What is understood under Abhyanga is that it is an Ayurveda massage with oil. Abhyanga literary means to run or stroke one’s hand all over, all around the body in a gentle manner.
The MARMA or energie -points are activated through this massage. An important component of Ayurveda treatment is the use of natural oils like Sesame or coconut for massages. These oils are mixed with medicinal herbs and used for different massages according to individual requirement. Abhyanga is suited for daily use and can be self applied. It is rumored that the oils not only open up the Srotas the so called purifying cannals in the body, but that these oils protects and nourishes as well. Through Abhyanga massages balance is maintained and the loss of balance in the three Doshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha) is once again brought back to its original balanced state.
The oil massage, Abhyanga is the basic rule in Ayurveda cure, upon which the substance of Ayurveda treatment is built. It is a very gentle, soft method which is excellent for a feeling of general well being. One can view it as the first step to the path of Ayurvedic treatment. Abhyanga has already been mentioned in ancient times in the texts of antiquity as a method used for the maintainance of health as well as for medical purpose. Therefore Abhyanga is also applicable to wellness, as an effective and meaningful method.
Unfortunately neither the definition Ayurveda nor Abhyanga is protected. The correct achievement or result of the oil massages requires a vast background knowledge on Ayurveda medicine. To accomplish a satisfactory result one must have a knowledge about the herbs/medical effect that these plants have, the mixture of oils and their proper usage, about the Doshas that which is suited to individual constituent. So one sees that this is not just a soft -oil -massage for a momentory feeling of well -being but of a longer duration with long lasting results, a massage that has medical knowledge behind it, based on years of wisdom and experience. Hence one must be very careful as to where one practises this, not just in any massage saloons but in professional Ayurveda clinics or in Spas under professional Ayurveda vigilance. It is worth the effort to find a proper Ayurvedic clinic if one is interested in a beneficial cure.
Abhyanga can be carried out daily as self-application or by one therapist or as synchronised massage given by two therapists where four hands are used in perfect coordination.
There are different parts to Abhyanga, Ayurveda oil-massage. Next to the complete body oil-massage (general Abhyanga) there is Muk-Abhyanga for the facial-massage, then there is the Pad- Abhyanga for the feet and many other forms are offered. According to the need of the patient which the Ayurveda doctor after precise diagnosis concludes, it is decided by the Ayurveda doctor what exactly is required for individual treatment. According to the need of the patient the kind of Abhyanga is decided.
The appropriate oil used by the therapist is decided by the Ayurveda doctor according to the individaul constitution of the patient.(Sesame oil as an example) One does not need to be ill to have this massage but just for a feeling of well being one can have an Abhyanga massage. In case of health problem herbal oils are used, a mixture of oil with medicinal plants according to the ailment . For example there are special oils for rheuma amd arthritis which is very effective. During the massage or after the massages pastes or powder is also often used to name a few sandal powder or Himalaya rock-salt. (has a peeling as well as cleansing effect, good for skin-diseases)
Abhyanga : for retaining, maintaining and preserving health.
Abhyanga for curative purposes.
Translated by Paramita Lahiri