The Abhyanga or the age old tradition of applying medicated oil all over the body and massaging is a part of Ayurveda. It doesn’t matter if you are a healthy individual or a patient suffering from certain ailments, it’s something which can be done by both. Just as we go to gym every day, do exercise daily, abyanga is a ritual which needs to be done every single day as per the old scriptures.
First let’s look at some of the benefits of this massage:
- Among the 3 doshas present in the body, vata( which is responsible for all functions pertaining to movement in our body externally as well as internally) is the most important one and that’s the dosha which predominates during the oldage. To mitigate vata is like getting the youthfulness back or just maintaining that handsome hunk look (and the gorgeous graceful look for the ladies out there)even through your oldage. And the best and foremost stuff available to mitigate vata is obviously oil. And what do you do with that oil??? Simply massage it….
- After a tiring day at the office, an oil massage followed by a warm bath is really magical don’t you think. And guess what you will have- “the best sleep ever afterwards”.
- Body pain and aches are often experienced by most of the people at some point of time. Regular Abhyanga keeps you away from these and brings out the best in you…
- In this era of technology, most of the youngsters have their eyes glued to computer screens 24/7, whether it be at the workplace or at home. This is the leading cause of eye dryness, which again is a symptom of vata aggravation which also can be treated by oil massage…
- Nourishes the body as a whole.
- Did you know the oil massage is said to increase the life span…
- Oil massage makes the skin soft, smooth and moisturized. Those suffering from dry skin can benefit from it. Certain medicated oils can even improve the complexion…
- I guess most of us are into the habit of applying oil to our head at least thrice a week or so. And we all know the benefit of it. It not just increases the blood circulation to the head and scalp while calming us down, it also assists in hair growth, keeps the hair root strong and prevents premature greying of hair….
3 Magical points where oil massage is a must….
Head is the crown to our body. It’s an area where all the 5 sense organs are assembled, the eyes to see, nose to smell, tongue to taste, ears to listen, and skin to feel( yeah well that covers our whole body). So giving a pleasurable oil massage to head, nourishes all these five sense organs and rejuvenates it. Plus all the good things which happens to your hair as I mentioned earlier.
Did you know your feet are connected to your head, especially to your eyes. There have been a lot of research going on about it. Here’s a quote from Dr. Brian Rothbart, a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM), involved in the research.
“All feet have mechanical receptors on the bottom. These receptors are sensitive to touch. So when you stand or walk, they’re activated and send signals up your spinal cord and to your brain. Your brain responds by automatically adjusting your posture, which includes all weight bearing joints from your feet up – including the joints in your head. So you see, your feet are very much connected to your head.”
So there you go if you give a good foot massage every day, just imagine all the good it’s going to do with your eyes and head….
Yep you heard that right…..Ears. Its full of nerve endings and has many vital points, which when massaged can do wonders. Relieving stress is just one of them. Besides that the auricle of the ear (the external, protruding portion), is viewed as a microsystem representing the entire body in Eastern medicine. So in a way, massaging the different vital points on the ears can get rid of pain etc. on any part of the body.
When you shouldn’t do Abyanga???
- If you are high in kapha, then abhyanga is a strict no no….
The element called kapha( which is responsible for the stability and compactness of our body, according to ayurveda) has opposite qualities to that of vata( which is responsible for all functions pertaining to movement in our body externally as well as internally). So oil massage basically decreases vata by its moisturizing and lubricative quality(characteristics of kapha).
Taking this into account, in a person who is already having an increased kapha in his body, if he does oil massage it would just result in further aggravation of kapha, due to similar qualities of kapha and oil massage.
Here are the signs of increased kapha dosha in an individual:
- No abyanga soon after panchakarma therapy
Panchakarma is a purification therapy used in Ayurveda. The word panchakarma means five procedures used to get rid of the aggravated and vitiated doshas from the body. It’s basically a cleansing process.
The metabolism of a person will be considerably low soon after this therapy. The dosha involved with metabolism is the pitta. Hence, when the metabolism is low(i.e low pitta), if we do abhyanga , it will further lower the metabolism causing indigestion. The same principle of opposite is coming here. The opposite doshas involved in this context are pitta and kapha.
- When you are having an indigestion
Just as we discussed before, indigestion means low metabolism. So abhyanga would be like pouring slime on to an already low flame and putting it off.
So what are you waiting for??? if you don’t come under the contra-indicated category, go ahead and start to build a healthy lifestyle for you and those around you….:)
Hope you enjoyed the article. Let us know your views in the comment section. Stay connected…