Abhyanga is a luxuriously relaxing full-body warm oil massage practice designed to soothe accumulated stress and remove toxins from the body. Abhyanga is an integral part of the daily routine recommended in Ayurveda for overall health and well-being. Traditional Ayurvedic texts recommend it for its nourishing properties, especially for pacifying certain Vata and Kapha imbalances.


    Benefits that can be expected from regular performance of this pleasant daily ritual include:

  • Relieving fatigue and increasing levels of stamina through the day

  • Increased circulation, especially of the lymphatic system, which generally improves immune functioning

  • Calming for the nerves

  • Maintaining optimal mobility of the joints

  • Increased mental alertness

  • Improved elimination

  • Softer, smoother skin

  • Deeper sleep at night

  • Protection from negative emotions such as fear and anxiety

Abhyanga is traditionally performed in the morning, before your bath or shower. Vata types use sesame or almond oil, kapha types can use sesame or sunflower oil and pitta types are recommended to use oils such as coconut or sunflower. Click here to find cold-pressed, chemical-free organic base oils provided by Banyan Botanicals. A 16 ounce bottle of organic sesame oil is included in the Doctor Blossom/Banyan Botanicals Basic Cleanse Kit.

Herbal Ayurvedic massage oils are also used theraputically for people with deeper imbalances. These oils are infused with Ayurvedic herbs and slow-cooked in brass vessels to improve the potency and penetration of the oils into your skin. Two excellent sources for these specialized oils are Sarada Ayurvedic Remedies and Banyan Botanicals.

Abhyanga Instructions

This self-massage is very easy and enjoyable. Before you bathe you will apply warmed oil over your entire body. A thin coating is all that it takes. Use long strokes on your limbs and circular strokes on your joints followed by a hot shower and a cold rinse. While you shower do not try to wash the oil off with soap, vegetable oil is a natural skin cleanser and the hot water will wash most of it away leaving your skin with a smooth, soft feeling. When you dry off pat yourself with your towel rather than wiping the water away to prevent the abhyanga oil from being wiped off. Because there will be a small amount of oil left on the towels it can be helpful to pick an everyday towel to dry off with when you are doing abhyanga. Add a teaspoon of baking soda to your laundry to remove any excess oil that has stuck to your abhyanga towels.

What are the benefits of a cold rinse after a shower?

A cold rinse after a shower stimulates and strengthens the immune and detoxification systems of the body. Energetically, doing a cold rinse "seals" the surface of the body so that the warmth and prana (life force) of the body are conserved and protected from external pathogenic influences such as germs, viruses, cold wind, heat or dampness.