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Ayurvedic Massage: Exploring the Benefits of Abhyanga

Ayurvedic massage also known as abhyanga, is a technique that is designed to create balance among the body and soul physically, emotionally and spiritually.

In this Ayurvedic massage technique, warm oil is first applied on the body, then massage is done using long strokes and circular motions. Although massage is normally performed by a skilled Ayurvedic practitioner or physician, it can also be done at home as a form of self-care.

What is Abhyanga aka an Ayurvedic Massage?

Ayurveda is an ancient Indian medical science that helps in keeping us healthy by balancing the doshas in our body. In Ayurveda, many treatments have been prescribed to balance the doshas, and even specific types of Ayurvedic massages based on what you need.

Ayurvedic massage referred to as an “Abhyanga,” may be a completely different experience from usual Swedish, deep tissue or sports massage.

This Ayurvedic massage technique performed with warm oil. It involves the application of essential oil to the entire body, from the scalp to the soles of the feet.

The warm oil is the central component of Abhyanga. It is chosen based on an individual’s dosha (constitution) and is believed to promote overall health and wellness. It can help in relieving fatigue, improving sleep, enhancing skin quality, and more.

Let’s look at the potential benefits of this Ayurvedic massage, along with how is the Abhyanga massage done?

Benefits of Ayurvedic Body Massage – Abhyanga

Scientific research specifically on Ayurvedic massage, has a long history of anecdotal evidence of its therapeutic benefits.

  • Relieves Fatigue: Abhyanga massage helps to relax and rejuvenate the body, reducing fatigue and tiredness.
  • Nourishes Body and Mind: The warm oil nourishes the skin and penetrates deep into the tissues, providing both physical and mental relaxation.
  • Improves Stamina: Regular Abhyanga can enhance physical endurance and vitality.
  • Improves Sleep: The practice can improve the quality of sleep and help with sleep-related issues.
  • Promotes Longevity: Ayurveda believes that Abhyanga massage can promote longevity by keeping the body and mind in balance.
  • Enhances Skin Quality: The oil used in Abhyanga is often chosen to suit the individual’s dosha, which can lead to improved skin texture, hydration, and overall skin health.

Other benefits

Abhyanga is also said to:

  • improve vision
  • clear physiological and energetic pathways
  • reduce muscle stiffness
  • increase energy and alertness
  • increasing strength and fitness
  • tone and vigor for the body’s tissues
  • lowering blood pressure levels
  • improve skin smoothness and softness
  • delay age-related changes

Who should do Abhyanga?

Regular Abhyanga-massage, right from birth, is an important habit for good health of all of us. Oil massage for babies is a very important aid for the healthy development of the baby. And as the child grows and becomes an adult, the habit of abhyanga should remain throughout life.

There are some important exceptions to this rule that should be noted. Women should absolutely avoid Abhyanga during menstruation. Pregnant women should also avoid Abhyanga except on the advice of their Ayurvedic physician. People who are ill, recovering from surgery or feeling very tired should also avoid abhyanga.

How to do Ayurvedic Abhyanga self-massage

Steps to Follow for an abhyanga self-massage:

  1. The first step is to select an appropriate massage oil. The choice of oil may be based on your skin type, body constitution (dosha), and specific health needs. Different oils are available for different purposes.
  2. Warm the selected oil is in a pot, then heated until it reaches warm, Test the temperature by putting a drop on your inner wrist.
  3. Bring the hot oil to a comfortable temperature. As soon as the oil reaches the desired temperature, begin massaging it into your body with long strokes.
  4. start the massage from your head and work their way down to your toes. This massage covers all parts of the body. Various massage techniques may be applied, such as circular clockwise strokes for specific areas and joints.
  5. After the Ayurvedic Abhyanga massage, wait for 15-20 minutes so that the Ayurvedic oil can be absorbed. You are free to rest during this period.
  6. To end the session, you usually take a shower to remove excess oil from your body. After 15 to 20 minutes, you should take a warm shower or bath (avoid using hot water). After bathing or showering, the skin should be patted dry with a towel.


It’s important to note that the specific benefits of Abhyanga may vary from person to person, depending on individual constitutions and health conditions. If you are interested in trying Abhyanga, consider consulting an Ayurvedic practitioner or a trained therapist to receive personalized guidance on the type of oil and technique that would be most suitable for your needs.


The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional