Add Love To Your Life With Abhyanga Daily Oil Massage

The good news is that you do not need an elephant to have a great massage.

Massage is actually something that you can do for yourself every day.

The massage I am referring to is an oil massage which feels luxurious – like a dose of love – and detoxes as well.

Abhyanga

One of the most valued daily health practices in Ayurveda is oil massage called abhyanga.

Abhyanga, the Sanskrit word for oil, is the practice of pouring herbal oil on the body and massaging the oil into the body to help restore and maintain balance. It is a daily massage practice for promoting general health or it can be part of the Ayurveda detoxification program called panchakarma. Sesame oil is the most commonly used oil for self-massage.

From a health perspective according to The Ayurveda Encyclopedia, abhyanga benefits the lymphatic system which carries nutrients to and removes toxins from the cells. Increasing nourishment and reducing toxins helps highly sensitive people by supporting their sensitive nervous systems from unnecessary toxic overload.

Health Benefits of Abhyanga

The Ayurveda Encyclopedia lists the following additional benefits of abhyanga:

  1. reverses and prevents aging
  2. releases fatigue and stress
  3. heals and prevents nervous system disorders
  4. helps vision
  5. nourishes the body and improves sturdiness
  6. remedies insomnia
  7. promotes electrochemical balance in the body
  8. prevents dehydration in the skin
  9. strengthens nerves
  10. helps the electromagnetic field of the body
  11. strengthens the immune system by increasing antibodies.

These important benefits of a daily oil massage provide help for highly sensitive people because the oil goes into the skin, tissues and the nerves providing relief for stress, insomnia and fatigue which we are all affected by.

When the massage is done daily, it helps prevent the buildup of stress and nerve damage in the body. Unlike medication for stress and nerves, oil massage doesn’t have any side effects. A daily abhyanga practice keeps skin supple and helps reverse the aging that comes with the buildup of toxins.

How Abhyanga Makes You Feel

When doing your daily oil massage, the first step is to warm the oil.  When you put the oil on your skin and scalp you can feel the warm nourishment of it. When you massage the skin you are making sure that the medicated oil is absorbed to benefit as much of your body as possible. It takes 5-10 minutes depending on how much massaging of the oil you decide to do.

When you complete the massage, you shower or bathe and groom your hair.  Your hair will feel silky and healthy.  The massage on your skin will give you a feeling of joyful lightness as you go through your day.  I think that the self-massage feels like you have received some love and as a result, you have the feeling of being protected during the day.  It causes you to feel better, have a more positive outlook, and therefore have a better day.

For highly sensitive people who need every help they can get, oil massage is an easy way to obtain many health benefits, reduce stress and strengthen their nervous systems.  It detoxes, and because it is a great form of self-care, it can be thought of as an affirmation. The Ayurvedic practice of abhyanga is a perfect way for HSP’s to take excellent care of themselves.

How To Take Charge Of Your Health: 10 Health Factors From Ayurveda

Ayurvedic practices are a comprehensive system of health techniques and information which asserts that we need to take into account 10 key health factors in order to enjoy good health.  These factors are foundational understandings about how we create health. Too often in Western society, we have a restricted and limited view of the factors that govern health.  Some food, vitamins, a little exercise, a trip to the dentist and we think we are in good shape. Not so.

To understand the 10 health factors, it is important to understand the ayurvedic body types called doshas. These body types represent aspects of nature that are part of our physical nature. They are Vata: air, Pitta: fire, and Kapha tissue and structure. Each person has the three doshas but in a different combination.
You could say that we each have a unique dosha signature. Some people have one dosha that is very strong and other two weaker, others have two that are equally strong and the third weaker, and a few have all three doshas in balance. Once you know your body type you can start to live in harmony with your body. To find out more about your body type, you can take this Dosha Test.

Dr. Vasant Lad, of the Ayurvedic Institute and  one of the most important Ayurvedic doctors in the United States today, has written extensively about ayurvedic medicine and health.  In his book, The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies,p. 32-38,  he elaborates about the 10 health factors. They are:

  1. Like increases like.  This is an important concept and an easy check on healthy habits.  Whatever your biological tendencies are, likes will create imbalance and opposites will create balance. One example is the Pitta body type. Pittas who represent fire and digestion are naturally warm. They become imbalanced in heat and stabilized in cool weather.
  2. Eating foods for health.  The right foods will create balance in the body, depending on your dosha type.  The Kapha dosha is a moist dosha and benefits from food that are light and drying.  Cornbread would be an example. The Vata dosha is light and moving and needs heavier food.
  3. Seasons and health.  Ayurveda has 3 seasons – one for each dosha: vata in autumn/winter, kapha in spring, and pitta in summer.  The most challenging time of year will be that time that is related to your body type(dosha) because the factor – like increases like – applies with the seasons.  Vata will have difficulty in winter which is dry, Kapha in spring which is moist, and Pitta in the summer which is hot. Therefore, health practices need to be adjusted for the seasons.
  4. Exercise and health.  Exercise is good for everyone; however, we do not all need the same amount, type and intensity of exercise.  We should not all be runners. Vatas need light exercise, Pittas, moderate and Kaphas benefit from strenuous exercise.
  5. Age and health.  Each stage of life corresponds with one the body types. Childhood is a Kapha time – a time of building the body; adulthood, a Pitta time  – a time of ambition and competition, and old age corresponds with the vata dosha. Individuals needs to adjust their habits to be in sync with their stage of life.
  6. Mental and emotional factors. Each of the doshas is susceptible to different unhealthy emotions when they are out of balance: Vata – fear and anxiety, Pitta – anger, hatred and jealousy, and Kapha – possessiveness, greed and complacency.
  7. Stress.  Stress is one of the plagues of the modern age, and a particular difficulty for highly sensitive people.  Following the best practices for your dosha type can be a kind of insurance policy against stress.
  8. The senses.  The senses have a role in balancing our body type since they affect our biochemistry.  A good example is the affect of listening to loud music, which disturbs the ears and potentially our balance.  Another is staying in the sun too long.  Everything we do involves our senses and affects our body chemistry which is why  we need to be careful about our choices of activities.
  9. Acting against our nature.  Sometimes we act contrary to what we know we need. We fail to get sleep when we need it or  eat something that does not agree with us. These actions always cost us.  Even in the short term, we are harmed but in the long term we are creating disease.
  10. Relationships.  Relationships can be a joy or source of stress and unhappiness. Because relationships can often be long term, it is particularly important to make sure that they are healthy, because relationship problems can be one of the biggest causes of illness.

Highly sensitive people have many health challenges.  Taking on the ten conditions for creating health can help HSPs master their health.  The 10 health factors may seem restrictive, but in reality they will free HSPs to be their best.

Why HSPs Need Oil Massage

Highly sensitive people can benefit from one of the best health practices in Ayurveda: oil massage called abhyanga.

Abhyanga is the practice of pouring herbal oil on the body and massaging the  oil into the body to help restore and maintain balance. Abhyanga is a daily massage practice for promoting general health or it can be part of the Ayurveda detoxification program called panchakarma.

According to The Ayurveda Encyclopedia abhyanga benefits the lymphatic system which is used throughout the body to carry nutrients to and remove toxins from the cells. This role gives the lymphatic system an important place in maintaining the nourishment of the body and detoxing as well.

The Ayurveda Encyclopedia lists the following additional benefits of abhyanga:

  1. reverses and prevents aging
  2. releases fatigue and stress
  3. heals and prevents nervous system disorders
  4. helps vision
  5. nourishes the body and improves sturdiness
  6. remedies insomnia
  7. promotes electrochemical balance in the body
  8. prevents dehydration in the skin
  9. strengthens nerves
  10. helps the electromagnetic field of the body
  11. strengthens the immune system by increasing antibodies.

These important benefits of a daily oil massage are very beneficial for highly sensitive people in several ways. HSPs can help their nervous system because the oil goes into the skin, tissues and the nerves providing relief for stress, insomnia and fatigue.

When the massage is done daily, it helps prevent the buildup of stress and nerve damage in the body. Unlike medication for stress and nerves, oil massage doesn’t have any side effects. A daily abhyanga practice keeps skin supple and helps reverse the aging that comes with the buildup of toxins.

One of the most important things you can do everyday for your health is detox.  You cannot escape the need.  Even if you eat pure organic food every day, it is impossible to escape the toxins from pollution and stress.  Abhyanga is a kind of immunization from toxins if done daily. For highly sensitive people who need every help they can get, oil massage is an easy way to obtain many health benefits, reduce stress and strengthen their nervous systems.  Oil massage is perfect for HSPs.

How Natural Time Affects Health

One of the most important factors in health is time but perhaps not in the way you may think.

In Western society, we think of one minute as the same as the next, and although we recognize the changes of season, we are often insulated from them, in our homes, offices and cars. Time is often measured in economic not natural terms, so we do not understand how to harmonize our lives with natural time.

Robert Svoboda, well known Ayurvedic physician and author of The Hidden Secret of Ayurveda explains in his book how the cycles of the day, and the year and the bioenergies of the body are all related to elements of nature. There are five elements of our world: ether, air, fire, water and earth.  Ether represents empty space, air represents wind, fire represents metabolism and transformation, water represents lubrication, and earth represents solidity. They are represented in nature, in our bodies and in time.

Because they are the most fundamental to life, air, fire and earth define the three bioenergies or doshas of the body: vata is air, pitta is fire and kapha is earth.  Ether is considered part of air and vata dosha.  Water is part of pitta dosha (fire) since water is necessary to activate the stomach acids for the fire of digestion and kapha dosha (earth) which has the role of lubricating the body.

The body is not the only way in which the three bioenergies of vata, pitta and kapha are relevant. The day reflects the bioenergies as well.  The day is divided onto six segments which incorporate the doshas according to the natural time rhythms of the day. The time segments are:

2-6AM: Vata

6-10AM: Kapha

10AM-2PM: Pitta

2PM-6PM: Vata

6PM-10PM: Kapha

10PM-2AM: Pitta

Vata represents the movement of prana and as a result is active at dawn and dusk when prana is most active. Pitta representing fire is active when the sun (fire) is strongest and when our digestion is strongest. Kapha which represents the solidity of our bodies slows down at night and when the sun rises starts to awaken. Its lubricative function is warmed by the sun so that is fully available to our digestive systems at midday.

A perfect example of how Ayurveda uses this information is the practice of eating the main meal of the day at midday.  Since the digestion is strongest then, food can be processed more efficiently minimizing the possibility of building up undigested food in the body which leads to disease. Poorly digested food is one of many sources of toxins that create imbalances impairing our ability to function and our happiness.

Ayurveda fosters daily habits that work with natural time which contributes to enjoying a long, healthy life. It helps us minimize disease as much as possible by keeping us in balance as much as possible. For highly sensitive people who have many health challenges, Ayurveda is a worthwhile investment.