Abhyanga” is a term that refers to a type of massage that involves the use of medicinal oils which is usually followed by steaming. Massage is known to stimulate the release of endorphins and serotonin which plays a vital role in pain relief and mood enhancement. Massage therapy has been used in clinical research for treating conditions such as endometriosis, back pain, neck pain, osteoarthritis, and even cancer-related pain. Abhyanga combines the benefits of massage with the advantageous effects of oils that have been processed with medicinal herbs such as Ashwagandha, Shatavari, Bala, etc.

The most useful base oil for Ayurvedic Abhyanga is Sesame oil because it is great for all body constitutions. Research has also backed this theory – the high amounts of linoleic acid present in Sesame oil give rise to its potent anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial benefits. In cases of neurological disorders, Sesame oil is processed with herbs to make oils such as Dhanvantaram taila, Ksheerabala taila, and Sahacharadi taila which have a more profound effect than sesame oil alone. Ayurvedic texts have also mentioned the importance of anointing the head, ears, and feet with oil daily. The daily practice of abhyanga imparts good health and youthfulness, it is in fact nature’s best anti-aging remedy! 

As per Ayurveda, the benefits of Abhyanga include:

  • Enhanced youthfulness
  • Relieves tiredness
  • Mitigates excessive neurological activity
  • Improves eyesight
  • Nourishes the tissues
  • Neutralizes free radicals
  • Increases longevity
  • Promotes sleep
  • Reduces stress
  • Improves circulation
  • Facilitates lymphatic drainage
  • Improves skin tone and complexion

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