Abhyanga (“Oil Massage”)
Abhyanga (“oil massage”) is a form of Ayurvedic medicine that involves massage of the body with dosha-specific warm herb infused oils. Thankfully, since most of us don’t have an Ayurvedic practitioner on speed-dial, let alone in our area, Organic Sesame Oil works great!
Use organic sesame oil. I use Spectrum Organics because it’s in my local grocer. Use any organic brand; just make sure it is NOT toasted. Get your “wrap” ready before you start oiling up. I use an old bathrobe or a towel that is ready to go into the wash. For the first couple of treatments, definitely go to the trouble of heating the sesame oil. After you’ve done it a few days in a row, you can do it whenever you feel like you are achy, antsy, or distracted. It’s especially great if you’ve just finished a lot of travel. The oil doesn’t have to be heated, so if you are on the road and in a hotel, bring a small batch with you to do when you get settled in your temporary home.
To prepare the oil:
Take 1/2-1 cup sesame oil and place in a glass container that will sit in a small pot (like your Pyrex measuring cup).
Bring about half a pot of water to boil and turn off.
Carefully set the container with the oil into the hot water and let it sit for about 10 minutes. (Sesame oil has a very low heating point so you cannot heat it directly).
Massage the oil all over your body from the ears to the tips of your fingers and toes, and everything in between.
Leave on for 20 minutes. Wrap the towel or old robe around you. You can lie in the tub, or sit and do computer work or read.
Wash off completely. Take a warm shower and be sure to get all of the oil off. Wash the robe or towel immediately after use.
Enjoy the grounding and relaxing effects, especially for you helpful for the dry achy feeling that’s coming with the seasonal change. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!
Rebecca Soule, PhD