What is Abhyanga?
Abhyanga is a massage that’s done with warm oil. The oil is applied on the entire body, from the scalp to the soles of your feet. It’s the most popular massage in Ayurveda, a traditional system of medicine from India.this massage is the most ancient technique used for relieving pain. Still a valid and thriving art in most regions of India, and in particular south India Tamil Nadu Kerala.
Abhyanga is used to manipulate and correct dosha disorders, especially of the Vata kind; to cure orthopedic injuries; to relieve swollen tissues; and to promote regeneration of the tissues and organs, as well as the internal functioning of the body. Moreover, massage stimulates skin, muscles, veins, arteries, the circulatory systems and the nervous system. It improves the skin, strengthens the lungs, intestines and bones, and regulates the digestive system.
Though there isn’t much research on abhyanga specifically, it’s been practiced for thousands of years. Many people have reported therapeutic benefits and continue to use this remedy.
Research backs up the positive effects of general massage. This likely plays a role in the anecdotal benefits of abhyanga.
- Better circulation throughout the body
- Provides lubrication for the joints, reducing pain and inflammation
- Encourages elimination of toxins and impurities from the body
- Increases strength of bones and muscles
- Helps tone the tissues of the body
- Improves immunity and tolerance
- Removes stiffness in body parts
- Decreases symptoms of fatigue, especially for the feet
- Improves sensitivity of the sense organs
- Enhances concentration and focus
- Relaxes the mind and promotes better and deeper sleep
- Makes skin softer and smoother, reduces wrinkles
- Encourages growth of thick, shiny hair
- Slows down visible signs of ageing
What we need to do Abhyanga.
• Massage Table
• Loin cloth*
• Two cups of massage oil
• A small stainless steel funnel with a 1/4 inch opening at the spout
• Two clean cotton hand towels
• A clean cotton sheet
• A comfortable upright chair for the subject to sit on during head massage
Season: all year
Body Type: all types
Duration of Treatment
Vata: 45 minutes; early morning or early evening
Pitta: 45 minutes; early or mid-morning
Kapha: 60 minutes; early morning
Note: Subject’s head should be pointing towards the east if massage is performed in the morning and towards the west if in the early evening. Full body massage treatment should not be administered after dark.
This therapy is to be administered as a preliminary measure before pancha karma or as a general body/mind rejuvenator throughout the year. As a preliminary measure before pancha karma, the massage may be shortened to forty minutes for all body types.
1. Soothing rubbing movement: Use soothing rubbing movements on the surfaces of the arms and legs.
legs: from the sides of the feet to the groin
arms: from the fingertips to the armpit
2. Pinching technique: Muscles are grasped between the forefinger and thumb, away from the bones. Apply pinching techniques only to the following areas: chest, arms, legs and back.
3. Kneading technique: Grasp the larger muscles with the hands and coax them into vitality. Kneading may be applied to the entire body.
4. Pressing technique: Press along the hard body surfaces with flat hands moving in a circular manner. Caress and compress the softer areas of the body, applying wave-like pressure while constantly moving upward.
5. Small circular thumb movement: Small, circular, clockwise and counter-clockwise massage movements are generally applied with the thumb to essential marma points of the body.
Order of Massage
3. Abhyanga: Arm and Hand Massage
4. Abhyanga: Abdomen and Chest Massage
5. Abhyanga: Back Massage
6. Special Hip Massage
7. Special Belly Massage
After the Abhyanga Herbal steam Bath can be the very good combination to remove the stress.