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ABHYANGA

Ayurvedic Massage
Presentation by
Jacquie, Kellie & Hasanthi
What is Ayurveda?

• Science of Life

• Deals with body, mind and the spirit


• Dates back 5000 years
• Part of the Vedic tradition in India
Origins of Ayurveda

• Vedic Sages compiled medical


treatises

• Atreya Samhita – the oldest


medical book!

• Ayurvedic physician-surgeons
were priests, sages, seers or holy
people.

•Knowledge of healing through


Divine revelation

• Health was an integral part of


spiritual life.
Evolution of Ayurveda

• Devine revelations on healing were


transcribed into book form

• Became a widely accepted system of


healing in India.

• Atreya- the school of physicians

• Dhanvantari - the school of


surgeons
Ayurveda &
Spirituality

The Vedic deity who presides


over Ayurveda is known as
Dhanvantari
Ayurvedic Healing
Therapies

Pancha Karma

Shodhana Shamana
Cleansing and Supporting
elimination therapies
procedures

Snehana Abhyanga
‘Caring therapy’ Massage
Development of Ayurvedic Massage
• Developed along with a form of martial arts
• Initially used for promoting the wellbeing of early warriors
• Became available to all through Pancha Karma treatments
• Can be used independently of Pancha Karma
• Many variations of Abhyanga exist today
Abhyanga Philosophy

Abhyanga is intimately
linked to the profound
harmony of the Earth.

The ancients believed


every movement of the
cosmos to be filled with
universal Abhyanga.
Benefits of Abhyanga –
the Ayurvedic Oil Massage
•Increased circulation, especially to nerve endings
•Toning of the muscles and the whole physiology
•Calming for the nerves
•Lubrication of the joints
•Increased mental alertness
•Improved elimination of impurities from the body
•Softer, smoother skin
•Increased levels of stamina through the day
•Better, deeper sleep at night
The “Marma” Points
Abhyanga is based on the
knowledge of “Marma” points or
reflex anatomical sites where
junctions of ‘prana’ or life force
are located.

Knowledge of these vital points


were applied:
• to fatally wound opponents;
• for surgical procedures;
• in healing through Ayurvedic
acupuncture; and
• in revitalizing the body
through Abhyanga therapies.
Locations of the “Marma” Points
Types of Abhyanga Massage

There are three main types of Abhyanga massage:


• Active massage - strong pressure is applied
• Passive massage - delicate stroking is performed
• Persuasive massage – uses pinching and kneading techniques
General Techniques
General techniques used during the massage include:
• Soothing rubbing movements
• Pinching technique
• Kneading technique
• Pressing technique
• Small circular thumb movements applied to Marma points
Massage Oils for Abhyanga

• A wide variety of Ayurvedic oils are used to


soothe, stabilize and nourish the body.

•Sesame oil is used as the dominant base oil

• Formulas for massage oils include herbal


decoctions, herbal infusions, or oils combined
with fresh herbal juices and gels.

• Sometimes essential oils are also added


Ubtans for Abhyanga

• Freshly ground flours or Ubtans


are also applied

• Usually made from a various


beans and occasionally from
grains.

• They have inherently astringent


and antiseptic properties.

• Used for enlivening the skin


tissue as a final measure to the
Abhyanga therapy
Energy Bodywork

•Abhyanga involves energy


bodywork

•It is important for the therapist


to be able to touch and perceive
the pranic, or energy body, of
the patient.

• The key to Abhyanga is to


remain centered and follow the
movement of prana. 
References
Florida Vedic College, 2007: The History of Ayurveda,
www.floridavediccollege.edu (accessed 11 April, 2007)

Gogia, B., 2003: The Ayurvedic Energy Bodywork,


www.naturalhealthweb.com (accessed 11 April, 2007)

Maharishi Ayurveda, 2007: Abhyanga – The Ayurvedic Daily


Massage www.mapi.com (accessed 11 April, 2007)

Tiwari, M., 1995: Ayurveda Secrets of Healing, Motilal


Banarsidass Publishers Pvt Ltd, Delhi