Abhyanga Oil Massage BenefitsThe ritual of Abhyanga is a form of snehana, or oiling, in Ayurveda. Snehana includes the oiling of all facets of the body, but Abhyanga helps focus on one of the most important organs of elimination and protection: the skin. The skin absorbs most of what we put on it - especially products full of fatty acids. Warm oils help lubricate the layers of the skin, all the way down to the organ systems. Depending on one's dosha, they may require a more rigorous or gentle massage. Abhyanga oil massage benefits include:
- Increases circulation, which helps bring nutrients and oxygen to cells
- Helps break down stagnant areas of toxins, or stubborn adipose tissue
- Aids in the movement of lymph, encouraging lymphatic drainage
- Calms the nervous system, which in turn can reduce stress and anxiety
- Strengthens the hair and scalp by nourishing the skin and hair follicles
- Prevents and reduces the progression of premature aging, by bringing nutriment to and helping tone the muscles
- Brings tone and ignites strength in the organs, and boosts the agni of the tissues (dhatus) and of digestion
- Releases endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin resulting in feelings of happiness and relaxation
Abhyanga Oil for Each DoshaEach dosha requires a specific oil for promoting balance. Remembering the Ayurvedic principle of like attracts like, try to choose an Abhyanga oil that balances one's dominant dosha (Prakriti), or the dosha that is most deranged or off balance (Vikruti).
Vata Abhyanga OilCharacterized by lightness, dryness, coolness, subtleness, and mobility, Vata types will often suffer from dry skin, achy joints, and fleeting Agni. Warming and nourishing oils, like Ghruta, sesame, or jojoba will help ground Vata and bring warmth to the body.
Pitta Abhyanga OilOur fierce and fiery Pitta dosha types are characterized by heat, oiliness, and sharpness. They benefit best from cooling and soothing oils such as Ghruta, coconut, or sunflower. Pitta persons can also enjoy a lighter massage, with smoother and slower strokes.
Kapha Abhyanga OilThe Kapha individual exhibits qualities of heaviness, slowness, coolness, and stickiness. Kapha types normally also have adequate amounts of sebum production, making their skin smooth and soft. They benefit from oils which are warming and rejuvenating, like sunflower, or almond. Rigorous massage is recommended, especially for areas with thicker tissue.
Tridoshic Treatment OilsEach dosha can also benefit from the addition of herbal oils (tailam) blended in their doshic-specific carrier oils.
- Neem oil is excellent for cooling Pitta
- Brahmi oil has cooling effects, but can also help Vata by grounding their mind
- Bhringraj oil is excellent for stimulating the scalp and skin, and for strengthening hair follicles in all doshas
- Mahanarayan oil is excellent for all doshas and is specifically helpful in warming the joints