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Abhyanga Therapy

  • It is an external oleation of the body, It is an integral process that prepares the body to receive specialized panchakarma. It involves application of medicated herbal oil or ghee to the body for particular period, as per the planned Panchakarma procedure.
  • As per Ayurvedic classics, Abhyanga (Body Massage) is mentioned as a part of Dincharya (Daily routine), to stay healthy and live longer.
  • Ayurvedic classics tell the benefits of abhyanga with an example as if the root of tree is given water regularly, then it lives for longer time. Similarly our body needs abhyanga daily to live a long and healthy life.
  • In abhyanga, oleation is done in a specialized manner that maintains good circulation of blood in joints and whole body parts.
  • If a person can not do whole body abhyanga, then at least he should do oleation of 3 body parts, head, ears and feet daily.

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General Benefits of Abhyanga:

1. Retards ageing, exertion and pacifies Vata.
2. Good Vision.
3. Nourishes the body.
4. Increases longevity.
5. Good for skin complexion and firmness.
6. Provide good body physic.

As three body parts are mentioned to give special attention are Head, Ear and Feet. Their benefits are as follows:
1. Importance of Shiro Abhyanga (Head Massage):
• If a person apply oil daily to head, he does not get headache, baldness, untimely greying of hair, nor there will be hair fall.
• Bones of skull and forehead becomes strong.
• Rejuvenates all the indriyas (that is all sense organs get strength).
• Increases the skin complexion of face.
• Gets good sleep easily and person feels happy.

2. Importance of Karna Poorna (Oleation of ear):
• Instilling of oil into the ear helps to remove pain in the jaw, carotid region, head and ear.
• Daily instillation of oil in ear helps to keep away Vataja Karan rogas (like Tinnitus, excessive earache, drying of ear wax, inability to hear).
• It removes stiffness of neck and jaw.
• Hearing function becomes normal.

3. Importance of Padabhyanga (Feet Massage):
• Get good sleep.
• Pleasure to body.
• Removes fatigue and numbness of feet and legs.
• Roughness, stiffness, dryness, fatigue and loss of sensation of feet gets relieved immediately by anointing and massaging the feet.
• Feet becomes soft, strong and steady.
• Person obtain clear vision and it pacifies vata of body.

Special Indications of Abhyanga: Abhyanga (Full body Massage) is a special indication in following:
1. Person who withholds urine and stools for longer durations. (C Su. 7/5-9)
2. Person who withholds sleep, that sleep for less time or who sleeps late. (C Su. 7/5-9)
3. Person who withholds semen for longer duration. (C Su. 7/5-9)
4. Pancreas related diseases (as mentioned for Pittaja Gulma) (C. Chi. 5/131)
5. Epilepsy, person who suffers from seizures (C. Chi. 10/32)
6. Vatodara; like in diarrhea (without fever) (C. Chi. 13/155)
7. If a person is dehydrated more than usual like in summers and in atiyoga of vamana (C. Chi. 17/86)
8. Heart patients should take abhyanga as mentioned by acharya Charaka. Especially mentioned for Vataja Hrudroga (C. Chi. 26/82)
9. In Mukhalepa (face packs), when face pack is removed, then Mukha abyanga should be done.
10. A person who is tired due to mental stress or physical works.
11. A person who is suffering from weakness after surgery.

Contraindications of Abhyanga:
1. Person with Indigestion (have undigested food in circulation).
2. Acute fever (Taruna Jwara) conditions like in viral infestations.
3. It should not be done in Ajeerna condition that is immediately after having food.
4. It should not be done immediately after Vamana or Virechana Karma.

In total if we can say, person taking regular whole body abhyanga, does not catch any fracture easily during the episodes of heavy works and fall. It promotes softness of body, oil applied, works locally on body tissues and provide cleanliness, good complexion and good muscle strength.

So Abhyanga should be a part of daily routine (Din Charya). Based upon utility, it should be done to whole body or a particular part. If one cannot perform whole body as a routine then head, ear and feet should be massaged daily for healthy life. In kids, it is indicated for their good growth. In old age, it is indicated for health as body is passing by degenerative changes.