The Secrets of Self Massage – Abhyanga

For many of us, having a massage is an indulgent experience reserved for special occasions or when on vacation.  However, a practice of self- massage, called abhyanga (ahb-yung-guh), has the ability to maintain health and balance on a daily basis.

How can this ritual, which is so luxuriously relaxing and soothing, clear the mind and body so you can achieve peak performance?  Warm oils are chosen based on your imbalance. Sesame oil, with its warming qualities, soothes Vata.  For many with a Vata imbalance, dry skin and an overly active nervous system are present. A daily, therapeutic massage provides lubrication to create beautiful skin and calms the nervous system.

Massage for a Pitta imbalance is also very beneficial to cool this ‘heated’ state.  Coconut or sandalwood oil provides a cooling effect which is very pacifying for this dosha.  Kapha individuals often need a more stimulating massage, which can be done with silk gloves, herbs, or with a light, invigorating oil.

Performing this self-massage daily can lead to benefits such as improved circulation, toned muscles, calmness, lubrication of the joints, increased mental alertness, improved elimination of impurities from the body, smoother, younger skin, deeper sleep and increased energy.

With all of those amazing benefits, and only a small investment of 5-10 minutes per day, why wouldn’t this be a part of all our daily routines? To learn how to do your self-massage, click here.

By Dr. Trupti Gokani