Abhyanga: Ayurvedic Detox and Rejuvenation Technique

Abhyanga—Ayurvedic Detox and Rejuvenation Technique

Abhyanga is an ayurvedic detoxification and rejuvenation technique, a whole body massage with warm oil, often pre-medicated with herbs for specific conditions.  This massage can be done by oneself before bathing in the morning. If time is limited for a full body massage, then focusing on head, hands and feet is a good substitute.

This massage is especially good for people with vata constitution, as it calms and soothes the body. If the constitution is very high strung, it can help to leave the oil on the body for some minutes to soak in before bathing. 

Starting with the head and working toward the feet, use circular strokes on the joints and long strokes on the long bones. Massaging the feet with oil before bed will also help with sleep. Traditionally sesame oil is used, but for people with sensitivity to heat, olive oil or coconut oil are also good choices.

Two ayurvedic technicians choreograph Abhyanga using four hands and 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.

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