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Abhyanga 2017-06-11T01:44:03+00:00

Abhyanga Ayurveda Massage

Abhyanga is an ayurveda oil massage that can be done every day as part of our daily routine. This ayurvedic massage is done as a treatment step and there are no strict rules on how to perform this therapeutic massage. Ayurvedic practitioners who belong to the yoga school of thought base follow yoga principles and thus give more importance to Nadis. Practitioners who belong to the Kalari school of thought give more importance to marma or vital points.

Abhyanga which was developed and is performed in Kerala uses more oil and herbal poultice and is done in seven stages. These are also known as seven steps of abhyanga. Thus abhyanga is sometimes referred to as Kerala Ayurveda Massage.

Unction or snehana means oleation therapy. Oleation provides the body with an unctuousness or oiliness. Oleation is of two types. Internal oleation and external oleation. The external oleation technically known as Abhyanga is performed as a pre-operative procedure for Panchakarma. The main aim of external oleation is to prepare the body for purification which is to bring the vitiated humors adherent in peripheral tissues to the gut so that they can be easily expelled.

Seven positions of Abhyanga

Classical Ayurveda texts describe the following seven positions to perform this therapeutic massage:

    • Sitting erect
    • Lying – back
    • Lying – Lateral – Left
    • Lying – back
    • Lying – Lateral – Right
    • Lying – back
    • Sitting erect

Abhyanga Massage

Therapist performs oil massage on the patient while patient adopts each of the above postures in sequence. On each posture, therapist performs a gentle massage for about fifteen minutes.

As listed above, procedure starts with therapist massaging the patient while the person is sitting erect. Then it moves to massaging while the person lies down face up, then massaging in left lateral position, then lying on back again then right lateral then lying on back again and finally sitting erect to complete the cycle.

Pre-operative procedures

Make sure the patient has evacuated their bowel and bladder. Apply a little bit of therapeutic oil on their vertex and do 2-3 minutes massage. While sitting on a wooden table, explain the procedure, so that the patient gets a good understanding of the procedure.

Core procedure of abhyanga

Abhyanga ayurveda massage starts with massaging while the patient is sitting erect on a massage table or a stool. Massage oil is applied to the head, face, ear canal, front of neck, back and feet and is massage in a gentle fashion. After a while, the patient is made to lie on his / her back while continuing the massage.

Later, the patient is made to lie on one side, again on his / her back, then on the other side once again on his back and finally in the erect sitting position. Massage in each posture is maintained for about 15 minutes, the whole process taking about an hour or more. The time of the treatment can be increased or decreased according to the general condition and health of the patient.

Post operative procedures of abhyanga

Wipe the patient’s body with a dry and clean towel. Leaving a thin film of oil is also good. Ask the patient to rest for 30 minutes to one hour and have a warm shower afterwards.

Benefits of Abhyanga

Applying warm ayurvedic medicated oil promotes circulation and helps diaphoresis (sweating). Medicinal factors in the oil are absorbed by the skin. These medicinal factors act as food, nutrient and medicinal agent on the skin. A soft and oily massage itself has a soothing effect on the nervous system as a whole. It removes metabolic waste, reduces pain and swelling, improves complexion and texture of the skin.

Abhyanga treatment is used as part of a panchakarma programme. Panchakarma is very beneficial in lyme disease treatment.

Ayurvedic Oils used in abhyanga

While some therapists use sesame oil for abhyanga, for good results the right oil based on one’s dosha has to be used. Choice of oil can also be based on specific health condition.

Ayurvedic Massage Melbourne

Kindly get in touch with our Ayurveda Practitioner in Melbourne if you would like to know more about our Kerala Ayurveda Massage. We will be only happy to assist you with your queries be it on abhyanga or Ayurveda.