Bringing it home with you #4-abhyanga

The body of one who uses oil massage regularly does not become affected much, even if subjected to accidental injuries or strenuous work. By using oil massage daily, a person is endowed with pleasant touch, trimmed body parts, and becomes strong, charming and least affected by old age.

Charaka Samhita: Sutrasthana: V: 88-89

The Sanskrit word sneha means both “oil” and “love”.  Abhyanga is certainly an expression of this.Both experiences can give a deep feeling of stability, warmth and comfort. Sneha – oil and love – is sukshma, or “subtle.” This allows it to pass through minute channels in the body and penetrate deep layers of tissue. There’s something about having a rich warm oil full of healing herbs that can be spread out on the body. It connects what’s disconnected. Abhyanga prepares the skin to be more receptive to the efficacy of herbs cooked into the oil. The daily practice of applying and massaging oil into the skin can soften the skin, decrease the effects of aging, help with sleep patterns, stimulate the internal organs, and strengthen the body’s overall immunity.

Traditionally, abhyanga in its full expression is a synchronized massage between two therapists. Carefully positioned strokes are applied to the body in order to move lymph through the body and prepare the skin to soak in the medicinal herbs. The more consistent the treatment the more responsive the body, So a self-abhyanga done daily is a perfect way to get the same benefits.

Which oil to use? First choose a pure oil without any additives or chemicals, Such as a cured oil or a food grade oil. If you have dry skin and in need of nourishment and grounding, opt for sesame oil or sweet almond oil. If you have any heat or inflammation in the skin (ie, skin rashes, hives) or your skin tends to break out at times, use a lighter, cooling oil such as coconut oil or sunflower oil. IF your skin is already plump and moist and in need of stimulation, try mustard seed oil.

Warm the oil and apply it to all parts of the body using long strokes. Pay attention to the joints, using friction at the shoulders, knees and hips. Use circular motions on the abdomen and hips. Massage into the scalp and feet. Be generous with the oil and reconnect with your body. After you are done, rinse in the shower, using soap only in the necessary areas.

Add this to your morning routine.15 minutes is optimal. Check for great oils from Banyan botanicals, and our menu of  Ayurveda services coming soon!!


self-love: daily abhyanga

self-love: daily abhyanga