle stiffness and soreness is reduced, and mobility is improved. 
  • Better sleep. Since the massage aids in relaxing and better blood circulation, any form of sleep deprivation or insomnia is prevented. 
  • Pacifiesdoshas. According toAyurveda,one of the leading causes of illnesses is an imbalance indosha. When this massage is performed with the right type of oil to pacify adosha, balance is restored and there is no threat to one’s health. 

The recommended oil to be used forAbhyangamassage depends on the dominantdoshaof your body. It is, however, advisable to use organicAyurvedicoils to immerse yourself and emerge refreshed and relaxed after the massage.

Oils that can be used: 

  • If thevata dosha is high and needs to be pacified, heavy oils likesesame are preferred.Almond andmustard oils can also be used. 
  • For imbalance inpitta dosha,bhringaraj oil can be used. Apart from that,sunflower andcoconut oils can be used for this massage. A few drops ofneem oil can be added to the oil of your choice because it is also known for itspitta reduction abilities. 
  • To reducekapha dosha in the body, light oils likeflaxseed andsafflower can be used.

  • Abhyangamassage is usually performed by a trainedAyurvedapractitioner but self-massaging is also possible. 

    Steps involved in self-massaging:

    • Warm half a cup of anAyurvedicoil of your choice. 
    • Begin applying the oil in a clockwise motion from the top of your head, including the scalp using slight pressure.  
    • Gradually move on to other parts of your face, massaging your forehead, cheeks, ears and jaw. 
    • Begin massaging your torso, starting from the chest and moving on to the abdomen. It is important to massage inwards on the ribs. 
    • Massage your back and butt in a circular motion.
    • Your joints must be massaged circularly as well, but your legs and arms can be massaged in long, straight strokes. 
    • Eventually, move on to your feet and massage our toes and soles as well. 
    • Once you have covered every part of your body, relax for ten minutes so that the oil is absorbed. 
    • A warm bath can be taken using a gentle cleanser to wash off the oil. 

    Performing this massage daily ensures the holistic well-being of your mind and body. However, if there are any injuries and/or open wounds on the body, it is advised to wait until they heal before indulging in the massage to avoid infections. 

    Embrace this ancient ritual of rejuvenation to escape the stress of your monotonous routine and you will feel healthier and calmer than ever before! 

    Shinjini Guha
    Shinjini Guha


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