Massaging the whole body with oil is called as ABHYANG in Ayurveda.The complex machine of our human body, when massaged with oil in the ABHYANG procedure, halts the degeneration of its parts and extends its life. Hence, regular ABHYANG is necessary in order to maintain and protect our health and increase bodily strength.
- Odd movements of our body, trauma and errors in the posture cause different WAATA disorders. ABHYANG ensures the eradication of these.
- Regular ABHYANG increases strength and hence duration of work.
- Skin appears young. Skin tone improves. Wrinkles and dryness in the skin disappears.
- Bone and muscle strength increases.
- Old age sets in late. Body becomes agile and flexible.
- ABHYANG is the utmost necessity for athletes and people who exercise regularly.
- ABHYANG has proven to be very effective in cases of polio, paralysis, joint pain, insomnia, different skin diseases, WAATA disorders, frozen shoulder, sciatica, lumbar pain, backache, neck pain, spondylitis, etc.
Methodical and proper ABHYANG is effective for decreasing as well as increasing weight. It stands as a prerequisite for other procedures like BASTI, WAMANA, VIRECHANA etc. Child development is aided by ABHYANG. It also balances the concentrations of the basic and fundamental constituents of the body in youth when the physical growth is done with. Due to the dominance of WAATA and disintegrative nature of body constituents, ABHYANG is a relief and upliftment for old people. ABHYANG performed for pregnant women in their third trimester in the thigh and lumbar region facilitates an easier delivery and preventing further ache in the back. To compensate the fatigue, massage should be continued for two months after delivery.
Head massage for children is very soothing for them. Children grow calm and sleep well. Complaints like hair fall, hair greying and insomnia are dealt with magnificently by SHIROABHYANG, i.e. head massage.
Four types of fatty substances, namely TAILA (oils), GHEE (clarified butter), VASAA (animal fat) and MAJJA (bone marrow) are used according to various disease conditions. Appropriate time and knowledge of proper pressure points is of utmost importance during massage. During cold seasons, to tackle the dryness of skin, oils having more unctuous properties are used. In summer, oils prepared in coconut base are preferred. During massage, muscle, joint, bones, ligaments, tendons, muscle origin and insertion points and MARMA BINDU (vital points) consideration is inevitable. Special emphasis should be given to these vital points- body constituent consideration (such as WAATA, PITTA, KAFA) is useful for selecting specific medicinal oil. Massage after exercise is always preferred.
Conditions where massage is contraindicated.
- In fever
- KAFA DOSHA originating disorders
- Joint pain with fever and oedema
- Massage after food
- Massage while feeling much hungry
Various tricks like patting, kneading and vibrating are equally important during massage procedure. This creates lightness in the body and relieves pain. According to directions, two types of massages are described in ayurvedic scripts- ANULOMA (direction towards heart) and PRATILOMA (direction away from heart).
General sequence of massage procedure
The massage done in the following sequence of organs is beneficial
Ears → nose → head → navel → soles → ankles → calf → knees → thighs → palms → wrists → forearms → elbows → abdomen → chest → back → lumbar region → sacral area → hips → posterior legs → posterior hands
Steam bath or hot water bath after this sequence is essential.
Last but not the least, people should be aware that ambience and external appearance of the massaging center or spa are not the only factors to serve your cause, but a therapist having thorough scientific knowledge is also important. ABHYANG or massage is not just an external treatment for temporary soothing, but it has a potential to cure the pains, relieve the stress hidden deep within your body and mind.