Gloria P. Oberbeck, M.D. | Board Certified in Family Medicine | (303) 828-9200

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Abhyanga Massage Instructions

  • Use comfortably warm massage oil. Float oil in ramekin in sink of hot water.
  • Dip your fingertips into the warm oil and apply it lightly to the entire body.
  • Wait for 4-5 minutes to let some of the oil be absorbed by your skin.
  • Massage the entire body, applying even pressure with the whole hand.
  • Apply light pressure on sensitive areas such as the abdomen or the heart.
  • Use more oil and spend more time where nerve endings are concentrated, such as the soles of feet, palms of hands and along the base of the fingernails. Circular motions over rounded areas such as your head or joints, and straight strokes on straight areas such as your arms and legs, work best.
  • After you're done, relax for 10-15 minutes, allowing the oil and the massage do their magic. Follow with a relaxing warm bath or shower.

If your schedule doesn't allow for a daily massage, try and squeeze it in at least 3 or 4 times a week. You'll find it's worth it!

How can a ritual so luxuriously relaxing, so blissfully comforting as a full-body warm oil massage rev up your body and mind, gearing them up for peak performance? Ayurveda, the 5,000-year-old holistic healing tradition from India, has an explanation for the seeming contradiction. Accumulated stress and toxins in the mind and body dissolve during the daily massage, says Rama Kant Mishra, Ayurvedic expert. A daily full-body warm oil massage therefore acts as a powerful recharger and rejuvenator of mind and body.

Abhyanga - the Ayurvedic oil massage - is an integral part of the daily routine recommended by this healing system for overall health and well-being. Traditional Ayurvedic texts wax eloquent on the benefits. Here's what one says - Give yourself a full body oil massage on a daily basis. It is nourishing, pacifies Vata and Kapha, relieves fatigue, provides stamina, pleasure and perfect sleep, enhances the complexion and the luster of the skin, promotes longevity and nourishes all parts of the body. When the views expressed in the different Ayurvedic texts are put together, here are the benefits that can be expected from regular performance of this pleasant daily ritual:

  • Increased circulation, especially to nerve endings
  • Toning of the muscles and the whole physiology
  • Calming for the nerves
  • Lubrication of the joints
  • Increased mental alertness
  • Improved elimination of impurities from the body
  • Softer, smoother skin
  • Increased levels of stamina through the day
  • Better, deeper sleep at night

The Ayurvedic massage is traditionally performed in the morning, before your bath or shower. You can use sesame oil (vata), coconut oil (pitta) an herbalized massage oil, or an aroma massage oil.

Look for cold-pressed, chemical-free organic oil in glass container for the best results from your massage therapy.

From Vasu Nargundkar