Abhyanga massage is a massage done with warm oil and is one of the popular massages in Ayurveda. Abhyanga is a perfect example of a self-care, pampering session. Warm oil is applied on the entire body right from the scalp until the soles of the feet.
Abhyanga is performed by ayurvedic practitioners, but self Abhyanga can be done at home as well. The star of the abhyanga is a hot oil and massage stroke, and together they are known to promote wellness in our body.
Usually, while massaging the body, the friction is reduced while the muscles get worked up. However, in Abhyanga massage, oil is applied and rubbed onto the skin. It nourishes the skin and cleanses the tissues and aims at getting the oil into the body through the skin.
What is Abhyanga Massage
Abhyanga is one of the easiest and beneficial processes of restoring the dosha and promoting overall wellness.
It gives you the experience of feeling loved, special and feeling that extensive warmth within yourself.
There may be times when we fail and don’t have the motivation to start over. All you need is an Abhyanga massage, to rejuvenate the body and mind.
You can even perform Abhyanga massage daily as well as will help you relax. Daily Abhyanga is especially good for Vata dosha.
Know the attributes of Vatta, Kapha, and Pitta dosha here
Abhyanga Massage Benefits
Let’s dwell further and find the numerous benefits of Abhyanga massage.
Lower Blood Pressure
Abhyanga massage is known to decrease blood pressure as the hot oil massage and the particular strokes applied to impact the circulatory system. Massage helps the blood vessels expand, thereby reducing the resistance in the arteries.
Decrease the stiffness in the Muscles
Ankle massage improves the flexibility of the ankles. Massage before stretching improves the lower leg motion. Similarly, abhyanga massage improves the flexibility, stiffness, and mobility of the body.
Improves Lymphatic Drainage
Lymphatic drainage is known to benefit from all massages and even more from Abhyanga. The lymphatic system helps in clearing the waste from our body. The pressure put during massages helps to expand and regulate the lymph flow in lymphatic vessels. It can also improve lymphedema supporting lymphatic drainage.
Abhyanga Beauty Benefits
- Abhyanga helps to make the muscles firmer, making them look more toned.
- It helps remove the impurities on the skin, giving your skin a nice clean look.
- Abhyanga helps the blood circulation that helps reduce bp. Consequently, it also helps the skin to get that “9 hours in the salon” glow from the inside. A glow that no highlighter can match.
- Warm oils used for the massage hydrate the skin and make it soft and supple.
- There is an improvement of sleeping patterns with the help of Abhyanga. It helps get rid of dark circles and under-eye bags.
- The ageing process is reduced by generating the growth of new skin cells.
Herb Infused Abhyanga Oil
Herbs added to oil make for an added benefit. Following are the herbs which make for a good addition to Abhyanaga oil
- Water hyssop
- Lotus root
So, if you have time in hand, why not make the massage a little more royalty by inducing these herbs.
How To Do Abhyanga Self Massage
Abhyanga should be a self-care step that should be included in your weekly ritual, if not daily!
Before we start with the steps of Abhyanaga, let us first see which oil is good as per each dosha and how many times can the massages be done
No. Of. Times In a week
Coconut, Sunflower, Jojoba
Note:- Sesame oil is full of antioxidants and is considered one of the good oils to be included in your beauty massages.
Abhyanga Massage Procedure
Find here the step by step procedure for following Abhyanga massage
- For the massage, try to wear minimal and light clothes.
- Take oil and warm it up by placing it on hot water.
- Apply warm oil to your entire body right from the scalp until the toes.
- Try to apply the oil with your fingertips.
- Apply oil in a circular motion, let the oil sit on your body for 10-15 mins.
- Start massaging from your forehead, ears, cheeks, and jaws.
- Massage in long and straight motion along with your hands and legs.
- Relax for another 10 mins.
- Bathe with a bar of mild soap to remove the oil.
Tips For Self Abhyanga Procedure
Getting an abhyanga massage from an expert can be extremely relaxing. However, self-abhyanga can also be equally relaxing. You can opt for it on the days when you want to do it yourself. Just a few things to remember before getting onboard.
- The oil is lukewarm and not hot, so refrain from burning yourself while on the self-care spree.
- Wear old clothes, or drape an old towel to catch the oil stains.
- After applying oil, walk carefully as the oil on the sole could slip you off.
- Use a clean towel post-shower.
- Electronic warmers for a win, as they are convenient and portable.
Why is Ayurvedic Abhyanga Massage Important
As stated before, abhyanga massage is a step in self-care. Self-care is uniformly important for any age group or any gender. Self-care helps you boost your inner strength as well as confidence.
Activities such as abhyanga are those self-care activities that help improve your awareness of your body, mind, and soul. It gets you to connect with your inner self, reduces stress, and improves focus and clarity.
Even though Abhyanga is considered under the expert wing, it is also appropriate to term it as self-administered practice. A practice that should be included in your daily or weekly ritual.
Abhyanga sorely helps pacify elements such as air in the body. Maintaining the element of air and Vata dosha is important as maintaining the vatta in the body is a major key to balance both body and mind.
Vata dosha is primarily drying and cold, but the warm oil massage moistens and lubricates the body.
Know more about vata dosha and how you can pacify it!
Vata dosha is usually prevalent in a stressful world. The warm oil massage gives relief from the stress that is accumulated throughout the day and is a stress reliever.
Inducing Nourishment with Abhyanga Therapy
Every oil has different benefits that are associated with it. Sesame oil acts as a sunscreen and also helps remove tan over the skin. Coconut oil provides cooling properties for pitta individuals. Castor oil is also beneficial for certain dosha and conditions when mixed with suitable oil. Oils have to be selected as per the requirement. However, there are some oils such as neem oil that should be refrained in the process of Abhyanga.
The nourishment in the skin is passed by massage motions that are intense, deep, and stimulating. Consideration should be given to the time that is spent on each part of the body, as the massage helps loosen the toxins and pop them out through the skin. Hence, it is really important to take shower after the massage. Otherwise, the toxins are swept back inside the skin. The steam bath is usually followed after abhyanga as this lets the toxins exit the body and skin in the form of sweat.
A few extended factors help the nourishment get into the skin. Warmth helps the oil penetrate the skin, and the friction in the form of massages helps with the absorption.
Some body parts are more absorbent than the others, such as the sole of the feet is one of the areas which helps the nervous system profoundly. Along with the sole of the feet, rubbing ears and head helps the nervous system. The key to nourishment is spending more time with the body and focus on the movements that are done on the body.
The Right Abhyanga Time
Each dosha has a peak that lasts for 4 hours. The start and the end time are the subtle times of the dosha. Abhyanga should be performed during the peak hours of doshas. Hence be aware of time and Prakriti while performing Abhyanga.
Self-care should be a practice of enjoying, relaxing, and stimulating. Abhyanga ticks all the boxes and is apt for good self-care. Ayurvedic oils are one of the best things from nature’s BigBoss Basket.
You and your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing should be a priority of your life and when you take time for yourself, you are in much more control of your life to deal with the upcoming challenges coming your way.