Abhyanga- traditional ayurvedic massage- involves anointing the body with large amounts of warm, premedicated herbal oils, tailored for the specific individuals constitution (prakriti). It’s best incorporated as a daily routine, performed before bathing in the morning to facilitate the release of toxins and impurities accumulated from night before. This technique improves circulation, stimulates internal organs and nerve endings, lubricates skin and joints, tones muscles and tissues, increases stamina, benefits sleep patterns, and facilitates the transdermal absorption of healing qualities of infused herbal oil.
Traditional Indian massage promotes relaxation, enhances circulation, and helps the body to eliminate toxins. When adopted as part of a daily practice, this custom formulated ayurvedic massage oil helps to stabilize aggravated or dominant Vata dosha, Kapha dosha, or Pitta dosha.
Warm the ayurvedic massage oil on the stove and distribute over the body using light pressure on sensitive areas. Concentrate on nerve endings, such as the feet and palms. Use circular motions on the joints and head and long strokes on the arms and legs.
What is a Dosha?
Ayurveda is based on the principles of three doshas- vata, pitta and kapha. These are the energetic forces that make up every individual and each has unique set of qualities which govern specific physical and mental functions of the body. Vata is cold, light and dry and governs movement- respiration, blood flow, and elimination. Pitta is hot and penetrating and governs metabolism and transformation- digestion, thermogenesis, and vision. Kapha is heavy, dense and stable and governs the mass and structure. Each person has all three doshas but usually one or two dominate, leading to unique mind/body types with constitutional strengths and weaknesses. The proportions of each are determined at conception but can change with age, seasons, lifestyle and diet. Ayurveda prescribes techniques to bring the three doshas into balance for optimal health and wellbeing.