How does it work?
Abhyanga is a firm but gentle whole-body massage that helps the skin, the largest organ in the body, perform its diverse functions efficiently - whether that’s allowing toxins to be released from the body, or nourishment to be absorbed by the tissues. Essentially a morning massage, Abhyanga allows the skin to absorb the healing qualities of the oils and facilitates the release of toxins that may have accumulated during the night.
Involving two therapists working in synchrony, a heated blend of oils (infused with nourishing herbs and flowers) is lightly applied to the entire body. The therapists then wait up to five minutes to let some of the oil be absorbed by your skin before they begin massaging your entire body. Even pressure will be applied with the whole hand using a combination of circular motions and straight strokes, although lighter pressure is used on sensitive areas such as the abdomen and the heart. More oil and time will be spent where nerve endings are concentrated, such as the soles of the feet, palms of the hands and along the base of the fingernails.
During Abhyanga, marma points (vital spots) found in specific areas all over the body) will be stimulated which helps with detoxification and energy flow. It also improves lymph flow and boosts your immune system as well as simultaneously calming and strengthening the nervous system.
Four hands plus warm oil equals a high probability of mess, so minimal clothing is a must and you may even be offered disposable underwear to wear. After the massage a steam bath or hot shower is highly recommended. This will rid you of any excess oil and also leave you up reenergized for your day ahead.
Is it for me?
Abhyanga massage is a complete rejuvenation of body and mind, working from the inside out. If you're feeling nervous or lethargic, or suffer from sleep deprivation, the warm oils help calm the mind and nervous system leaving you feeling relaxed, rested and calm, despite being more focused and alert. The warmth of the oils will also work to strengthen and lubricate joints, making them more resilient to wear and tear, so it is advised as a treatment if you're subject to the joys of joint aches and pains.
Good to know
The ancient Ayurvedic texts state that regular Abhyanga treatments slow down the aging process.