Abhyanga—Ayurvedic Detox and Rejuvenation Technique
Abhyanga is an ancient Ayurvedic technique that’s become very popular in recent years. It’s a whole body massage with warm oil, usually pre-medicated with herbs for specific conditions. Ayurvedic clinics around the world offer this wonderful detoxification and rejuvenation technique. However, you can do this massage yourself before bathing in the morning. If time is limited for a full body massage, then a good substitute is to focus on your head, hands and feet.
This rejuvenating and soothing massage is especially good for people with vata constitution as it calms and soothes the body. If the constitution is very high strung, leave the oil on the body for some minutes to soak in before bathing is advised.
To perform Abhyanga yourself, start with the head and work towards the feet. Use circular strokes on the joints and long strokes on the long bones. Traditionally, sesame oil is used. However for people with sensitivity to heat, olive oil or coconut oil are good choices. Massaging the feet with oil before bed will also help promote good quality sleep.
In a professional setting, two ayurvedic technicians choreograph Abhyanga (four hands with six positions) when they perform panchakarma, an ayurvedic purification treatment. This choreography creates coordination between the two hemispheres of the brain and over all balance due to the body’s bilateral symmetry.
Abhyanga is purifying, nourishing and relaxing.