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The Art of Abhyangam

There is a beautiful Ayurvedic style of massage called Abhyanga. This type of massage is traditionally given by two people; a four handed synchronized warm oil treatment. It is incredibly relaxing, beneficial and nourishing. Receiving this type of massage is such a delight and in addition we can give ourselves daily self-Abhyanga.

Ayurveda states many lifestyle regimes to enhance health. The one thing we often share in consultations & workshops is that we believe self-Abhyanga is one of the most valuable Ayurvedic practices to include.

The ancient texts share countless benefits to daily self massage such as: strengthening immune & digestive systems, enhancing blood and lymphatic circulation, tones muscles, lubricates joints, rejuvenates and calms the nervous system, enhances the complexion and the luster of the skin, dissolves accumulated stress and toxins in the mind & body, enhances sleep & mental alertness. It is even said to increase life span!

Traditionally self-Abhyanga is performed in the morning, before taking a bath or shower. Oil recommendations are given for our specific needs and constitution. For Vata, sesame oil, for Pitta, coconut oil & for Kapha, sunflower or mustard oil.

Self Massage Instructions:

  1. Undress completely and stand on your towel or mat.

  2. Use comfortably warm massage oil. Store your massage oil in a plastic bottle w/ flip-top and warm it by placing the bottle in a bowl of hot water.

  3. Place some warm oil into your palm and begin to gently rub the oil into your scalp. Massage the oil into your scalp and hair with your fingertips.

  4. Massage your face and ears. Use gentle circular strokes to massage your cheeks and forehead, move out towards the ears in stroking motions around the eyes.

  5. Work down your body until the oil has been massaged into every part of your body. Use long strokes on your limbs and circular strokes over all your joints, chest and abdomen. Cover every inch of skin, attuning to your bodily tissues with your hands. Take time to massage the soles of your feet as this can have a relaxing and soothing affect.

  6. Relax with the oil on the skin for 10 – 15 minutes. This allows the oil time to be deeply absorbed into the tissues.

  7. Rinse off the excess oil in the shower

Credit to

Tami Hafzalla

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