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Ayurvedic Massage - Tender Touch Of Healing

Abstract

Massage is a tender touch of healing in which manipulation is done with the soft tissues of the body parts with the help of hands, elbows, fingers, feet, knees, forearms and any device. It stimulates the nervous, circulatory and muscular system which in turn improves the overall body functioning. It is one of the oldest and ancient relieving practices that is known as Abhyanga as per ayurveda. In this article we are going to discuss Ayurvedic massage (Abhyanga), its different types and benefits, let's discuss further.

Introduction

Ayurvedic massage is known as abhyanga and it is usually done with the help of warm oils. While performing the procedure of Abhyanga the application of warm oil is made over the entire body. The therapy is done starting from face-neck, neck-shoulder and after that from groin to the toes. Then one should take a bath and avoid direct air for at least 40-45 minutes. It is one of the most popular therapies in Ayurveda - A holistic science of medicine. Abhyanga is generally performed by a typical massage therapist but it can be carried out at home after some practice. As per ayurveda this therapy is a very great source of energy and nourishes the sapta dhatus (seven bodily tissues) and doshas (tridosha) and keeps the overall body functioning in balance. Further let's discuss the detailed view of Abhyanga.

Ayurvedic Massage - Tender Touch Of Healing

Time For Oil Massage (Abhyanga)

Traditionally in the early morning before bath is the indicated time. In case you are having body ache then the morning time is the best time as at that time pain remains under control and one can easily pass the day. On dividing the day among three parts, the evening time is the time of vata dosha aggravation thus the Abhyanga practice must be done in the evening. And if you are performing in the evening it is a must to perform hot fomentation after that, it prevents body stiffness and coldness, also it improves the assimilation and absorption. There should be a gap of 1 hour between the meals and massage practice as after the food intake kapha dosha gets aggravated that's why it is not recommended to give massage at this time.

Mode Of Action Of Oil Massage (Abhyanga)

As per ayurveda the herbal oils consist of the medicinal properties of herbs, after application on the body the oil enters into the body via the skin pores and gets absorbed into the blood with the help of srotas (channels). When it is absorbed into the blood, it reaches the targeted area and shows its action. If we apply herbal oil directly on the affected areas like knees in case of arthritis, then the action is fast and one may get quick relief.

Oil Massage (Abhyanga) And Prakriti

There are different methods of Abhyanga practices according to dosha, let's discuss below:

Before studying Abhyanga as per prakriti, let's discuss the features of three main prakritis. There are three predominating prakriti that are vata, pitta and kapha. The features of vataj prakriti people Are thin frame, flat chest, shorter or taller than average, prominent veins, dry and rough skin, low BMI, eyes are small, sunken, thin, dry and hairs are scanty, coarse, dry and curly. The features of pittaj prakriti people are delicate and moderate frame, weight is also moderate, skin is soft, moist and warm; eyes are sharp, medium sized with penetrating gaze and the hairs are fine, thin, oily and silky. Kaphaj prakriti people have features such as large frame with broad chest, thick skin, body weight is excessive, skin type is oily, thick, cold, pale; eyes are large, wide, big, dense and prominent; hairs are dark, soft, thick and wavy.

  • In vataj prakriti: One who are having vataj prakriti, there is a need to practise more abhyanga rather those who are having kaphaj of pittaj prakriti, as vataj prakriti people are weak physiologically and possess cold and dry skin. In vataj prakriti people, massage should be performed in the opposite direction as the growth of hairs and in slow proportions. Oil used in adequate amounts and the commonly used oils for performing abhyanga in vataj prakriti people are bala tail, dhanvantaram tail, dashmool tail and mahanarayana tail.
  • In pittaj prakriti: In people of pittaj prakriti, oils used are of sheeta veerya (cold potency) as they are having oily and warm skin. The speed of performing abhyanga should be medium and the direction is opposite to that of body hair growth. The mostly used oils in case of pittaj prakriti are chandan tail, nariyal tail, jatyadi tail and other cold potency ayurvedic oils.
  • In kaphaj prakriti: The kaphaj prakriti people need deep penetrated and fast massage performing in the same direction of the hair growth. In this case the quantity of oil used is minimum as the kaphaj prakriti people are having oily skin. Generally til tail is used in kaphaj prakriti people.

Benefits Of Oil Massage (Abhyanga)

If you perform abhyanga on daily bases (nitya) then you may see the following benefits:

  • It provides rejuvenating effects thus on regular practice it delays aging
  • Relieves tiredness
  • Pacifies vata dosha and relieves pain and stiffness
  • It possess drishti prasadhan guna thus improves vision
  • Due to pushti karaka guna (nourishing properties) abhyanga helps in providing nourishment to the body
  • Abhyanga helps in promoting the lifespan
  • Induces good sleep
  • Enhances the skin complexion and improves the skin tone
  • Helpful in maintaining good physique

Therapeutic Uses Of Abhyanga

Abhyanga as we discussed earlier has various benefits due to these benefits it is useful in the management of various health concerns. Let's discuss below:

  • For relieving cervical pain: When we perform a massage for a few times in a week and repeated for several weeks it aids in strengthening the muscles of the neck. It provides wonderful relief in neck spasm and pain in case of cervical spondylitis.
  • For alleviating headache: The application of oil over the head and then massage for 10 -15 mins. It improves the blood circulation, provides proper oxygen, relieves rigidity in the muscles and reduces the irritation of the nerves, thus relieves headache.
  • Good for Autism patients: Children who are having autism may get relief with their symptoms by massage. Do massage for at least 20 mins and continue till 5-7 months. To see the positive effect of massage in autism patients must access the oxytocin levels, if these are high then the results are positive.
  • Miraculous results in Arthritis Patients: In arthritis, patients feel stiffness due to which the knee activity also gets affected. Massage with herbal oils relieves the stiffness by improving blood circulation and also reduces inflammation by pacifying vata dosha.
  • Prevents Ageing: Massage assists in regeneration of the cells by penetrating herbal oil deep into the skin layers. It helps in enhancing the complexion and makes the skin eventone. If you practice massage regularly it keeps the skin hydrated and makes you get rid of wrinkles.
  • Benefits in case of Facial paralysis: Facial palsy results from aggravation of vata dosha, massage provides warmth thus pacifying vata dosha and aids in the management of Facial palsy.

Conclusion

Ayurvedic Massage - A tender touch of healing in massage manipulation is done with the soft tissues of the body parts with the help of hands, elbows, fingers, feet, knees, forearms and any device. As per ayurveda it is known as Abhyanga, the practice of massaging with herbal oils. The perfect timing for Abhyanga is morning and before eating any meal. It has various health benefits due to which it is known as a tender touch of healing. Abhyanga provides rejuvenating effects, relieves tiredness, drishti karaka (improves vision), pushti karaka (nourishes body), pacifies vata dosha that relieves pain and stiffness in the body. It is beneficial in the treatment of various health concerns such as Arthritis, Autism, Facial Palsy, Cervical Pain, Headache, etc: thus good for maintaining a good health. So we suggest you must practice Abhyanga in your day to day for a healthy body.

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Best Ayurvedic Doctor in Mohali - Dr. Vikram Chauhan

Dr. Vikram Chauhan

MD (AYURVEDA)

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