Abhyanga is a part of Panchakarma treatment method which involves application of warm medicated oil over the body with mild pressure. The medicine is rubbed over the body in directions comfortable to the patient. It improves strength and alleviates Vata. Abhyangais a type of Bahya Snehana which can be performed as therapeutic procedure as well as preventive procedure.
The patient is made to sit on the Abhyanga table with leg extended. The oil is to be heated to optimum temperature and applied over the head,ears and soles of the feet. And then the oil is applied uniformly with mild pressure over the body by two masseurs standing on both sides of the table. Massage is started from scalp, head and moves down to neck, upper back, shoulders, upper arms, forearms, hands and then chest, abdomen, lower back and lower limbs.
Abhyanga should be done in sitting, supine, right lateral and left lateral positions and prone position. At the end of the procedure the oil on the body is wiped off with tissue or towel. The procedure normally takes 30- 40 minutes.
Patient is advised to take complete rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Bath can be taken with hot water and soap to remove the oil from the body. Light semisolid digestible diet is advised after the bath.
Scientific explanation of Abhyanga is that the oil provides stimulation to the nerves. It improves sensory motor integration. It also gives passive exercise to the muscles thereby strengthening them. The gentle pressure used during massage relaxes the muscles.
Abhyanga is very effective in the treatment of Neuromuscular disorders like Hemiplegia, Paraplegia, Sciatica etc, Rheumatological problems like Arthritis, Lumbago etc and all kinds of body pain. It is also good for full body rejuvenation.