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Abhyangam

by Ayurveda Therapist on June 27, 2011

Abhyangam



Abhyangam, the most famous of Ayurvedic massages, is a whole body massage that uses warm oil, specific to your dosha to rebalance the energy of the body. It helps to drain the lymphatic system, increase energy, and rejuvenate the whole body while nurturing the body, mind, and spirit.
Indications: This treatment is very useful in poor blood circulation, loss of skin luster, insomnia, fatigue, and osteoarthritis. It helps to tone muscles, relieve muscular cramps and reduces stress and anxiety.

Abhyangam is an important component of Panchakarma therapy and is given to a client daily for 7-14 days consecutively. The oils selected are based on the patient’s dosha and current state of imbalance, known as Vikruti.

Contraindications: Rheumatoid arthritis, acute fever, diarrhea, varicose veins, after heavy food.

How it Works: Oil is a fat soluble compound → quality of herb in the oil is absorbed through skin pores → entering the dermal and epidermal layer → stimulating the nerve terminations on the epidermal layer → activating sympathetic / parasympathetic system → balancing and regularizing functions on the body.

Benefits:
o Anti-aging
o Adds lubrication to body, joints, and tissues
o Relieves stiffness
o Balances Vata-related insomnia, stress, and anxiety
o Improves sexual vigor
o Increases immunity towards environmental changes and diseases
o Improves white blood cells count
o Increases self confidence and will power
o Promotes good vision
o Hydrating

Herbal oils:
Vata Oils – Dhanwanthram thailam, Sesame oil, Almond Oil, Flaxseed Oil
Pitta Oils – Balashwagandadi thailam, Dhanwanthram thailam, Olive oil, Coconut Oil, Sesame Oil
Kapha Oils – Kottamchukadi thailam, Dhanwanthram thailam, Sunflower oil, Mustard oil, Sesame oil

Recommended Pressure:
o Vata – A slow speed and light, gentle pressure
o Pitta – Moderate speed and pressure
o Kapha – A moderate to fast speed and deep pressure.

Post-treatment:
Rest for at least 30 minutes. Then hot water shower, enjoy tea, and relax.

Self-Massage:
This is a quick and easy self-massage that is very beneficial when performed as part of a daily routine. The most important parts to massage daily are the top of the head, inner ears and soles of the feet.

➢ Applying oil to the head and body: Gently rub warm oil over the head and body. Daily oil massage of the scalp brings happiness and prevents headaches, as well as baldness, graying and receding hairline, it also prevents aging.
➢ Oil drops in the ears: Conditions such as ringing in the ears (tinnitus), excess ear wax, poor hearing, locked jaw, are all due to Vata in the ears. Putting four drops of warm sesame oil on each ear can help and prevent these disorders.
➢ Rubbing oil on the feet: Induces sound sleep due to location of marma points.

For Vata you can use sesame oil (externally VPK), sunflower/coconut for Pitta sunflower/mustard oil for Kapha

Preparing Your Own Oil:
This is a way to prepare your own oils to suit your individual constitutional needs. Abhyanga massage is beneficial for preserving youthfulness, alleviates Vata conditions. All three doshas you can give as long as the correct oil is selected.

o Vata oil: Take 1 liter of sesame oil and add Bala root or cloves or cinnamon (100 gm.) and boil it for 1/2 hour on slow flame. Once boiled, filter to remove roots and herbs. You can add 10 drops of basil, myrrh, cedar, cinnamon or eucalyptus essential oils.
o Pitta oil: Take 1 liter of sesame oil and add 100 gm of licorice root or dry gooseberry; boil 1/2 hour on slow flame then filter it. Add 10 drops of sandal, rose, lily, jasmine, lavender, lemongrass, and geranium essential oils.
o Kapha oil: 1 liter of sesame oil mixed with black pepper, fenugreek, or Vibhithaki (bellerian nut) boiled for 1/2 hour on low. After boiled, filter out herbs. Add 10 drops of lotus, basil, cedar, myrrh or sage essential oils.

Example of Abhyanga Massage:

Abhyangam (45-60 mins)
With luke warm sesame oil
Head Massage (10 min)
1) Apply oil to Crown Chakra:
a. Rotate clockwise 3x, counter-clockwise 3x with palm of hand.
b. Apply/ comb oil through rest of hair
2) Thumb circles:
a. Start at midline of hairline, circle from midline to ear and back to midline.
b. Make 4 lines up and down sides of head with thumb circles.
c. 5th line – make small circles with all fingers up and down back of the head.
3) Comb Hair 5x
4) Shampooing:
a. With all 5 fingers front to back
b. Repeat 5x total
5) Comb Hair 5x
6) Scratching:
a. With 4 fingers at the side of the head make 4 lines one side at a time with the other hand supporting the opposite side of the head.
7) Comb Hair 5x
8) Scratching Both Sides:
a. Scratch 4 lines on both sides of the head at the same time.
9) Comb Hair 5x
10) Pressure Points:
a. With thumbs press 5x, once behind ears and then 4 times on the hairline going towards the midline.
b. With thumbs press 5 x along midline of scalp from hairline to top of the head.
c. With middle fingers press 5 x from the midline of top of the head to the occiput.
d. With middle fingers press 5 x from base of neck laterally out towards shoulder point.
e. There are 20 points in all. Repeat for total of 5x (100 pts)
11) Comb Hair 5x
12) Flicking:
a. Start at midline and go down making 4 lines on both sides of head at same time.
13) Comb Hair 5x
14) Clapping:
a. Make 3 circles at top of head using outer edges of both hands.
b. Make 3 circles at side of head using outer edges of both hands.
c. Clap down neck to shoulders once
d. Repeat a through c for a total of 5x
15) Comb Hair 5x:
a. At the end of the last combing, pull hair down 5x.
16) Rasanadi Choornam:
a. Medicine applied to Crown Chakra. An additional pinch is offered to the client to smell and then is rubbed onto the 3rd eye.
Face Massage Ask: Are you wearing contact lenses? If so, please remove.
1) Oil Application to full face
2) Full Face:
a. With hands in prayer position place outer edges of hands at client’s 3rd Eye and glide hands over cheeks and down to the chin. Repeat 10x
3) Forehead:
a. With thumbs glide 4x from midline to ear working from top to last repetition just above the eyebrows.
4) Eyebrow:
a. Glide thumbs over eyebrow to ear 5x
5) Eyelid:
a. Glide thumbs gently over eyelid to ear 5x
6) Around Eyes:
a. Start with thumbs at bridge of the nose and circle upwards around the eyes and back to nose 5x
7) Nose:
a. Make small thumb circles down/up sides of nose. Down 3x, Up 2x.
8) Nose to Chin:
a. Glide thumbs from sides of nose to chin (only downward) 5x
9) Nose to Ears:
a. Glide thumbs from sides of nose under cheekbone to ears 5x
10) Upper Lip to Ears:
a. Glide thumbs from upper lip to ear 5x
11) Chin to Ears:
a. Glide thumbs from chin to ears along jaw line 5x.
12) Cheek Circles:
a. Circle on cheeks with palms in both directions 5x each
13) Ear Circles:
a. Small thumb circles starting at top of ear petal down 3x and up 2x
14) Ear Pinching:
a. Start at top of ear petal and pinch with index finger and thumb 4x going down and once on the inner ear with index finger just inside ear
15) Ear Slides:
a. Slide outer hand and pinky behind ear going up and down 5x
16) Pressure point behind ears, press gently for 4 seconds.
17) Press pad of one index finger under chin for 5 seconds.
Sitting Front Body (Arms) 1) Oil application to upper body/ top of thighs
2) Neck: Palm circles backward direction 10x.
3) Shoulder: Palm circles inward 10x
4) Shoulders to elbows bilateral palm slides 10x
5) Middle/Inner Arm slides: Interlock hands with client using opposite side hand of clients. Use other hand to do 3 outward rotations at shoulder, slide down the middle of arm, slide up to shoulder inside arm 20x.
6) Middle/ Outer Arm Slides: Interlock hands with client using same side hand of clients. Rotation 3x inward on shoulder, slide down middle of arm to hand and slide up outside of arm back to shoulder, 20x. End at the wrist.
7) Alternate hand Arm Slides: Hold the wrist. Slide up the middle and down the side alternating hands, 20x
8) Upper Arm Slides: slide on triceps between thumb and index 20x.
9) Elbow circles: Outer elbow 10x circling, inner elbow 10x circling.
10) Forearm: Alternate hands with thumb slides on posterior forearm.
11) Back of hand: 3 circles both directions
12) Finger Slides: 5 slides on each finger
13) Wedge of Finger: Rubbing between fingers 5x each.
14) Wrist: Interlock with client’s hand and rotate wrist 3x each direction. Stretch up and then pull away out of fingers.
Sitting Front Body (Front)
1) 3 rotations on chest down in the middle (between breasts) to stomach, end at thighs. 20x
2) 3 rotations on chest down the middle to stomach, up side and slide down and then back up arms to chest. 20x
Sitting Back
1) Palms circles on shoulder 10x
2) Thumb circles from base of neck to L4/L5 on either side of the spine, at base circle once around iliac crest. 10x
3) Palm circles on sacrum 10x
4) Palm circles on side of bum 10x
5) 3 inward palm circles on shoulders then slide down either side of spine to lower back, circle around bum and “V” hands back up to shoulders. 10x
Supine Full Body
1) Oil application to full body
2) 3 palm inward rotations at shoulder with palms (hands interlocked with thumbs upward), down in the middles to shoulders, outside up. 20x. End at wrist.
3) Thumb circles to dorsum of hand (back of metacarpals) 5x
4) “V” with thumb at dorsum of the hand, 5x.
5) Finger slides: 2 fingers at a time, 5 slides each finger.
6) Slide over hand between fingers 5x and squeeze last time lifting hand from table.
7) 3 rotations at shoulder, down in the middle to stomach, cross to elbow and back to shoulder 20x.
8) 3 rotations on shoulder down in the middle to stomach, up the side, down arm to fingers and back up to shoulder 20x.
9) Clockwise on stomach 10x
10) Counter-clockwise on stomach 10x
11) Slide up center of belly hands together and down side of belly hands apart. 10x
12) Thumbs slide down along inferior border of ribs with pressure, slide up without pressure. 10x
13) Slide palms up center of belly, go down around back so fingers meet, lift up. 10x
14) Small circles in middle of chest. Up once/down twice. 10x
15) Figure 8 around the breasts. 10x
16) “V” on chest up to shoulder and back then up to other shoulder and back. 10x
17) Both hands ½ body. Circle inwards on shoulders 3x, go down the middle to stomach, up the sides, down arms, up arms repeat 10x.
Supine Legs (Knees Extended)
1) 3 rotations on side of upper thigh, down in the middle to feet and up outside of leg, 20x. 20th time stop at ankle.
2) Slide up inside leg, down top of leg, up the outside and down the top 20x. Stop at ankle.
3) Small circles at metatarsals 5x
4) “V” on metatarsals 5x
5) Toe slides on 2 toes at a time 5x each
6) Palm circles on sole of foot one hand 10x
7) Rub top/bottom of foot with palms up/down 10x
8) Knee cap- palm circles at side of knee, 10x each direction.
Supine Legs (Knees Bent)
1) 3 rotations on knee cap
2) One hand sliding on the shin up and down 10x
3) Support foot, slide up/down on calf 10x
4) With two hands, slide superior and inferior to ankle joint 10x
5) Palm circles on ankle bone, both directions 10x
6) Palm circles on top of foot, 10x
7) Milking shin and calf 10x
8) From knee cap slide one hand down shin, one down thigh 10x
9) From knee slide down outer thigh and up anterior thigh to knee. 10x
10) From knee cap slide one hand down shin, one down thigh 3x
11) Stretch knee to chest
Full Body with 2 Therapists
Shoulder rotations x3, slide down the middle to stomach, down anterior thigh to foot, up the leg outside of body, down arm to hand, up arm to shoulder. 10x.
Full Body with 1 Therapist
Criss- Cross: 3 rotations on shoulder, slide down the middle to stomach, criss-cross on stomach, and down to feet, back up to stomach, out to side of body, down to arms to hands and back up to shoulders. 10x.
Sidelye on Left
Top leg is straight, bottom leg bent.
1) 3 outward rotations with palms (hands interlocked) on shoulder, slide down side of body to above hip, and up middle of back to shoulder. 20x
2) 3 outward rotations on bottom, down the middle to foot, up the middle to bottom. 20x
3) Full body: 3 outward rotations on shoulder down the side, slide to foot and back up to shoulder. 20x
Supine
Criss- Cross: 3 rotations on shoulder, slide down the middle to stomach, criss-cross on stomach, and down to feet, back up to stomach, out to side of body, down to arms to hands and back up to shoulders. 10x.
Sidelye on Right
Top leg is straight, bottom leg bent.
1) 3 outward rotations with palms (hands interlocked) on shoulder, slide down side of body to above hip, and up middle of back to shoulder. 20x
2) 3 outward rotations on bottom, down the middle to foot, up the middle to bottom. 20x
Full body:
3 outward rotations on shoulder down the side, slide to foot and back up to shoulder. 20x
Supine
Criss- Cross: 3 rotations on shoulder, slide down the middle to stomach, criss-cross on stomach, and down to feet, back up to stomach, out to side of body, down to arms to hands and back up to shoulders. 10x.
Shower with Gringa End of Abhyangam

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