Abhyangam: The Soothing therapy


Abhyanga therapy is a type of massage that uses warm herbal oils on the body. This is done in the direction of arterial blood movement, which helps to improve blood circulation, provide relief from pain and stiffness, and reduce stress. It also helps correct energy (Dosha) imbalance in the body. 


In Ayurveda, Abhyanga massage is done as a part of Panchakarma treatment, which is a detoxification and cleansing process. Abhyanga is an essential preparatory step of Panchakarma treatment. It helps to move toxins towards the gastrointestinal tract for smooth elimination.


There are several types of abhyanga therapy as follows:

  1. SarvangaAbhyanga: This is a full-body massage that benefits the whole body.
  2. ShiroAbhyanga: This massage is done on the head and helps to provide relaxation and relief from headaches and sinus problems.
  3. EkangaAbhyanga: This massage is done on specific parts of the body to relieve pain or stiffness.
  4. PadaAbhyanga: This is a foot massage done for the foot and toes. It helps to provide relief from aching feet and related problems.


Abhyanga massage is usually done by an expert Ayurvedic masseur. However, it can also be done at home as a self-massage. This can be done regularly to improve one’s health.

It offers many health benefits, including physical and mental relaxation, improvement in skin health, relief from aches and pain, and improvement in overall energy and physical strength. The oil used during the massage, called Abhyanga oil, should be warm.The oil to be used depends on the Dosha that is affected. For effective Abhyanga, the oil is infused with herbs that can help pacify the Dosha.



To prepare for Abhyanga, the oil used should be warmed but not too hot. Dip your fingers into the oil and massage with gentle strokes on the specific parts of the body. The chest, neck, abdomen, eyes, and face should be massaged lightly. The arms and legs need massage with long strokes, and the joints should be massaged through circular motions. Abdominal massage should be  towards the large intestine. A warm bath should be taken after a 15-minute gap.