Ayurveda, the most ancient of healing arts, would say it is because we are basically in a spin with little to no stillness at the core of our being. This spin breaks the connection between mind and body so we are left feeling clueless about how to help ourselves and our bodies cannot heal or – at the very least – maintain well. That being the case, how do we find this inner calm? In Ayurveda the answer is simple, delightful, and luxurious – oil massage. Oil massage is part of snehana, lubricating the body inside and out. Apart most usually called abhyanga.
Abhyanga (whether given to ourselves as self-massage or received from one, two, or more therapists) is a fantastic way to reconnect with our body, mind, and deepest inner being. All the great Ayurvedic physicians agree that oil massage has tremendous benefits, having the potential to promote longevity – improving both quality and length of life. This is why oil, and plenty of, is such an important element in most Ayurvedic spa treatments. Abyhyanga literally means rubbing the limbs. It also has been translated as touching with love.
Why oil? Using Ayurvedic terms it is because oil is the perfect antidote to vata. Vata is the wind – like subtle energy in our body – that is the power behind that inner spin. If allowed to rage like a tornado, it will disrupt all normal, peaceful functioning of body and mind. This disruption not only hinders healing, but is considered to be the root cause of premature aging and all its accompanying problems – pain, stiffness, emotional stress, poor memory, insomnia, problems with sight, hearing, taste, dryness inside and out, and generally less zest for life.
Of course regular professional massage is wonderful, but you can get very similar benefits from giving yourself oil massage. For many that follow an Ayurvedic lifestyle daily abhyanga, applying oil from head to toe before a warm shower is part of their Dinacharya (daily routine).
Ozonated Oil massage is the way to mature gracefully – rather than age painfully on many levels. For the body, it helps by:
- Improving the circulation of blood and lymph so tissues. This means the whole body is better nourished and cleansed so it can look and feel more youthful.
- Relieving pain and swelling in the body by warming the subtle energy channels, which then expand allowing obstructions to clear and toxins cause all types of diseases to move out.
- Lubricating tissues inside and out, lubricating the joints and organ linings. This keeps movement more free and graceful, the digestive tract more efficient, and all linings well lubricated.
- Softening the skin, preventing dryness, and creating a healthy radiance and inner glow.
Maintaining a suppleness and ease of motion in muscles and connective tissue by preventing fibrous buildup caused
- Making the body feel light, vital, and strong. Activity remains a joy and the body does not just rest and rust.
Keeping all the senses sharper, which helps communication and participation flowing.
- Supporting the immune system.
- Calming the nervous system so we are less easily overwhelmed.
- Improving physical stamina and virility.
- Helping relaxation and restorative sleep.
- More subtly making an invisible film that protects against extremes of climate, environmental pollution, and even sudden changes in air pressure. This is why oil massage before or after air travel is a perfect antidote for jet lag.
For the mind, oil massage is obviously a calming and enjoyable process but it can also:
- Improve intelligence, wit, memory, and self-confidence.
- Banish fatigue, especially that caused by stress.
- Give us the clarity to make better lifestyle choices.