ABHYANGA a daily revitalizing Ayurvedic practice bringing the nature within you ALIVE
Abhyanga is a massage that’s done with warm oil which is applied on the entire body, from the scalp to the soles of your feet. It is one of the core treatments in Ayurveda and promoted as part of a daily self care routine.
When stimulated through therapeutic touch or massage, the skin releases a pharmacy of healing chemicals that have health-promoting effects on the physiology. In addition to feeling good, regular massage detoxifies the body’s tissues, increases circulation, calms the mind, and enhances immune function. Some of the addtional benefits include:
Lower blood pressure
Improves skin condition
increase skin blood flow
reduce appearance of wrinkles, cellulite, and scars
improve skin smoothness and softness
Reduce muscle stiffness
Promotes lymphatic drainage
The main reason that this massage is used in India is to move the pranic energy through the body. These instructions were shared with me by an ayurvedic Dr from a reputable school so is a bit more thorough than guidance written in general health magazines. Hence the sequencing is important.
A daily self-abhyanga massage with aromatherapy massage oils is a deeply healing and enjoyable ayurvedic practice that activates the body's inner chemistry, which can slow the ageing process. Depending upon your unique mind-body type (dosha). Your massage technique can be gentle or more vigorous and you will certainly feel the difference in your joints and skin and general mood if this is adopted as part of your daily routine.
Just wrap a towel around yourself and choose your warmed, highly refined massage oil (choose almond oil, avocado oil or olive oil are good base oils which are unlikely to disturb the subtle energy in the body. But send me an email for more specific oils according to your body type,
FEET AND LEGS
Start the massage with the application of medicated ghee to the soles, rub with moderate or bearable pressure, then use the fingertips to massage the base of your toes. Slide your fingers between your toes. Rub the soles of your feet with a silver bowl.
Apply oil on the upper side of the foot and massage with firm pressure. Do a circular massage around the ankle joint and the ankle bone. Massage the Achilles tendon, then hold the toes with one hand and the calf with another and apply movement to the joint.
Then apply pressure to the midpoint of the ankle - where it joins the top of the foot, at the inner side of the tendon.
Calves, shins & knees
Apply oil from down to up towards the knee joint with pressure. Shake your calf muscles with your hands, and press the outer border of the shinbone. Keep the legs folded at the knee joint, pressing the two depressions below the patella (knee cap). Give a circular massage to this joint, then massage the side of it. Stretch the legs and massage the backs of the knees.
Thighs & Hips
Apply oil to the thighs and give a circular massage to the hip joints. Shake the backs of the thighs, In a standing position, use the palms and fingers to give a circular massage to the hips. Massage the back, covering as much of the area as you can with good pressure. If it is difficult to reach your back, use a napkin dipped in oil, squeeze and twist it, and rub your back with that.
In a lying down position with the legs bent at the knee joints, put oil in the naval. Do a circular massage in a clockwise direction for 2 to 3 minutes, making increasing circles and using the entire palm of your hand. End this massage at the left of the abdomen. Then tap the abdomen with the finger-tips. Massage the edges of the ribs, sweeping from the centre and massaging along the edges up to your sides. Then the centre of the rib cage from the sternum to the edge of the ribs and back to the sternum
With the palm massage from the periphery of the breast towards the nipple, from the nipple circular massage towards the outside - as taught when checking for breast cancer.
Massage from the neck up to the shoulder using the palm of the ha
HANDS & ARMS
Hand massage to elbow
Apply oil on the palm: rub sliding the fingers of each hand in between each other. Press the tips of all fingers from finger up to the outside of the wrist joint. Squeeze at the wrist joint then apply oil to the lower arm from wrist to elbow.
Elbow to upper arm
Do a circular massage at the elbow. Massage the arm from the elbow up to the shoulder joint. Raise the arm up, massage the arm and the axilla (under arm) from the elbow up to the lower rib with the palm.
HEAD & FACE
Massage from the jaw to the collar bone front and sides from the back of the ear to the collarbone. On the back of the neck.
Rub the forehead with two fingers. Then with the fingertips, massage the eyebrow and end of the eyebrows. With the tip of the index finger, massage the nose from the eyebrow up to the corner of the lips. Rub the cheeks up and down with the palms. Around the mouth, a circular massage with the fingertips in front of the ear and the back of the ear.
Pull the apex of the ears up and lobule down by holding between thumb and index finger. Then, putting the fingertip in the hole of the ear vibrates it gently. Move the fingertip up and down the ear applying pressure. Pinch the apex of the ear and press the outer border of the ear. Pinch the tragus of both ears.
Head massage (omit oil if preferred)
In sitting position, apply hair oil on the top; using the palms tap it with pressure. Put some more oil on both the palms and massage the scalp from front and then the sides. Apply oil on the back of the head and massage with pressure.
FAST REFRESHING MASSAGE POINTS
1. Tap the top of the head
2. Tap the centre of the eyebrows and forehead rub quickly
3. Straight line from the roof of the nose up to the tip with fingers
4. Press both ends of the eyebrows, corners of the nostrils and lips
5. Press the middle point above and below the lips
6. Rub the cheeks and press the centre point of the cheeks below the cheekbones
Front of the ear and back of the ear with finger lateral to adam’s apple, first feel the pulsations and apply gentle pressure. Press the sternal notch.
Never do massage without oil, when you do not have sufficient time.
Massage with more pressure will exhaust you
If you feel relaxed after the self-massage, it is a good sign.
After massage, relax for 10-15 minutes.
Do not use soap for bath after massage. Use herbal powder combinations or Masoor Dal powder to scrub your body. This will help to remove the stickiness of the oil and all the toxins from the pores.
To check for skin sensitivity, apply a few drops of the oil to your wrist or behind your ear and check for any reactions after 24 hours.
Check with an aromatherapist for contra-indications if you wish to apply aromatherapy oils
Once you get the sequence, this daily massage only takes about 5 to 10 minutes. Remember the focus is to move the energy through the body, paying attention to your joints.
Be Safe, Be Well, Be Vibrant