Abhyanga or daily self-oil massages are important to live a healthy long life according to Ayurveda. You might think of going to a spa and getting it done. But it is not practical. So, the most useful and effective way to do Abhyanga is in the comfort of your home.
Benefits of doing Abhyanga
Doing Abhyanga offers the following benefits:
- Improves strength and flexibility of muscles, bones and joints
- Slows down ageing
- Improves skin health
- Relieves weakness, tiredness
- Improves sleep
- Reduces aches and pains in the body
- Nourishes tissues of the body
- Rejuvenates the body and promotes longevity
How to do Abhyanga at home?
Here’s how you can do Abhyanga at home:
The first step in performing Abhyanga is to choose the right oil. The ideal oil to do Abhyanga is organic black sesame oil, specifically the darkest or dark organic sesame oil available.
Ayurveda specifies the body parts you should focus on when doing Abhyanga. These areas include the top of your head, your palms, feet, navel, ears, and face. These are the main areas you should massage.
You can also massage other parts of your body, especially your joints, because they tend to collect Vata, which is the air element. Vata increases when you move your body a lot, so it’s more in your joints. That’s why it is important to massage them with oil.
First, take some oil in your palm and gently apply it on the top of your head. Once you apply the oil, use your fingers to rub your scalp. If you want, you can also massage oil along the length of your hair.
Next, massage your face.
After that, massage your hands and feet, and then continue with the rest of your body. For your joints, move your hands in circular motions, but for other body parts, use longer up-and-down strokes.
When you’re massaging your legs, it’s a good idea to massage them in an upward direction, towards your heart.
When massaging your hands, fold them and use your hands to massage the long bones effectively.
Doing Abhyanga is crucial for maintaining good health, regardless of age. On days you are really busy, you can do a brief 2-to-3-minute Abhyanga. However, you can do Abhyanga for at least 5 to 10 minutes if you have ample time.