‘Abhyanga’ or oil massage has been used for thousands of years in India to maintain health and wellbeing, aid restful sleep and increase longevity. Self massage is incorporated into the daily routine with warm, often medicated oil, massaged into the entire body before bathing.
“The body of one who uses oil massage regularly does not become affected much even if subjected to accidental injuries, or strenuous work. By using oil massage daily, a person is endowed with pleasant touch, trimmed body parts and becomes strong, charming and least affected by old age.”
Charaka Samhita Vol. 1, V: 88-89
- Stimulates the internal organs
- Increases circulation
- Tones the muscles and tissue
- Calms the nerves
- Lubricates the joints
- Increases mental alertness
- Eliminates impurities from the tissue
- Aids evacuation
- Benefits the skin
- Moisturizers the skin
- Increases energy levels
- Benefits sleep patterns
- Aids deep sleep
- Increases longevity
- Nourishes the body
Ayurvedic massage is traditionally performed in the morning, before your bath or shower. This helps the body release toxins that may have built up overnight.
1. Warm the massage oil to a comfortable temperature.
2. Apply to the crown of the head first and massage in with small circular movements. Apply to the entire
body using an open palm. Use a lighter pressure on sensitive areas such as the abdomen or the heart.
Use additional oil and spend more time where nerve endings are concentrated eg: the soles of the feet,
palms of the hands and along the base of the fingernails. Use a clockwishe, circular mothion over the
joints and abdomen; and straight strokes on your arms and legs. Strokes away from the heart reduce
3. Let the oil absorb for 10-15 minutes.
4. Follow abhyanga with a relaxing warm bath or shower.
Ref: Ayurvedic Herbal & Nutritional Medicine. by Jay Mulder.