Massage is one of the familiar therapies of Ayurveda. It rejuvenates the body and mind. One must get a massage (with warm oil) at least once in a week. One can do it daily also. It does not take more than 30 minutes. You can do it daily because it is self-massage. You do not need a masseur.
For the Indian women, especially those situated of the south, oil bath is not an uncommon practice. Fridays are said to be auspicious for women to take head oil bath. Pure warm gingerly oil is applied to the head and the body. After at least 10 or 30 minutes, using soap-nut powder the bath is taken. It is believed that oil bath cools the body, improves eyesight, memory and induces good sleep. Especially for cold prone persons the gingerly oil is warmed with a few of black peppers.
When an ordinary oil bath could bring in so many benefits, think how healthy it will be when massage was done with the oil infused with Ayurvedic herbs!
Benefits of Abhyanga
Abhyanga, the Ayurvedic self massage has a lot of benefits. It balances the three doshas. It pacifies vata and balances kapha dosha. It improves blood circulation. It revitalizes a lazy, lethargic person but at the same time it relaxes the body. It calms the mind. Dead cells are removed from the skin faster, promoting a clear, non-blemish skin. Minor skin afflictions are cured. Regular massage gives your skin a rich shine. The skin gets soft and supple. Warm oil massage calms the brain and the nervous system. The joints get lubricated. Impurities of the body are removed letter. It ensures restful sleep at night with the result you feel refreshed and stay active throughout the day. Muscles, nerves and nerve ends are toned with better circulation of blood. It makes you feel younger.
The Abhyanga is done in the morning before your bath. Early morning massage clears the toxins accumulated overnight. The oils used may be cured sesame oil which is herbal massage oil or aroma massage oil. As said earlier, the massage imparts health even when only base oil like sesame or almond oil is used. But for the proposal of Abhyanga, Ayurvedic doctors infuse the base oil with nourishing herbs and flowers. Herbs such as Brahmi, Aswagandha, shatavari Sankapushpi, Tulasi, Bhringaraj and Turmeric are used in traditional Ayurvedic massage oil. The herbs are gently cooked into the oil for a specified period and the oil is then filtered for use. Aroma therapy massage oils contain essences such as sandal wood, jasmine and rose. The best choice of base oil is sesame oil (Gingerly oil) which is highly nourishing and purifying, has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. It protects the skin from free radical damage.
To purify the sesame (Gingerly) oil, heat the oil to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from the heat once this temperature is reached. Cool and store for use as needed. Almond oil also is good base oil due to it is both nourishing and soothing. So also is coconut oil. But the essential oils are chosen according to the condition and illness of the patient. Your Ayurvedic doctor will recommend the correct oil you need.
Process of Abhyanga Massage
Use warm oil. First using your finger tips, apply the oil lightly all over the body. Wait for 5 minutes to let some of the oil to be absorbed. Then massage the whole today applying even pressure with the whole hand, palm and fingers. Use more oil and massage a little longer area where nerve endings concentrate such as soles of the feet, palms of the hands and along the base of finger nails. Go light over heart and abdomen.
After the massage relax for 10 to 15 minutes. The longer the oil is on, the deeper it penetrates. Then take your bath.
Qualified professional Abhyanga is generally performed by 1 or or massuers massaging simultaneously for a time period of 45 to 60 minutes. After the Abhyanga massage is done, it is highly recommended for you to go for a hot shower or steam bath.
This type of Ayurvedic massage tend to be very relaxing and is a very good rejuvenating experience. It is also good in treating certain diseases. By going for standard Abhyanga massage, it will be able to protects you from panic and stress, especially for people with vata disorder. Another benefits that you can get is you will feel younger and your life span may increase. It is soporific, good for the skin, eyes and overall health.