‘Ayurveda’ not only provides treatment for various disorders but also provides preventive measures for leading a healthy life. One of them includes, ‘Abhyanga massage’, which provides peace of mind and pleasure, by massaging your body with oil. It delivers various health benefits contributing positively to prevent and cure different diseases. Abhyanga massage as a part of daily routine prevents aging and overcomes fatigue. It also improves vision and nourishes the body. It provides good sleep, healthy skin, and a sturdy physique.
Massaging of a body by applying Taila (oil) in the same direction of the body is called Abhyanga Massage.
Types of Abhyanga Massage:
Types of Abhyanga massage are as follows:
1.Sarvanga Abhyanga (Full body oil massage)
In this treatment, the entire body is massaged using medicated oils to the skin and scalp, which further calm down and nurture the body, enhance blood circulation, tone up the muscles, and relieve pain. It wipes out toxins, improves vision, beautifies your skin, and also imparts a peaceful sleep.
2.Padabhyangya or Foot massage
In this therapy, warm medicated oil is applied to the soles and feet. This helps in eradicating roughness of the feet, numbness, dryness, and fatigue immediately. It also provides relief to ailments like cracked feet, sciatica, and other nerve disorders. Regular massage of this kind reduces muscle cramps.
3.Shiro Abhyanga – (The Third Eye Massage or head massage)
Shiro abhyanga means head massage which concentrates on areas most affected by stress such as the head, shoulders, neck, nervous system, vision, and hearing.
You are free of headache if you regularly continue with this massage. It provides relief to the nervous system and sense organs, eyes, ears, and skin. If you are dealing with stress and headache frequently then this would be the best remedy.
Mode of Action of Abhyanga Massage:
During Abhyanga massage, the internal fluids of the skin cause movement due to osmotic pressure. A powerful expulsion from peripheral vessels causes splanchnic pooling of the body. This massage compels the fluid to enter the viscera, tissues and dilute the accumulated toxins.
After this massage, the peripheral vessels are refilled, diluted toxins carry out general circulation and are expelled out through various circulation processes. This lymphatic drainage is the prime effect of abhyanga, which exhibits a large amount of amino acid called ‘Tryptophan’. This increase in tryptophan parallelly increases neuron transmitters called serotonin. A large amount of rhythm is generated and creates an electric field and magnetic field inside the body. This electricity is discharged in the nerve fiber at a regular pattern and moves in a circular movement.
The nerve fiber includes militated sheets which consist of lipids, being the chief ingredient, and K-ions, which are responsible for repolarization in the nerve fiber. This action with the help of melatonin, a by-product of serotonin and neurochemicals makes the massage calming and relaxing
Mechanism of Abhyanga Massage on Skin and Hair:
The action of Abhyanga massage is illustrated in two mechanisms on skin and hair.
1.Relaxation action – This massage increases the amount of serotonin and dopamine which elevates the mood of an individual. Cortisol level decreases which are responsible for creating stress. The decrease in stress and anxiety level further enhances to provide you with a night of good sleep. This also relieves physical and mental fatigue of the body.
2.Mechanical action– Abhyanga massage helps in widening small blood vessels, thus increasing blood circulation. This further boosts oxygen supply to the cells, thus promoting nourishment to the tissues. It also expands the pores of the skin thus transporting the nutrients to the tissues. Due to the rubbing action on the skin and scalp, dead cells and dandruff are removed. New cells are prone to nourishment. Lymphatic drainage helps in removing the toxins. This prevents skin and hair from infestations and infections by maintaining their health.
Health Benefits :
- Enhances blood circulation in the body
The oxygen capacity of the blood is strengthened by 10-15% due to this massage. This improves the blood supply to various internal organs and blood vessels.
- Causes lymph movement
Lymph is a milky white fluid that drains toxins and impurities away from the tissue cells. This is facilitated only when there is muscular contraction due to this massage.
- Increases mobility and motion of joints
This massage furnishes stretching action to muscles and connective tissues, which helps them to remain elastic.
- Energizes Nervous System
This massage helps in stimulating the nervous system and thus balancing it.
- Beautifies the skin
This massage improves the skin condition by stimulating the function of sebaceous and sweat glands. This helps the skin to glow, maintain cleanliness and lubrication.
- Boosts Digestion and intestinal process
The massage increases body secretions and excretions. It helps in the secretion of saliva, gastric juice, and urine. It also increases metabolic rate.
- Relief from acute and chronic pain
This massage provides great relief from fatigue, body aches, and pains.
Treatment of Abhyanga Massage:
Abhyanga massage is performed on a specially designed wooden table (Droni) by a trained masseur. The sesame oil treated with various herbs is chosen based on the patient’s doshic type. 7 below postures are carried out by applying lukewarm oil.
4.Lying face down
After this, the patient needs to have an herbal steam bath followed by a shower. It takes about 45-60 minutes for the whole massage.
Performing this massage on regular basis provides the below advantages.
- Delays aging process
- Eliminates fatigue
- Relieves Vata dosha
- Enhances eyesight
- Increases life span
- Provokes Sleep
- Empowers resistance against diseases, injuries and recover quickly
- Boosts complexion and luster of the skin
- Enhances the physical strength
Keeping in mind various health benefits and their impact on our mind and body, Abhyanga massage is a must to carry out on regular basis to lead a healthy life. This treatment in Ayurveda will release us from various mental and physical illnesses thus, allowing peace and comfort to our soul and body.