If you are used to relaxation techniques, then you may be familiar with Abhyanga, a massage inspired by Ayurveda, traditional medicine originating in India. Used for millennia, it is based on the 7 strategic centers of the body, the famous chakras, the fourteen nadis and the marmas. It aims to provide general well-being both physically and mentally. Discovery !
Abhyanga massage, what if we talked about it ?
Massages are known to be excellent ways to regain health, well-being and balance. And the Abhyanga massage is no exception to the rule. The principle is simple: we massage the whole body, from head to toe, for an hour and a half with hot oil, usually sesame oil.
In India, Abhyanga goes beyond simple body therapy. It is a daily practice that guarantees well-being. And the reason it's arousing so much interest, it's because it's been proven to soothe both mind and body. It joins yoga, herbal medicine and meditation among the pillars of oriental medicine.
According to Ayurvedic philosophy, our well-being is based on three main elements : air (Vata), water (Kapha) and fire (Pitta). When they are troubled, it manifests itself at the level of physical, emotional and mental functions, controlled by the doshas, energetic forces. This is where the Abhyanga massage comes in.
It activates our Prana (energy) and helps boost our immune defenses. In France, this massage is used for its relaxation and well-being.
Like Yoga or Shiatsu, the movements (friction, stretching, tapping and circular pressure) are harmonious and flexible, perfect for maintaining the body's balance. This is undoubtedly the reason why this massage is indicated for people who have trouble managing their stress, nervousness or anxiety. It is found in a more tonic variant, Vishesh, which is the one used in India.
The Abhyanga massage, a treatment with surprising virtues
Practiced for over 4000 years, Abhyanga massage is ideal for stressed and tense people, thanks to its soothing, energizing and relaxing power. This Ayurvedic treatment creates true harmony between mind and body. It is a massage that stimulates the mind by acting on the mood.
But these are not its only health effects. It strengthens our immune system, our brain and strengthens the flexibility of the joints. In addition to fighting against everyday anxiety attacks, it offers softness and elasticity to the skin thanks to the nutritive properties of the oils used.
Having recourse to this massage would be a means of restoring the Prana (vital energy) and of diffusing it without obstacle in all the body to rebalance the energy centers. It is also said to prepare for meditation and bring emotional serenity and fullness, while boosting self-esteem and confidence. Unlike Chinese massage, Abhyanga is intended in a softer approach.
The effects can be felt from the first session. But it is advisable to treat yourself to this massage on a regular basis to fully benefit from its benefits.
However, Abhyanga massage is contraindicated in some cases. People suffering from heart problems, diabetes, bacterial infections, skin inflammation are not allowed to use this practice. It is the same for pregnant women, people with epilepsy, those who have a recent scar and those who are allergic to oils used such as sesame oil.
How to proceed ?
The masseur alternates slow and fast movements, for about an hour on the patient lying on a massage table. This is covered with a towel, sheet or dressed in underwear. If slow movements help to detect areas of tension, rapid movements allow total relaxation and release tension.
The oil used is first heated, then enriched with an essential oil selected according to the tridoshas, (Pitta, Vata and Kapha), the three energetic personalities:
Vata for nervous, anxious, sensitive people
Pitta refers to dynamic, organized or demanding people
Kapha describes people who are tolerant, tender or with a calm temperament.
For people with a Vata temperament, we use a fatty vegetable oil such as olive or castor oil, associated with relaxing essential oils such as essential oil of ylang-ylang, fine lavender or Roman chamomile.
If the patient is a person with a Pitta temperament, an organic quality oil should be chosen, combined with soothing essential oils such as calendula or rose oil. Avoid heating the massage oil.
With Kapha people, we dispense with excessively fatty oils and opt for anti-inflammatory essential oils (cinnamon, lemongrass, Atlas cedar oil) diluted in vegetable oil.
If you want to try a treatment that relaxes you while maintaining your body? Treat yourself to an Abhyanga massage session in a spa or at home. Both zen and relaxing, it soothes the mind and allows you to let go !