Benefits of Oil Massage


In Ayurveda, Oil massage is described under Oleation therapy, a topic that describes a vast range of different methods of using oils. The original Sanskrit term is derived from “Snehana” that has the meaning of “Love/ Tenderness”. This gives a glimpse of the benefits, such as having a “soothing effect” . . .

How often I should have a massage?

If possible, every morning, just about 15 minutes before your bath or shower.

Benefits of Abhyanga – Oil Massage

I do not mean to be gibberish using lots of Sanskrit words here. But, it would be easier to understand the actual benefits if we could define the words. According to the language roots, “Abhyanga” [Abhi + Amg] – the Sanskrit name for Oil massage means “moving energy into the body”. Hence the benefits are;

  • Prevent/ delay the ageing process
  • Decrease the effects of aging
  • Help in detoxification
  • Reduce obesity
  • Bestow good vision
  • Nourish the body
  • Promote immunity
  • Promote longevity
  • Benefit good sleep
  • Increase the softness of the skin and adds luster to it, in turn giving skin its healthy color and glow.
  • Increase strength and stamina
  • Increase tone, strength of the muscles and flexibility of joints
  • Stimulate the internal organs of the body
  • Promote circulation
  • Regulate menstruation
  • Pacify three doshas; Vata, Kapha, Pitta by eliminating aches and pains, lethargy and burning sensations, etc.
  • Calm mind by giving a similar feeling as that of the regular meditation – relieving stress, tension headache
  • Give the feeling of “settled”, “serene” and bliss!

What oils can be used?

It depends on the purpose of massaging. For instance, if the purpose is to eliminate aches and pains, you should use Vata pacifying oils such as Nirgundi oil, Maha Narayana oil, etc. If you are suffering from burning sensation in the body, Pitta pacifying oils would help. They can also be used in skin lesions like rashes. Kapha massage oils can be used to reduce kapha through mild sweating, cleansing, and improved circulation. In special conditions like treating for obesity, you would need to find the specific oils. It is always advisable to consult your Ayurvedic physician before choosing the oils.

May all beings be healthy!

Dr. Indunil Weerarathne

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