Abhyanga- Oil Massage
There is no greater expression of self-love than anointing ourselves from head to toe with warm oil—this practice is called Abyanga. A daily Abyanga practice restores the balance of the doshas and enhances well-being and longevity.The Sanskrit word Sneha can be translated as both “oil” and “love.” It is believed that 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.A daily Abyanga practice restores the balance of the doshas and enhances well-being and longevity. Regular Abyanga is especially grounding and relaxing for Vata dosha imbalances, but everyone can benefit from this practice.
Benefits of Abhyanga :
अभ्यन्गमाचरेन्नित्यं, स जराश्रमवातहा |
दृष्टि प्र्ससदपुष्टयायु : स्वप्नासुत्वक्त्वदाढर्यकृत || (अ.हृ.सू २/८)
Conducting body massage on regular basis will be benefitial, It :
- Delays aging, relieves fatigue and mitigates vata, Imparts good vision and promotes strength. Increases lifespan relieves insomnia.
- Bestows toughness as well as prettiness to the skin and body becomes strong.
- Oil Should be applied especially to the head (head massage), ears (ear drops) and foot (massage on the soles), along with the whole body.
After the completion of the process if the digestion of the food taken in the previous day, body massage should be conducted with the oils, which mitigate vata and are perfumed and also suitble to seasons.
Such as chandanabala lakshadi taila, chandanadi tailas in summmer and agurvadi taila in winter which are having sita (cold) and Ushna (hot) gunas respectively.
As the application of oil to the axis of the vehicle, animal skin and pot becomes smooth and shiny; so also human body becomes smooth and strong by the application of oil massage.
Vata is predominantly present in the tactile sensory organ and is lodged in the skin. Massaging body with oil is good and hence it should be conducted regularly.
One should massage the boy with luke warm oil, according to season, in direction of body hair, oil can be used according Dosha, seasn and conditions.
It is performed in seven positions in order :
Next , Abhyanga should be done by making patient sleep on his or her back on the abhyanga table (supine position). The patient looks towards the ceiling and keeps his upper and lower limb straight and little apart from the central axis of body. The upper limbs should be extended in such a way that the palms face upwards. Similarly the bottom positions of the feet ( Plantar surface) should face distal (lower) end of the table.In this position, massage can be given to the front of the body.