The moment we read “self-massage with oil”, a lot of question crosses our mind – Why is a self-massage required in these times of salons and spas? How messy and complicated could that be? If at all we have to, then why should we use oil and not those impressive fancy creams available on the market? Well, don’t worry, we got you covered! Read this article Abhyanga - The ayurvedic self-massage and the art of doing it and get answers to all your queries.
What is Abhyanga?
First thing first, let’s understand what is Abhyanga. Whenever we think of massage, we get a picture of fancy, luxurious and expensive spa rituals in our mind. Little do we realize that it’s not necessary to pay a visit to these spas to enjoy the relaxing massage benefits because Abhyanga can do that all for us. Abhyanga is an Ayurvedic oil massage that you do upon yourself.
Abhyanga is believed to be a daily self-care practice, to heal the body and mind from the stresses of daily life. A lot of studies reveal the benefits of this massage, and how it can increase the strength and flexibility of muscles and joints, enhance youthfulness and improve the quality of the skin and hair.
How Abhyanga can inculcate self-love in us?
In Sanskrit, the word “Sneha” literally deciphers “love” and “oil”. Abhyanga involves massage of the entire body from the head to the toe with Dosha-specific warm herb-infused oil that leads to a lot of benefits and if this massage is done with pure oils like cold-pressed body oils, the benefits get doubled. It is considered that the effects of Abhyanga are similar to those received when one is overwhelmed with love. Just like the experience of being loved, Abhyanga can give a deep feeling of stability and warmth. It is a form of “self-love”.
Self-massage may sound like a complicated process but it’s not rocket science. Once you’ve learned all the basics and have inculcated the habit, you will master it in no time. A good massage can give you a good boost of oxytocin hormone - the hormone which makes you feel good. Henceforth, Abhyanga is considered good not only for the body but for the mind as well. Imagine, with this simple self-massage, you get so many benefits sitting in the comfort of your own home without spending a penny. Then, why not try it?
Which Oil to use for Abhyanga massage?
The oil best suited for abhyanga depends on your “dosha,” or body type. As per Ayurveda, there are three doshas - Vata (dry skin), Pitta (sensitive or overheated skin), and Kapha (oily skin), that determine which oils uplift the mental balance and health. When accomplished daily, the Abhyanga ritual can restore the balance of the doshas and enhance well-being and longevity. Regular Abhyanga is incredibly relaxing for Vata dosha imbalances, but everyone can reap benefits from this practice.
How to go about the Abhyanga process?
Firstly, make sure you get yourself a time slot, wherein you are free from all sorts of distractions. Ayurveda recommends practicing abhyanga for ideally fifteen minutes to let the oil penetrate the deepest layers of the body.
Steps to follow for self-massage:
- Get undressed, stand or sit comfortably in a warm room. Take the massage oil in an empty squeeze bottle and place it in a pot of hot water until it is pleasantly warm enough.
- Take the warm oil in your palms and rub it gently and start massaging your body with love and patience.
- Start with a head massage. In abhyanga, the head massage is given a lot of significance and is expected to take up most of your allotted time. Use your fingertips and palms to massage the scalp in circular motions.
- Continue to your face (always moving in an upward movement), outer ears, moving down towards the neck and throat and including the shoulders and upper spine.
- Then proceed to massage your chest and abdomen, moving in clockwise and circular strokes. When on the trunk, make sure to rub inward along your ribs. Use gentle circular moves over the heart, and follow the path of the intestines when massaging the lower abdomen.
- Continue to your back and butt. Massage as much of your back.
- Then, proceed to massage the arms and legs with long strokes, focusing on the joints with smaller circular strokes.
- Massage your feet, including your toes and soles. Include the hands and fingers.
- Relax for 10 minutes to let your skin absorb all the goodness of oil.
- Follow up with a warm shower. Use a gentle cleanser to remove the oil.
- When you get out of the shower, towel dry gently. Blot/pat the towel on your body gently instead of rubbing vigorously
You can adjust the time, expand or shorten it depending on the time you have. Ideally, the abhyanga ritual should last for at least 15 mins, however, doing it for a minimum of 5 minutes is the bare minimum.
However, one must avoid doing Abhyanga under these circumstances:
- During menstruation or pregnancy.
- Over an injured body part or broken or inflamed skin.
- During times of great physical discomfort or even mild illness.
This was all about the art of Abhyanga massage. If you want to know what all benefits it offers, wait for our next blog.
Does this sound interesting to you? If you are convinced, then do try it using the purest form of cold-pressed oils available at selflovesoaps.in. The results will be magical and if you have any queries on which oil to use, call our specialist at @9818224804