Abhyanga done daily increases youth and wards of exertion and aggravation of vata. — Ashtanga Hrdayam: Sutrasthana: II: 8-9
When was the last time you did an Abhyanga – Ayurvedic Self-Massage? Abhyanga is the process of applying oil on your body. Warm oil, sometimes infused with herbs is used to massage the body from head to toe to relax the body. Abhyanga when practiced daily can give you a deep feeling of stability and warmth. Just like plants need water to nourish and help them grow, an oil massage penetrates deep in the tissues letting it nourish the skin and invigorate the mind and soul.
Abhyanga – Ayurvedic Self-Massage
Abhyanga will nourish your body, impart a glow and radiance to your skin, stimulate the internal organs of the body, improve sleep quality, delay the ageing process by reducing fine lines, wrinkles and more.
Massages often help to pacify the doshas and balance it. Take our dosha quiz to identify your dosha and choose the right abhyanga process for yourself.
Watch this video to know more about how you can do a self abhyanga.
Steps for Abhyanga – Ayurvedic Self-Massage
- Pour the required amount of oil in a copper vessel.
- Place the vessel in a pan of hot water to warm it.
- Place a towel and sit on it comfortably.
- Apply oil generously to your entire body.
- Gently massage the oil into your body, starting at the extremities and working toward the middle of your body.
- Use long, gentle movements on your limbs and use circular movements on the joints.
- Massage with strokes that move in the direction of your heart. Enjoy the time and massage your body for at least 10 minutes.
- Let the oil stay for at least an hour before you wash it off with a warm bath.
Abhyanga routines and oils to use
Massage your body with patience for at least 15 – 20 minutes. Don’t rush the process, enjoy the time you have by connecting with your body. Depending on the dosha type, we have suggested the frequency and the oils that you can use for the routine:
- A dominant Vata Dosha needs at least 4-5 massages in week with a nourishing sesame or almond oil.
- For a Pitta Dosha, use a soothing coconut oil and massage your body at least 4 times a week.
- A Kapha Dosha needs a safflower oil and not more than 2 massages in a week.
Benefits of Abhyanga on different parts of the body
A head massage helps to boosts the blood circulation of the scalp and nourishes your hair. It calms, soothes and invigorates the sense organs. When applied regularly it makes your hair grow luxurious, thick, soft and glossy. Warm a bit of the oil and apply on the scalp and massage in circular motions to relax and enjoy the head massage.
Applying oil to the ears helps to ease any disorders that may have increased due to the vata. It is very useful to decrease the intensity of a sore or a stiff neck and helps to relax the tensed muscles. Sesame oil is best used for applying in the ears.
Massaging your feet removes the fatigue and numbness of your tired feet. It not just benefits the local tissues and veins but also helps your feet to become strong and firm. The Daily Night Foot Oil helps to remove the roughness to promote soft feet.
When NOT to do the abhyanga
It is recommended that an abhyanga should not be performed during the menstrual cycle as it releases ama or toxins in your already taxed body. If you have a very dry body, you can apply warm oil and massage in very light strokes to nourish your body. A massage is best avoided if you are unwell. Do not do an abhyanga over swollen parts of the body or over broken skin.
Products we recommend
Omved’s has specific Ayurvedic oils that can be used for an abhyanga. Sukhta Thailam not just nourishes the body but also helps to reduce the pains and aches which one normally faces in the winters. And our customer favourite Sudyuti Thailam is recommended to promote healthy skin and complexion.
What are your favourite reasons to get a massage? Share with us some of your best tips to keep your skin nourished this winter and we’ll publish the best tips in our social media.
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