Discover Ayurvedic Massage: Abhyanga

Updated: Feb 16, 2020

By Serene White, LMT

Living in a stress driven culture and society, based in excess activity, over stimulation, and constant sensory input can often be destabilizing to our nervous system. A stress-based lifestyle can deplete our energy and causes imbalances in our physiology. We are often left with a barrage of unwanted symptoms. We become tired, our immune system suffers, and we may feel anxious, become prone to excess worry, and we often develop muscle aches & pains, digestive issues, and more.

Ayurveda, an ancient system for natural healthcare from India and a sister science to yoga, offers lifestyle, nutrition, medicinal, and self care wisdom that is still relevant today, perhaps now more than ever. Ayurveda is an excellent resource for support in returning to a natural state of balance. One of the main practices of Ayurveda to help restore balance and harmony is Abhyanga, Ayurvedic massage. Ayurvedic massage is a simple and effective way to easily access the profound healing benefits from this age-old tradition. This specialized type of massage is particularly beneficial for those who are experiencing exhaustion, depletion, and compromised immune function from a stress based lifestyle. An Abhyanga massage treatment can bring tremendous relief and restore balance very quickly. It is gently detoxifying, restorative, and transformational.

Most people are familiar with the benefits of therapeutic massage for wellness and stress relief. Ayurveda recognized the importance of massage for preventative health care thousands of years ago. Today, Ayurvedic massage is often prescribed as part of a healing protocol for a variety of conditions and to those seeking optimal balance in health and well being.

Ayurvedic massage, called Abhyanga is quite different than the therapeutic massage that we are familiar with in the west. Abhyanga is also known as “oil massage” and is still practiced today all over India and throughout the world. This specialized massage treatment is generally longer than a typical therapeutic massage and is based in oleation, or anointing the body with oil. The Sanskrit word for oil, Sneha also means Love. Ayurvedic massage is profoundly nurturing, grounding, calming, and rejuvenating.

Abhyanga generally uses a lighter touch along with specific long, steady, fluid strokes to apply warm , herbal infused oil into the body. The practitioner will choose oils specific to the recipient’s constitution to correct imbalances. The oil is absorbed into the body through the skin and benefits from the medicinal qualities. The light touch used in conjunction with specific strokes and flow sequences help to improve circulation and lymphatic flow, gently dislodging impurities from the tissues. This type of massage is gently detoxifying and rejuvenating, while often leaving the recipient in a profound state of tranquility.

Further benefits of Abhyanga may include:

· Decreasing the effects of aging

· Promotes a softness, youthfulness, luster to the skin

· Supports longevity

· Improving sleep patterns

· Promotes flexibility to the muscles, tissues, and joints

· Strengthens the body’s tolerance

· Imparts tone and vigor to the tissues of the body

· Stimulates the internal organs of the body, increasing circulation

· Supports the body in producing Oxytocin (the loving, giving, “feel good” hormone)

Abhyanga, an ancient massage modality, is perfectly designed to help bring balance back to our physiology in today’s climate of stress and exhaustion. Often, recipients experience a reset to their nervous system and a return to a harmonious state of mind and body immediately following their treatment. The effect will often remain with the recipient for days, even weeks following a treatment.

Serene White L.M.T , owner of Serene Yoga and Massage, in Oak Ridge has been helping clients find balance in their bodies through massage and yoga for over 15 years. Serene specializes in Ayurvedic massage therapies as part of her massage therapy practice and has worked extensively with clients with chronic pain issues as well as those seeking balance and harmony from a stressful lifestyle.

I highly recommend the experience of Abhyanga massage with Serene. I have been dealing with chronic coccyx and sacrum pain for two years and Serene has helped me tremendously with private sessions of Contemplative Yoga for deep relaxation. When she told me about the Abhyanga massage, I thought it might be another great tool in my quest to quiet the pain signals! This two hour massage is nothing short of a miracle for me. It is a soothing, loving, almost spiritual experience that allows my body to completely relax and be pain free. The meditative music and light pressure massage using warm oil is just the perfect combination to calm my central nervous system. Heavenly! -Jeanie Gregory

If you are interested in experiencing Abhyanga locally, contact Serene White, www.SereneYogaAndHealing com (865)789-9731

Serene White is a member of the East Tennessee Wellness Directory,

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