abhyanga

 

Abhyanga: Powerfully Rejuvenative Self-Care


What is Abhyanga?

Abhyanga is the Ayurvedic practice of nourishing yourself through a self-applied oil massage.  This practice is not only physically therapeutic, it also is a powerful way to love, nurture, and connect with yourself.


The Science of Abhyanga

It helps encourage the flow of lymph, blood and circulation throughout the body.  Oil penetrates beyond the skin to nourish joints, nerves, blood, tendons, ligaments, and muscles.  The oil massage moves stored toxins from deeper layers in the tissues towards the organs so they may be excreted.


The Benefits of regular Abhyanga practice:

    - Increased circulation especially to nerve endings

    - Calming nerves, reducing stress and fatigue

    - Increased stamina, mental alertness, and longevity

    - Healing dry, cracked, weathered skin

    - Lubrication of joints, muscles, and tissues

    - Improved elimination of toxins and impurities in the body

    - Improve baldness and dandruff

    - Heal fungal and inflammatory skin conditions

    - Better, deeper sleep at night

    - Improved connection to self and body, creates the feeling of being loved

    - Used before and after radiation treatments helps neutralize the flood of oxygen radicals.


Supplies:

        4 oz- 8 oz. Glass Bottle

Glass is best since you will be heating the oil quite hot.  I use glass bottles designed for olive oil pouring since the spout is so easy to use.  Budget bottles are available at Ross.


4 oz. of Oil

Apricot Kernel Oil, Grape Seed Oil, or Almond Oil are great oils for all body types year round.  During Autumn and Winter, use Un-toasted Sesame Oil. 

*Please be sure your oils are Organic, Expeller Pressed Oils.  Otherwise they may contain chemicals that can enter your bloodstream during use.


Essential Oils

Essential Oils are powerful medicines for the body and a great optional addition to your Abhyanga Oil.  Each essential oil has its unique benefits and also precautions.      I have a few recommended essential oils that are safe to use.  If you would like your own personal blend, I love to create blends and have years of study with the oils.


Here is a list of safe oils:

Lavender

Tea Tree

Geranium

Palmarosa

Chamomile

Coriander

Dosage: 6 drops essential oil per 1 oz. carrier oil.

*Never ingest essential oils are use directly on the skin without proper study or guidance.


Three methods of Abhyanga application

1. Method 1- for deep effectiveness:

The most therapeutic way to administer Abhyanga is to treat it like a self-massage before you shower or bath. 


Steps:

  1. -Warm 4 oz. of oil.  You can use a double boiler method by placing your bottle (preferably glass) of oil in a very hot pan of water (or crock pot).  Allow oil to heat via water for 10 -15 minutes.  Before applying oil to your body always test your it on your finger to makes sure it hasn’t over heated to where it would burn you.


  1. -Sit on 2 old towels in a warm room and slowly massage the oil into your skin starting at your feet.  Use upward strokes along limbs and circular strokes at joints, belly, and chest.  This direction follows the Lymphatic System’s natural upward flow which helps toxins move to the bloodstream for release.


  1. -After you have applied the oil, leave oil on for at least 20 minutes so that it has time to penetrate to the muscles, ligaments, joints, and tendons.  You can stay where you are and relax as long as you are plenty warm.  Or get dressed in clothes that can get oily.  You may also choose to leave the oil on overnight or for many hours.  A bath is an excellent follow-up to your Abhyanga treatment.  The heat of the water will allow the oil to penetrate more deeply to nourish you.


Important Tips:

***However long you choose to leave on your oil, be sure that you are warm the entire time (especially your head).  If you go to sleep with oil, put a warm hat on to keep your head warm and make sure you have plenty of blankets.  If you have to go outside and it is chilly or windy, cover your head and body.


***Also, be careful to use clothing that can get stained and to protect your bedding and anywhere you might sit from oil staining.  This quantity of oil will not wash out! 



2. Method 2- for general self-care:

For more general, daily use, apply and rub 1 oz. of room temperature (or warm) oil liberally to your skin and scalp before bath or shower. 


  1. 3.Method 3- for good sleep and to calm the mind:

Massage 1-2 oz. oil (warm oil is best) into feet and/or onto scalp slowly.  Put socks and/or old beanie hat on afterwards to protect sheets/pilllow and to stay warm. 

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