Ayurvedic Massage: A guide to How, Why & When to do Abhyanga for Amazing Benefits

Beauty. Girl in the spa salon

Abhyanga or Ayurveda massage is a beautiful way to relax your body. It relaxes your muscles, drains toxins, and makes your body feel nourished and pampered. 

Especially in winter, it is the best self-care you can give to your lovely self. Don’t forget to use warm oil for better absorption. 

Let’s find out why this 5000-year-old way of self-care is the new buzz of the beauty world and why you need it in your life!

Abhyanga Ayurvedic Massage For Your Body Type

wonder body scrub make at home

There are many kinds of ayurvedic massages for all types of conditions and features of your body. In this article, we are talking about the Abhyanga type of Ayurvedic Massage especially. 

As per Ayurveda, there are three doshas or dominating features in our body, Vaat, Pitt, and Kaph (also known as Vatta, Pitta, and Kapha). Out of which one is dominant in everyone. You can find which dosha type is dominant in you by these signs – 

  • Vaat Dominant – Vaat is ruled by air & space elements. People with vaat dominance have dry skin and are always cold. They need just a gentle massage with light to no pressure to balance the excessive vaat dosha.
  • Pitt Dominant – Pitt is ruled by fire & water elements. People with Pitta Dominance have combination, sensitive, acne-prone, and always warm skin. They need a firm pressure massage to balance their pitta dosha.
  • Kaph Dominant – These people are ruled by water & earth elements and have oily skin. As they have already oily skin, some non-comedogenic and lightest oils are used for their Abhyanga massage. They need a deep pressure massage to balance Kapha dosh in them.

How to do Ayurvedic Massage at Home?

I suggest that you do it when you need to take a head bath as well as the Abhyanga Ayurvedic massage beginning at Scalp and ending at the toes. You need to massage in circular motions and then drain it towards a lymph node as shown in the image below. 

Diagram showing position of lymph nodes in the human body
Picture Credits – https://www.emedicinehealth.com/

  • The lymph nodes act like a sieve that remove toxins from the body. The sieve must not be clogged that’s why massaging the lymph nodes gently is good for detoxification too. If your lymph nodes feel swollen or are tender to touch then please don’t progress with Abhyanga and consult a doctor. 
  • Use warm oil (not hot) as per your dosha (see the above para) and pour some of it on your scalp, massage in gentle circular motions. The pressure should be mild in Vata, moderate in Pitta, and deep in Kapha people.
  • Then progress to your temples, forehead, ears, and then the nape of your neck. In Ayurveda, the importance of massaging the earlobes and the area behind the ears is very important as it has a lot of marma points and there are lymph nodes at the back of the ear.
  • After that massage your cheeks, nose, chin, and then neck. Massaging in circular motions loosen out the accumulated toxins in the skin, after massaging draining the toxins toward a lymph node is very important to get the puffiness out of your face and to make the abhyanga more fruitful.

        See this video by tweakIndia for clarity

Pinterest video 

  • After that progress to your chest area, and arms progressing in circular motions. You can drain the chest and arm fluid towards the underarms lymph nodes.
  • Now perform the same but gentle circular motions on your stomach and belly area, it is best to go in the intestinal direction as per the diagram, from right to left to right and downwards. Drain it towards your inner thighs.
  • Now massage the lower part of the body including thighs, legs, feet, and even toes. Don’t miss the soles and pay extra attention to them as they have acupressure points for almost every organ of your body.
  • Keep this oil for about 10 to 25 minutes as per your convenience and take a warm water bath after that.
  • Use a mild soap or cleanser if you must. Do this Amazingly Relaxing Ayurvedic Massage at least once a week or 5 minutes every day to avail great benefits and stop those premature signs of aging and look so much younger and healthier than your age.
  • One of the most effective massages to treat facial wrinkles and smile lines is the Buccal Massage!

Best Ayurvedic Oils to Use for Abhyanga 

Vaat– Heavy oils like sesame, almond, avocado

Pitta– Neutral and calming oils like coconut oil, ghee, sandalwood oil, jasmine oil, a few drops of neem oil, and mustard oil only if you don’t have acne

Kapha – light oils, safflower, sweet almond, flaxseed oils

PS. – Jojoba oil works for all.

Ayurvedic Massage Benefits

  • Balances the dominant Dosha in the body and clears the energy centers or chakra to allow a clear energy flow.
  • Relaxation & Reduced Stress
  • Get rid of fatigue and lethargy
  • Anti-aging as it prevents skin sagging and provides firmness to it 
  • Promotes blood circulation in the whole body 
  • Nourished Skin, wrinkles, and stretch marks decrease too
  • A feeling of well-being 
  • Improves flexibility in muscles and skin 
  • Boosts hair growth and makes your mane shinier & softer than ever 
  • Better Sleep, this one is best for insomniacs 

If you are suffering from back pain then try these easy back massage techniques at home for pain relief  or the ultimate solution, the Deep tissue massage at home

Abhyanga Principles

  • Amazing for Vata (4-5 times a week), Great for Pitta (3 times a week), and Once a week for Kapha with the lightest oil possible. 
  • Gentle Circular Motion Strokes are advised 
  • Relaxation is the key to reaping all the Abhyanga massage benefits so make sure you have ample time at hand before you start doing it. If you are in a hurry, then better postpone it and do it when you can really relax and unwind.
  • Also, don’t get an abhyanga when you are on your period, constipated, had a large meal, are Pregnant, have a fever, or have any kind of blockage in your bloodstream. 

 

What is Ayurvedic Massage Good For?

Ayurvedic Massage is good for skin, and hair growth, and detoxifying the body, to decrease the harmful effects of pollution and chemicals it lubricates the joints and increases the blood circulation in the whole body as well. 

 

How is Ayurvedic Massage Done?

Ayurvedic massage has many types, generally, most massages are performed with warm oil and gentle yet firm circular motions. The oil is allowed to absorb for about 10 to 20 minutes, followed by a warm bath.

 

References 

  1. https://www.elle.com/beauty/health-fitness/a26255676/ayurvedic-massage/
  2. https://www.onlymyhealth.com/effective-body-massage-oils-to-use-and-avoid-for-pitta-dosha-in-hindi-1625034661
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/abhyanga-massage
  4. https://chopra.com/articles/the-benefits-of-ayurveda-self-massage-abhyanga

Pratishtha is a Physical therapist (orthopedics) by education. She loves Nature, Skincare, Organized Spaces, Researching, and Holistic Healthcare. Whenever She is not working, she is Definitely watching Netflix and procrastinating on reading a book! Find her on Linkedin.

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