Abhyanga Massage - The Daily Oil Massage

From Vasu Nargundkar

Ayurveda, the 5,000-year-old holistic healing tradition from India suggest Accumulated stress and toxins in the mind and body dissolve during the daily massage,. A daily full-body warm oil massage therefore acts as a powerful recharger and rejuvenator of mind and body.

Abhyanga - the Ayurvedic oil massage - is an integral part of the daily routine recommended by this healing system for overall health and well-being. Give yourself a full body oil massage on a daily basis. Here are the benefits that can be expected from regular performance of this pleasant daily ritual:

  • ·        Increased circulation, especially to nerve endings
  • ·        Toning of the muscles and the whole physiology
  • ·        Calming for the nerves
  • ·        Lubrication of the joints
  • ·        Increased mental alertness
  • ·        Improved elimination of impurities from the body
  • ·        Softer, smoother skin
  • ·        Increased levels of stamina through the day
  • ·        Better, deeper sleep at night

The Ayurvedic massage is traditionally performed in the morning, before your bath or shower. You can use cured sesame oil, an herbalized massage oil, or an aroma massage oil.

If you choose sesame oil, look for cold-pressed, chemical-free organic sesame oil for the best results from your massage therapy. To cure or purify the sesame oil, heat the oil to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from heat once this temperature is reached, cool and store for use as needed. Up to a quart of oil can be cured at a time. Of course, you should observe safety precautions when curing oil. All oils are highly flammable. Use low heat, and don't leave the oil on heat unattended. You can look for professionally cured sesame oil at stores that sell Ayurvedic products if you'd rather not do the curing yourself.

Healing Herbs

Healing herbs are important in Ayurveda. Herbalized massage oils contain a blend of carefully chosen herbs known for their ability to strengthen the physiology and balance the mind. So the daily massage with an herbalized massage oil has twice the beneficial power - the benefits from the massage and the wisdom of the herbs. Country Mallow, Winter Cherry and Sensitive Plant are some Ayurvedic herbs you'll find in herbalized massage oils. Country Mallow is renowned for its nourishing effect on the physiology. Winter Cherry, a powerful adaptogenic, aids the body's natural ability to withstand stress, and helps balance the mind and emotions. Sensitive Plant helps nerve regeneration.

Abhyanga Massage Instructions

Use comfortably warm massage oil. Store your massage oil in a plastic flip-top and warm it by holding the container under running hot water for a few minutes.

  • Dip your fingertips into the warm oil and apply it lightly to the entire body.
  • Wait for 4-5 minutes to let some of the oil be absorbed by your skin.
  • Massage the entire body, applying even pressure with the whole hand - palm and fingers.
  • Apply light pressure on sensitive areas such as the abdomen or the heart.
  • Use more oil and spend more time where nerve endings are concentrated, such as the soles of feet, palms of hands and along the base of the fingernails. Circular motions over rounded areas such as your head or joints, and straight strokes on straight areas such as your arms and legs, work best.
  • After you're done, relax for 10-15 minutes, allowing the oil and the massage do their magic. Follow with a relaxing warm bath or shower.
  • If your schedule doesn't allow for a daily massage, try and squeeze it in at least 3 or 4 times a week. You'll find it's worth it!