Abhyanga which is also called oil massage is a form of ayurvedic treatment which includes massage of the body with warm herb infused medicated oils. It is a part of dinacharya ( daily regimen) as per ayurvedic textbooks to maintain good health and wellbeing.
Massage is not a new concept and almost every culture has employed massage including Romans, Japanese, Chinese, Greeks, Indians. But the most scientific and oldest scripture is from ayurveda which is the traditional medicine system practised in India which advocates abhyanga daily as a part of dinacharya.
It is a systemic rubbing and manipulation of the body to prevent stiffness, promotes circulation and to promote good health. The health benefits of abhyanga are innumerable.
Classification of abhyanga
- Abhyanga-application of oil with necessitate pressure
- Udvartana- reverse application of pressure.
- Udgharshana- rubbing with unctuous substances
- Udsadana- rubbing of unctuous paste.
- Unmardana-holding and pulling the muscles
- Lepa-application of oil all over the body
- Delays ageing
- Removes fatigue
- Pacifies vata
- Nourishes bodily tissues
- Brings aggravated doshas back to balance
- Clarifies senses
- Improves vision
- Beneficial for skin
- Opens up the channels
- Moisturize skin
Importance of abhyanga
- Just like the tender leaves of a tree grow on by absorption of water, the bodily tissues grow and develop due to abhyanga.
- It should be practiced daily on head, ears, feet.
- If the roots of the tree are watered regularly, it lives for a long time, likewise if abhyanga is practiced regularly it promotes longevity.
Abhyanga as a treatment
Abhyanga can be done as a purvakarma ( pre-treatment) or as a full session of treatment alone. It requires two paricharak working in sync.
- It should be avoided when suffering from aggravation of kapha
- Who is suffering from indigestion
- Patient suffering from fever
- Ama condition