‘Abhyangam’ is a Sanskrit word which means oil application. It is commonly known as Ayurvedic Oil Massage. "Skin" the largest organ of the body is a sense organ of touch.
Ayurvedic ancient texts recommend daily Abhyangam and it should be practiced by everyone. This type of daily oil massage can be a simple oil application and be done by one’s own self. Abhyangam when practised daily bestows one with long life span , energy, complexion and youthful skin.
Abhyangam is used as a therapy and is widely practised throughout the world. It provides cure for various disorders like stroke, Arthritis, Lumbar Spondylitis, Cervical Spondylitis, Sport Injuries, Parkinsonism and many other muscle, joint and nerve related disorders. This type of therapeutic massage should be performed by a trained Ayurveda therapist. Using specialized strokes and other massage techniques, the head, palms, soles and ears should be given due importance and massaged carefully.
Abhyangam however is not advised for people suffering from fever, obesity, indigestion and diarrhea. It can be performed for newborn babies after 7 days of birth onwards.
The benefits of Abhyangam are:
- Imparts strength to all the sensory (skin, eyes..) and motor organs (hands, legs..).
- Maintains colour and complexion of skin, prevents the signs of aging, skin dryness and itching.
- It prevents headache and induces sleep, calms the mind and gives relaxation.
- Reduces hair fall.
- The blood vessel and nerves in the skin are toned up therefore prevents nervous disorders.
- It improves vision.
- Relieves fatigue and feeling of exhaustion and tiredness.
- Improves the muscle tone and builds the immunity.
- It reduces the aggravated Vata.
Although many different types of massage oils are available in the market and mentioned in the text, gingelly (sesame) oil is the one which is commonly used. Gingelly oil gives good results where by mustard oil is a heaty type of oil and can be used for infants and newly delivered women. Olive oil is good to improve the colour complexion and for hair fall.