Abhyanga – Ayurvedic Massage

Abhyanga means rubbing or massaging. From the name itself, we can say that it is a type of massage that helps in controlling the body temperature while balancing the energy of the body and mind. Apart from this, Abhyang smoothens the blood flow of the body. At the same time, it improves the circulation of other fluids in the body, due to which the health remains good.

If you can do abhyanga regularly then your health is very good. This is one of the most popular Ayurveda massage techniques done with hot oil. This method makes the skin soft, as well as if there is dryness in the skin due to vata, then abhyanga controls it.

Abhyanga is performed by Ayurvedic practitioners, but self-abhyanga can also be done at home. Usually, while massaging the body, friction occurs, which reduces the stiffness in the muscles. However, in Abhyanga massage, oil is applied and rubbed on the skin. It nourishes the skin and cleanses the tissue. Its purpose is to deliver the oil to the body through the skin. Abhyanga massage improves blood circulation in the body and helps in flushing out all the toxins from the body. It is great to have this massage before exercise.

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What is Abhyang Massage?

Abhyanga is one of the easiest and most beneficial procedures to balance the doshas in the body and provide good health. It inspires you to understand yourself and love yourself. There are many moments in our life when we fail, and don’t have the motivation to start again. In such times, Abhyang refreshes both the body and the mind. You can do Abhyang massage daily and it will also help you relax. Daily abhyanga is especially good for vata dosha.

Know the characteristics of Vatta, Kapha, and Pitta doshas here.

Abhyanga and Dosha

Regular massage of abhyanga also helps in pacifying the doshas of the body.

People of Abhyanga and Vata Prakriti

People with vata nature need abhyanga more than pitta and kapha people. People with Vata nature have very sensitive skin. It dries up very quickly, so early morning abhyanga massage is a boon for people with vata. Apart from this, you can also do abhyanga in the evening before taking a bath with hot water. Sesame oil is very beneficial for people with Vata, apart from this Dhanvantram oil, Mahanarayan oil, Dashmool oil and Bal oil can also be used.

Abhyanga and Pitta Prakriti persons

Pitta Prakriti people have hot and oily nature and their skin is very sensitive. They need cold things more. They should use such oil which gives coolness. Use of coconut oil, sunflower oil, sandalwood oil is good for Pitta related people. All these oils can be used for Abhyang massage.

Abhyang and Kapha Prakriti individuals

People with Kapha dosha are cold and oily in nature. Mustard oil or sesame oil should be used in abhyanga to get rid of phlegm. It provides warmth to people affected by Kapha. Mustard oil is considered very beneficial in Kapha imbalance. Apart from this, Vilva and Dashmool oil can also be of great use in case of Kapha imbalance.

Benefits of Abhyang Massage

Regulates blood pressure

Abhyang massage is known to lower blood pressure as the hot oil massage and special strokes affect the circulatory system. Massage helps in expanding the blood vessels, thereby eliminating the problem of clotting in the arteries.

Decrease muscle stiffness

Ankle massage increases flexibility in the ankles and tones the muscles. Just as a warm-up loosens the body before exercise, similarly, abhyanga massage improves flexibility, stiffness and mobility of the body.

Improve lymphatic drainage

Lymphatic drainage is considered to be one of the biggest benefits of abhyanga. The lymphatic system helps to clear waste from our body. The pressure applied during the massage helps in increasing and improving the lymph flow in the lymph vessels. It may also improve lymphedema by supporting lymphatic drainage.

Get an expert Ayurveda counsellor to get yourself treated for depression.

Beauty Benefits of Abhyang

  • Abhyanga helps in strengthening the muscles, making them look more toned.
  • It helps to remove impurities from the skin, giving your skin a nice clean look.
  • Abhyanga improves blood circulation which helps in reducing blood pressure. As a result, it helps the skin to glow from within also helps. No makeup can compare to this natural glow.
  • The warm oils used for massage hydrate the skin and make it soft and supple.
  • With the help of abhyanga, the sleeping pattern improves. It helps to get rid of dark circles and under-eye bags.
  •  The process of aging is reduced by the process of the generation of new skin cells.

Abhyanga oil made from herbs

The herbs are mixed with the oil for an added benefit. The following are herbs that make good combinations for Abhyang Oil

  • Brahmi
  • Turmeric
  • lotus root
  • Basil
  • Clove

So, if you have the time, why not grow these herbs and mix them with the oil and enjoy the benefits of a massage.

How to do Abhyanga Self Massage

Abhyang is a great form of self-care that you should definitely incorporate into your daily or weekly routine. Before we start with the steps of abhyanga, let us first see which oil is good for each dosha and how often the massage can be done.

The shortcoming in a week

suitable oil



Sesame, Almond, Jojoba



Coconut, Sunflower, Jojoba



sunflower oil

Note:- Sesame oil is full of antioxidants and can be added to your massage to enhance your beauty. It is considered one of the best oils for beauty.

Abhyanga Massage Procedure

At the time of massage, try to wear minimal and light clothes.

Instead of heating the oil directly on the fire, heat it in hot water.

Apply hot oil on your whole body, from head to toe.

Slowly apply oil on your whole body and let the oil soak in one body for 10-15 minutes. Massage your forehead, ears, cheeks, and jaw as well.

Massage your hands and feet simultaneously in long and straight motions.

Now rest for 10 minutes.

Take a shower with a gentle soap to remove the oil.

Tips for Self Abhyanga Process

Getting an abhyanga massage from an expert can be very relaxing. However, self-deprecation can also be equally comforting. You can choose the option for yourself, when you want to do it yourself. But before doing this, keep some things in mind.

The oil should be lukewarm and not hot, keeping this in mind you can save yourself from burning.

Use an old cloth to avoid oil stains.

After applying oil, walk carefully as oil can cause you to slip.

Use clean towels after bath.

You can also use electronic warmers for massage, as they are convenient and portable.

Why Ayurvedic Abhyanga Massage is important?

As stated earlier, abhyanga massage is a form of self-care. Self-care is equally important for any age group or any gender. Self-care helps you harness your inner strength. Self-care techniques like abhyanga help you feel better by giving you awareness of your body, mind, and spirit. It helps you connect with your inner self, reduce stress, and improve focus and clarity. Even though abhyanga is considered under experts, it is also referred to as a self-administered practice. This is one exercise that should be included in your daily or weekly schedule.

Abhyanga helps in pacifying elements like air in the body. It is important to maintain the element of Vayu and Vata dosha as maintaining Vata in the body is a major key to balance both body and mind. Vata dosha is primarily dry and cold, but hot oil massages moisturise and lubricate the body. Hot oil massage relieves stress accumulated throughout the day and acts as a stress reliever.

Nutrition with Abhyanga Therapy

Every oil has different benefits that are associated with it. Sesame oil acts as a sunscreen and also helps in removing tan from the skin.

Coconut oil provides cooling properties for pitta individuals.

– Castor oil when mixed with suitable oil is quite beneficial in certain doshas.

– Select oil for yourself as per your requirement. However, there are some oils such as neem oil that should not be used in the abhyanga process.

Deep and stimulating massage to nourish the skin and make it supple.

Pay special attention to the fact that at the time of massage, massage all the parts of the body equally. Massage helps to loosen toxins and flush them out through the skin. Hence, it is really important to take a shower after the massage. Otherwise, toxins flow back inside the skin.

Abhyanga is usually followed by a steam bath as it helps to flush out toxins from the body and skin in the form of sweat.

– Certain expanding factors help bring nutrition into the skin.

The heat helps the oil penetrate the skin, and the friction in the form of a massage helps the oil absorb.

Some body parts are more absorbent than others, such as the soles of the feet, which absorb oil and strengthen the nervous system.

Apart from the feet, massage on the ear and head helps the nervous system.

– understanding your body and Meeting the needs of the body is the biggest key to nutrition.

Correct Abhyanga Time

Each defect has a peak time that lasts for 4 hours. The start and end times are the subtle times of the defect. Abhyanga should be done during peak periods of these doshas. That’s why whenever you do abhyanga, take care of time and nature.


Massage can be a way for you to feel better physically, mentally and emotionally. Try different types of massage and with different massage therapists to find the massage method that best suits you. Always discuss with your massage therapist what you expect from this therapy, as well as if you do not feel comfortable with anything, then also tell this to your massage therapist. If you have any health concerns or conditions, be sure to talk to your doctor before getting a massage.

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