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Abhyanga Self Oiling

In Sanskrit, oil is called ‘sneha’, which is also the word for ‘love’ or ‘affection’ in the language. In Ayurveda, one of the most important expressions of self-love is on oil massage, or abhyanga. It is believed the feeling one gets after an abhyanga is similar to the feeling of being loved. Just like the experience of receiving love, a self-abhyanga gives a feeling of stability, calm, comfort, and restoration.

A daily practice of abhyanga – which generally takes around 15 minutes – is known to promote longevity, create balance and foster well-being physically, mentally and emotionally.

“The body of one who uses oil massage regularly does not become affected much even if subjected to accidental injuries, or strenuous work. By using oil massage daily, a person is endowed with pleasant touch, trimmed body parts and becomes strong, charming and least affected by old age.” – Charaka Samhita Vol. 1, V: 88-89

Benefits of abhyanga include (but are not restricted to ) :

  • Gives glowing, soft and healthy skin
  • Provides better circulation
  • Aids in removing toxins by stimulating the lymphatic system
  • Enhances digestion
  • Promotes metabolism
  • Stimulates internal organs and tissues
  • Enhances muscle tone and firmness
  • Increases immunity and stamina
  • Promotes better and sounder sleep
  • Assists in thicker, softer and shinier hair (through the scalp massage included as part of the abhyanga)
  • Lubricates joints
  • Promotes better vision
  1. Environment: Sit in an environment that is comfortably warm or room temperature. If you are in your bathroom or bedroom, make sure you have a towel below you to soak in the left over or dripping oil.
  2. Choose the right oil for your body and your dosha: Each of us has a dosha, a predominant element, or 2 predominant elements, which determine our psychological body-shape, personality traits and emotional tendencies. Find out more about doshas here.

For Vata Balashwaganda Thailam- 240 ml

For Pitta : Mahanarayan Thailam-240. ml

For Kapha :

For regulating the senses: Anu Thailam 15 ml

For better sleep: Bhrami Thailam-240 ml

Cracked Heals and foot care:

Mix in an essential Oil:

  1. Warm the oil: Pour the oil in a cup and warm it in a larger pan filled with water
  2. Start with the scalp: The scalp contains the largest number of marma points, or points of concentrated vital energy, in our body. Massage your scalp with an upward stroke in small circles, as if you are shampooing your scalp.
  3. Move to the face: Massage your forehead, temples, cheeks, jaws, upper lip, lower lip and chin with upward circular strokes. Don’t forget to massage your ears and ear lobes, as they are also home to vital nerve endings and marma points.
  4. Neck and shoulders: Massage your neck from the bottom of the neck towards the chin. Massage your shoulder from inside to out as if you are brushing something off. Massage your shoulder joints in strong circular movements.
  5. Abdomen and chest: Massage these areas in a clockwise circular motion.
  6. Arms and Legs: Use long strokes for the arms and legs and circular strokes for the joints. Massage from the hands or feet towards your shoulders or thighs.
  7. Feet and Hands: Massage the upper and lower part of your feet and hands in rhythmic strokes. Using your thumb, massage your sole/palm in small circular strokes. For a firmer movement, use the opening of your palm or your knuckles. Also massage each toe/finger separately; pull each one at the end to release any trapped stress or tension in each nerve ending.
  8. Soak it all in: Leave the oil on your body for at least 5-10 minutes so that it can be absorbed and penetrate into the deeper layers of your body. Take this time to feel the ‘sneha’ – the love and nourishment you have given to your body, mind and spirit with your oil massage.
  9. Clean it all up: Have a luke-warm shower with a gentle, mild soap.
  10. Pat dry your body: Gently dry your body – instead of vigorously rubbing it – with a soft towel to make sure the moisture, softness and suppleness retains in the skin.
  11. Dress yourself, and you’re ready to go!

Balashwaganda Oil may be helpful for stress and anxiety. Ashwaganda oil may help stimulates DHEA, which is a precursor to both testosterone and estrogen and stimulates the production of natural skin oils.

When  not to do Abhyanga

  1. Over painful, swollen areas or masses on the body., without knowledge or consent of you health care practitioner.
  2. Over infected or broken skin
  3. When there is high ama in the body or acute illness
  4. When you have acute fever, chills or flu
  5. When you have acute indigestion
  6. When you have a medical condition, consult you health practitioner first.
  7. During menstrual cycle
  8. During pregnancy

If you are under the care of an ayurveda practitioner these may not apply.

Dry Brushing: 

First you’ll need a high-quality dry brush. Look for one with bristles made from natural materials. They should feel stiff but not overly so. Ideally, choose a brush with a long handle so you can reach your entire back and other hard-to-reach spots.

Dry skin brushing should be done daily for best results, or even twice a day if Kapha conditions are present. Try incorporating it into your normal daily routine, such as doing your brushing before your morning shower and then again after work (avoid doing it too close to bedtime, as it may leave you feeling energized).

When brushing, always brush toward your heart, which is best for circulation and lymphatic drainage. You can brush your entire body (including the soles of your feet). Start at your feet and work your way up your legs to your arms, chest, back, and stomach. Avoid brushing your face (unless you have a special brush designed for this delicate skin), your genitals, or any areas with irritations or abrasions (including varicose veins).

The pressure you apply while brushing your skin should be firm but not painful (avoid “scrubbing”). Your skin should be pink after a session (not red or irritated) and you can brush for as long (or as little) as you’d like. An average dry brushing session may last between two and 20 minutes.

Ayurveda Foot Care.

Did you know according to the Ashtang Hridaya, one of the most authoritative texts on the science of Ayurveda, your feet have four nerves that are related to your eyes? Who would have thought that a nice soothing foot massage can actually help you see better?

The science of Ayurveda treats the human body like an inverted tree where the root is in the head region while the branches are in the feet. Your foot is an important motor organ that enables you to get by your day, move, walk or run and rarely do we acknowledge this gift of locomotion!

Our feet also feature multiple marma points. These marma points are important and any injury or pain at these points can damage or affect the associated organs, muscles, ligaments, or joints. Our feet are also where our body connects to the earth that we belong and return to. The field of reflexology believes that you can release energy blockages by putting a specific amount of pressure on specific nodes in the feet.

Even for those dealing with vata imbalances that give way to dry, rough skin, and dehydration, an Ayurvedic foot massage or pada abhyanga is said to be the solution.

According to Ayurvedic texts, foot massages must be part of the daily dinacharya—or perfected routine.

The Perfect Foot Treatment

  1. Give your feet a nice soak in warm water. Add some essential oil if you please.
  2. Dry your feet.
  3. Take some oil in your hand and apply it all over the feet up to the ankles.
    You can use sesame oil, clarified butter (this helps in cases of vata or pitta vitiation), olive oil, ksheerbala oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, or dosha specific oils
  4. Begin with gentle twists. Place your right foot between your palms and hold it with your hands. Now, pull on the right side and push up the left side of the foot and vice versa. As you do this, you can move your fingers up and down the edges.
  5. Rub the arches. Hold the top of each foot with one hand and rub the arch all the way from the heel to the top, move in the shape of a horseshoe.
  6. Stretch the toes. With one hand hold the foot from the heel. With the other, pull the toes forward and then push them away, giving them a full stretch.
  7. Pulling sideways. Here, with both your hands hold the foot and steady the grip. Now move them sideways, gently and with awareness. You will feel the stress leaving the foot region.
  8. Heel squeezing. Squeeze the heel by cupping your hands around the arch. This is the part of your foot that takes on the weight of your body and does all the walking for you.
  9. Press your knuckle into the arch of the heel, kneading from the bottom to the top.
  10. Pulling toes. Pull each toe one by one.
  11. Place the Achilles tendon between your thumb and index finger and gently massage it by stroking along the Achilles and heel.
  12. Side circles. Place the foot on the floor, flat. With your thumb, make circles around the ankles on each side.
  13. End with a nice twist, Take your right foot and place it on your left leg. Hold the foot with both your palms on either sides, and let the ankle rest on the left leg. Now pull the left side towards you with your left palm and push the right side of the foot away with your right hand. Then, pull the right side towards you and push away the left side. As you do this, you can move the palm along the edges of the foot.