‘Abhyangam’ is a Sanskrit word which means oil application. It is commonly known as Ayurvedic Oil Therapy. “Skin” the largest organ of the body is a sense organ of touch. Ayurvedic ancient texts recommend daily Abhyangam, and it should be practiced by everyone.
This type of daily oil therapy can be a simple oil application and be done by one’s own self. Abhyangam when practiced daily bestows one with long life span, energy, complexion and youthful skin.
Abhyangam is used as a therapy and is widely practiced throughout the world. It provides cure for various disorders including stroke, Arthritis, Lumbar Spondylitis, Cervical Spondylitis, Sport Injuries, Parkinsonism and many other muscles, joint and nerve related disorders. This type of therapeutic therapy should be performed by a trained Ayurveda therapist. Using specialized strokes and other therapy techniques, the head, palms, soles, and ears should be given due importance and applied therapy carefully.
Abhyangam however is not advised for people suffering from fever, obesity, indigestion, and diarrhea. It can be performed for new born babies after 7 days of birth onwards.
Abhyangam is performed over a specially designed wooden table (Droni) by trained Therapist. The sesame oil processed with various herbs is selected based on person’s doshic type. An Ayurvedic physician assesses this and decides the appropriate oils and exact way of therapy. The therapy begins after offering prayers. A lukewarm oil is applied followed by a body therapy in 7 different postures listed below:
3. Right lateral
4. Lying face down
5. Left lateral
After the procedure, the person is directed to take herbal steam bath followed by a hot shower.
Although many different types of therapy oils are available in the market and mentioned in the text, gingelly (sesame) oil is the one which is commonly used. Gingelly oil gives good results whereby mustard oil is a heavy type of oil and can be used for infants and newly delivered women. Olive oil is good to improve the colour complexion and for hair fall.
* Outcomes may vary from person to person