Why should you include the Ayurvedic self-massage into your daily routine?
Why apply expensive creams full of chemicals after your shower, when you can apply oils before? Water, even though is wet and hydrates, it really dries out your skin, haven’t you notice it? The more time you spend having a shower the drier your skin gets. Ayurveda, the science of life, is based on maintaining and cultivating health. Here is another beautiful ancient practice that will help you to balance your doshas, while your skin will feel amazing!
What is abhyanga?
Abhyanga is the practice of applying warm oil (with herbs or without them) massaging the body in the direction of the hair and clockwise before bathing. It maintains health and balances many disorders, adding comfort, stability, self-connection while you are present in the moment just on yourself. The shower should be taken always hot since it will open the skin porous which allows it to penetrate deeper into the tissues. In Sanskrit, Sneha means ¨oil¨ but also ¨love¨. Keep your joints lubricated, give your body some extra love!
Discover all the benefits from Abhyanga, self-oil massage
According to the ancient classical texts from Charaka Samhita and Ashtanga Hrdayam, these are some of its benefits:
- Increases longevity
- Decreases the effects of aging
- Nourishes the body
- Imparts softness, strength and good luster
- Grants good vision
- Pacifies Vata and pitta
- Benefits sleep patterns
- Benefits skin
- Strengthens the body’s tolerance
- Stimulates the internal organs of the body, increasing circulation
- Imparts a firmness to the limbs
- Provides tone and vigor to the dhatus (tissues) of the body
When the oil is applied to the scalp
- Helps reduce facial wrinkles
- Makes hair grow thick, soft and glossy
- Soothes while refreshes the sense organs
When the oil is applied to the feet
- Alleviates coarseness, stiffness, roughness, fatigue, and numbness of the feet
- Feet become strong and firm
- Enhances vision
- Pacifies Vata
- Benefits local tissues, veins, and ligaments
For how long is recommended
Depending on what we want to reach or approach, your health professional will advise you a certain time program for your routine. If you do not have enough time, keep it for some minutes, at least you will not break the habit and your skin will benefit anyway.
Time of duration
When Abhyanga is not recommended
- During the menstrual cycle or during pregnancy
- Over swollen, painful areas or masses on the body
- Over open damaged skin
- If your tongue has a big coating could indicate Ama (ingested food, toxins)
- During fever and/or flu
- 2 hours right after having a meal or during indigestion
- Directly after taking emetics or purgatives
When you have a medical condition check with your health-care practitioner.
What oils are beneficial to you?
If you do not know your current constitution is always good to check with your practitioner for an oil recommendation. When your current doshas are not out of balance is advised to follow your Prakriti (your born constitution). If you have more than one dominant dosha in your Prakriti, you will want to pacify doshas according to the season.
Types of oils:
• Vata Balancing: Daily abhyanga for this constitution is highly recommended since maybe this simple practice in many cases brings Vata to a normal state. Very important is to keep oil and body warm before, during and after.
o Sesame oil
o Almond oil
o Vata oils preparations
• Pitta Balancing: Due to the Pitta nature, some more cooling effects oils would be more suitable, the temperature should be cooler during summer but warm in winter.
o Sunflower oil
o Coconut oil
o Pitta oil Preparations
• Kapha Balancing: The best way of massaging Kapha is with powders (Udwarthanam) since Kapha qualities are very similar to the oil, and in Ayurveda ¨like increases like¨. They do not need oil massage as often as the other two types, but when done, sesame oil or Kapha oil preparations can work well, but using it in less amount.
Tip oil for scalp: Brahmi oil.
Tip oil for foot massage: Plain Sesame oil or Brahmi Oil.
Using Garshana Gloves before Abhyanga will increase the oil absorption and waste elimination. You will experience the results from day 1.