Abhayangam (Ayurvedic Massage)

  • Abhayanga or external massage is defined as a procedure of anointing of oil / other sneha dravya over the body. Massage which is also considered & done as a pre-treatment before any panchakarma (Five ways to get rid of the toxins) procedures is used as a relaxation as well as for toning the muscles.Abhayanga promotes the blood circulation, treats various disorders and gives a glossy and soft appearance to the skin, improves colour and strength of the body and protect against the vitiation and aggravation of vata and kapha doshas. Abhayanga is also referred to as “Taila Abhayanga”.

    Various ayurvedic massage techniques helps in dispersing any accumulated toxins in the body that may be causing pain or stress. A deep “marma” (Vital) point massage (Indian Reflexology) is particularly done to untangle the bundle of knots gathered in neck and shoulder area and is useful especially for the people having muscle stiffness. Many of us are occasionally treating ourselves with a nice relaxing massage in beauty salons, spas when we are on holidays. I recommend visiting an experienced ayurvedic physician as it is not usually effective enough to alleviate a persistent problem by taking massage in a beauty salon or spa.

    In Indian reflexology or marma point massage palms of hand or sole of the foot represents the map of the body and work by helping to free stubborn congested areas in the body. Anointing the body with oils according to the individual’s constitution with specific pressure is called UDVARTANA or UTSADANA and is of two types unctuous and dry (indicated in obesity).

    Different types of Ayurvedic Massage

    • PADAGHATA: (Massage with feet with tremendous pressure to make the body strong and immune to disease)
    • SAMVAHANA: (soothing and soft touch with a very gentle massage to the patient) to produce the feeling of comfort, happiness and extreme pleasure in the patient.
    • SIROABHAYANGA: (Anointing of head with ayurvedic oils) to prevent hair problems, induces sound sleep effective in headache and migraine.
    • PIDICHIL: (Rice Paste massage ) and
    • PODIKIZHI: (Dry Massage)

    So different kind of massages are suggested in different medical conditions.

    It is important to approach for an ayurvedic massage as a course of treatments in a proper and regular practice to achieve the best results and benefits even if any improvement happens after just one massage still do weekly sessions as recommended by an Ayurvedic physician.

    Benefits of Abhayanga (Massage)

    Delays aging process, relieves tiredness/ weakness/exertion, Controls vitiated Vata ( Air) doshas, improves eye-sight/vision, strengthens the body, induces sound sleep, improves the quality of skin, protects the body from stress, tones up body tissues improves luster and texture of skin and makes it beautiful.

    So at last, I would say get the most out of Ayurvedic massage and drink lot of water, avoid alcohol to flush out any toxins accumulated in the body. The results seen could be dramatic as serious commitment is always crucial to change your life for the betterment.