Abhyanga – the massage for your inner balance
The Ayurvedic full body massage Abhyanga has been used for more than 1.practiced for 500 years. The variant originating from India is performed with a lot of oil. The oil is distributed over the whole body by even and stimulating strokes.
In Western countries, and thus also in Germany, Abhyanga is considered a preventive wellness massage that is intended to increase well-being.
In India and Sri Lanka, on the other hand, it is often performed in the course of an Ayurveda cure or a Panchakarma, a special Indian cleansing cure.
The origin of Abhyanga
The special massage application originates from India. However, the exact origin can no longer be traced today.
Nevertheless, they are expected to provide at least 1.500 years old, as it is already mentioned in various Sanskrit scriptures, such as the Ashtanga Hridaya from the 6th century. It was first mentioned in the nineteenth century and in Ayurvedic textbooks.
Ayurvedic massages are still performed today in India and in Sri Lanka. Classically, the healing art assumes that the Abhyanga massage can strengthen the tissues, support the nervous system and even prevent aging.
In Western countries such as the USA, England, Germany and some other European countries, however, Abhyanga is mainly practiced as a wellness program.
The forms of Abhyanga massage
Abhyanga is subdivided into two areas. In classical abhyanga, the massage is performed by one masseur, while synchronous abhyanga requires two masseurs.
In the countries of origin of this special technique the synchronous massage is usual. In this country, on the other hand, the skills of a masseur are usually relied upon.
Beyond that a further subdivision takes place. The point here is that it is originally a full body massage. Each area of the body is treated thoroughly.
However, this does not necessarily have to be so. Often Abhyanga is performed only on individual parts of the body.
On the one hand, there is the foot massage in the style of Abhyanga (Padabhyanga), the abdominal massage (Udarabhyanga) and the facial massage (Mukabhyanga).
In Ayurveda, however, these partial massages are independent forms of massage. In this respect, they are usually performed during the Abhyanga massage in a modified form.
Not to forget, of course, the Kumara Abhyanga. This is a slightly adapted form of baby massage, which, like the Abhyanga, is performed with a lot of oil.
In Ayurveda, the Abhyanga is said to have numerous positive effects. According to tradition, the special full-body massage should strengthen the nervous system and the sense of sight.
The oils used should make the skin more resistant and nourish the body and tissues. Also, writings from India tell us that it stimulates organ function and slows the aging process.
If the massage is performed regularly on the head area, it is said to strengthen the hair roots and hair.
Integrate into the daily routine
For an Abhyanga massage you do not necessarily need a trained masseur. If you know how to do it, you can also easily apply it to yourself.
As a rule, you will only need 15 minutes, so you can perfectly integrate the massage into your morning routine.
Optimally the full body massage is directly before the morning showering or bathing.
Make first preparations
The Abhyanga massage can be performed in a sitting or standing position. To avoid oil stains on the floor, it is advisable to use a large towel as a base.
The room temperature should be pleasantly warm. Now, of course, you still need to preheat the oil.
It is advisable to use a temperature slightly higher than your own body temperature. Ideally, place the container in which you keep the special oil (sesame oil or almond oil) in a hot water bath for this purpose.
For an experience of the senses, it is also advisable to resort to special scented massage candles during the treatment.
These fill the room with sweet notes, a fresh breeze or a warm woody scent. Here you will find an exclusive selection of massage wax, something to suit your personal taste: https://laternen-welt.en/candles/massagecandles/.
This is how the classic application works
Now, before you start pampering yourself, you should know that abhyanga massage is all about balancing your body and mind.
Instead of a strong pressure, gentle movements are sufficient, which distribute the harmonizing oil evenly on the skin. Only in this way can it be absorbed well into the skin.
At the beginning you give some oil on the skin or in your palms. Now you can spread it with little pressure. Meanwhile, hold your hand in the shape of a bowl with your thumb close to it.
This is how you can massage the oil with your whole hand. Finally, your whole body should be covered with a thin film of oil.
If you have only little time for the massage, it is also completely sufficient if you massage only your scalp, your ears and the soles of your feet.
The procedure of the Ayurvedic full body massage
During the massage you proceed according to a strict pattern. Start with a massage of the head area. First massage the oil into the scalp with small, circular movements.
In the following, the ears and the face will enjoy the beneficial massage. Then massage your neck and shoulders.
It is important: always massage with the open palms of your hands as well as your fingers and not exclusively with your fingertips.
Continue by massaging your arms, hands and fingers. You can massage the long bones of your arms and fingers with equally long up and down movements.
The joints, on the other hand, are worked on with circular movements in a clockwise direction. Now start massaging the area of your chest and abdomen. Here you proceed with particular caution.
The chest is massaged in circular motions, while upward and downward movements are recommended over the solar plexus and sternum. The abdomen is now also massaged with circular movements.
As far as you are able, you can now also massage your back with the oil.
You can put a little more pressure on your legs during the massage. As with the arms, use circular movements on the joints and straight movements on the long bones.
Lastly, dedicate yourself to your feet and the soles of your feet with circular movements as well.
In order for your skin to absorb the Ayurvedic oil, you should now wait about 15 to 20 minutes before getting into the shower or relaxing in the bathtub.
Not everyone’s cup of tea
Abhyanga in general is said to have very positive effects on the human body. Nevertheless, there are phases of life in which such a full body massage should be refrained from.
This is the case, for example, if you are currently suffering from fever or bloating, your body is incubating inflammations or you have cancer or leukemia.
For women, this procedure is also taboo during the first months of pregnancy and during menstruation.
If, on the other hand, you suffer from varicose veins, have recently suffered burns or have a wound on your skin, you should not massage these parts of your body.