Ayurvedic Body Massage
OILS, BENEFITS AND HOW TO
Abhyanga is an herbal oil massage that you can do to yourself and is especially helpful for balancing vata, pitta, and both mental and physical stress. There is a Sanskrit word sneha that can be translated as both “oil” and “love.” It is believed the effects of Abhyanga are similar to those received when one is saturated with love. Like the experience of being loved, Abhyanga can give a deep feeling of stability and warmth.
Herbal Oils Improve Health and Wellbeing
- Delays aging
- Prolongs lifespan
- Relieves fatigue and tiredness
- Relieves muscle and joint pain, generalized body pain
- Improves vision
- Nourishes the body
- Improves sleep—sound, deeper sleep
- Improves skin tone and complexion
- Maintains strong physique and posture
- Recommended for all vata imbalances
Abhyanga offers many benefits and is especially anti-aging. The oil not only protects and nourishes the skin, it also penetrates deep into the muscles and joints keeping them flexible well into your later years. A good analogy is to compare a dry tree branch to a moist one: if you bend a dry branch it will snap and break, while a moist one simply bends and is much more difficult to break. This is also true for our bodies as we age, we become dry and our bones can easily break. Daily abhyanga promotes youthful skin, a flexible body and healthy aging.
Choosing Your Oil
There are many types of herbal oils used for different therapeutic purposes: inflammation, body pain, headache, joint pain, skin rashes, itchy skin, fractures and sprains. With regular use (and it’s never too late to start!) herbal oils can support the healing of many chronic conditions.
Ayurvedic herbal oils are commonly made from a base of sesame and coconut and to a lesser degree sometimes castor or mustard oil. Some oils may also have ghee and cow’s milk.
Sesame oil has warming qualities and quickly penetrates the skin. It’s best for conditions related to vata and kapha. Coconut oil is cooling and slower to penetrate the skin. It’s best for pitta conditions and head and hair massage.
Kottakkal USA offers a total of 52 herbal oils! Here we offer a few of our most popular oils.
Ayyappala Coconut Skin Oil is often used for skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema and dandruff.
Brahmi Oil (sesame oil) relieves headaches, improves mental cognition and memory.
Dhanwantaram Oil (sesame, castor, ghee) supports vata disorders, neuromuscular, skeletal, pre and post-natal care.
Karpuradi Oil (sesame oil) offers immediate relief for pain, cramps and numbness.
Kshirabala Oil (sesame oil) indicated for vata and vatasonita disorders
Kottamchukkadi Oil (sesame oil) is useful for inflammatory and degenerative joint diseases.
Murivenna Oil (coconut oil) supports fractures, dislocations, sprains and traumatic injuries.
Pinda Oil (sesame oil) useful for rheumatoid and osteo arthritis, gouty arthritis, and neuropathy.
Valiya Sahacharadi (sesame) supports vata disorders, tremor, muscle wasting, foot drop, sciatica, psychosis, lumbar spondylosis, vaginal disorders.
Abhyanga Self Massage Technique:
This is one of the best ways to nourish yourself on a daily basis. Herbal oil massage will soften your skin, soothe your aches and pains, increase circulation, reduce physical and mental stress, boost your immunity and promote a restful night’s sleep.
For the best results follow this step-by-step process.
- Before taking a bath or shower, warm the oil to just above body temperature, about 105 degrees.
- Take a small amount of oil in the palm of your hand and begin by massaging each arm and leg using long strokes and small circular strokes over each joint.
- Next use larger circular strokes to massage your neck, shoulders, abdomen, hip joints and lower back.
- Massage your scalp, face and ears last.
- You should use enough to feel slightly oily but not dripping and too oily, as the skin can only absorb so much.
- Finally, and this is the most important part, take a warm shower or bath using mild soap to wash any residual oil off of your skin.
- Towel dry and dress warmly.
- Bathing afterwards is the most beneficial part as it removes impurities from the skin that collect in the oil and the warmth helps the oil penetrate deeper. Without bathing, you will not experience the best benefits that abhyanga has to offer.
- We recommend to consult an Ayurvedic Doctor or Practitioner to know which oil will be the most therapeutic for daily use.
See related article: Shiro Abhyanga: Ayurvedic Head Massage
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Kottakkal Ayurveda products and this information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have serious, acute or chronic health problems, please consult a trained health professional. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained Ayurvedic practitioner or doctor, call (800) 215-9934 or email us at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org and we will provide you with one of our affiliated Ayurvedic professionals. Check with your doctor before taking herbs when pregnant or nursing.