The Benefits of Ayurveda Self-Massage “Abhyanga”

Ayurvedic massage was developed thousands of years ago in India and is still a common practice today. It is believed that the body and soul are connected and need to be healed in a connective way. The primary objective of Ayurvedic massage is to promote wellness rather than cure a specific disease.

Abhyanga refers to body anointing through oil. The warm oil-massaged treatment is herb infused and applied across the body prior to taking a bath. It's highly beneficial for the maintenance of health and dealing with specific disorders therapeutically.  The Ayurveda self-massage can be customized for use virtually by everyone and especially pregnant or new mamas.  The experience of self-massage has been associated with comfort, warmth and stability; oil is subtle enough to use across the body to penetrate the deepest tissue layers. For expecting and pregnant mamas you can use carrier oils like sesame, grapeseed, jojoba, avocado and olive oil.

Oil massaged into the body makes the tissues vigorous with a unique tone in the same manner that plant roots are transformed by the introduction of water and nutrition, fostering growth. Oil used during bath or in self-massage penetrates the body system invigorating and soothing it with its natural essence. Through Abhyanga the healing qualities of the oil used during the massage are taken in through transdermal absorption, in the process helping the skin to carry its various functions effectively. Toxins are released more than ever as nourishments are absorbed efficiently by the body tissues. The more you practice Abhyanga the more your body will be performing perfectly. In fact, its advised Abhyanga is done in the morning before a shower or bath to influence toxin release that might have accumulated on the skin all night.

The warm self-massage comes with lots of gains. Abhyanga will benefit you by:

  • Imparting strength, softness and hue to your body
  • Stimulating your bodily internal organs to boost circulation
  • Lowering aging effects
  • Improving your vision
  • Imparting vigor and tone to the body tissues
  • Nourishing the body
  • Strengthening the limbs
  • Increasing longevity
  • Enhancing body tolerance
  • Benefiting the skin
  • Improving sleep patterns
  • Lubricating joints
  • Stimulating the body's internal organs
  • Helping the body eliminate impurities
  • Detoxifying the body by moving the lymph
  • Boosting stamina
  • Calming the nerves
  • Improving hair growth-makes sure the hair turns out soft, thick and glossy
  • Smooths and softens the skin by making sure wrinkles disappear or reduced

It’s believed that anyone who applies the warm oil massage treatment regularly will never be affected by strenuous work and accidental injuries. Through daily oil massage you will have a pleasant skin to touch, body parts superbly trimmed, strong, youthful in appearance and charming.

So how is the Ayurveda Abhyanga done? For expecting and new moms use a warm massage or carrier oil of your choice. (Store your oil in a plastic flip-top and warm it by holding the container under running hot water for a few minutes.) Dip your fingertips into the warm oil and apply it lightly to the entire body. Wait for 4-5 minutes to let some of the oil be absorbed by your skin. Then massage the entire body, applying even pressure with the whole hand — palm and fingers.

Use more oil and spend more time where nerve endings are concentrated, such as the soles of the feet, palms of the hands and along the base of the fingernails. Circular motions over rounded areas such as your head or joints, and straight strokes on straight areas such as your arms and legs, work best.

After you're done, relax for 10-15 minutes, letting the oil and the massage do their magic. The longer the oil is on, the deeper it penetrates. During this time you can read something relaxing or uplifting and rest; or shave, cut nails, and get ready for the day. Dab excess oil off with paper towels if you like, then follow with a relaxing warm bath or shower. If your schedule doesn't allow for a daily massage, try to squeeze it in at least three or four times a week. You'll find it's worth it!