Why I Do a Daily Oil Self-Massage
Updated: Apr 12, 2021
Giving myself an oil massage first thing in the morning may be one of my favorite Ayurvedic practices ever. Known in Sanskrit as abhyanga, oil massage is an amazing way to give yourself some nourishment and self-love before going on about the rest of your day. In fact, the word for oil in Sanskrit, sneha, also means love. So, by practicing abhyanga in the morning, I'm making sure that I am taken care of before going out to take care of others!
Abhyanga is known to have many benefits, including:
Nourishment of the skin and deeper layers of tissues
Increasing circulation and improving lymphatic flow
Calms the mind
and much more!
There are many instructional videos and articles explaining the technique of how to do abhyanga. Here's a comprehensive article on the different types of abhyanga oils and techniques for self-massage by Banyan Botanicals.
Rather than reinvent the wheel and explain how to do abhyanga, I would like to highlight some of the benefits I have personally experienced from practicing it daily, and also explain the different ways I have used abhyanga to support my well-being.
No more flaky, itchy skin
Living in Southern California means dry skin pretty much all year round, and lots of vata vitiation (remember, vata dosha is comprised of air and space - two very light and dry elements!). Not to mention, the sun is very strong here. This has made my skin very prone to itchiness and irritation. Doing abhyanga in the morning each day, followed by a warm shower, has reduced the amount of dryness and associated symptoms in my skin. No more sitting around looking at the insane cracks and scales forming on my legs. Huzzah!