Ayurveda Oil Massage [Snehana & Abhyanga]


Ayurveda Oil Massage
The ancient Sanskrit word “Sneha” means compassion and the word “Snehi” refers to a loving friend. Daily oil massage [snehan] implies making a person loving by unfolding the healing qualities innate to the human body. In fact, Charaka – the ancient scholar of Ayurveda states that if you really want to bring happiness and joy to a client, don’t try to discuss their problems but do an oil massage and all the problems will simply dissolve.

“Love is oily, soft, and gentle.”
– Dr. Vasant Lad

The skin provides the ability to heal through touch. The healing touch may include various modalities of healing such as massage. Ayurveda describes in great detail the benefits of daily oil massage. Not only is massage comforting to the body but essential for overall health and well-being. A dry stick easily breaks but if you soak the same stick in oil it soon becomes flexible. The same happens to the human body. The influence of vata makes the body dry, brittle, and achy via the aging process. Therefore, daily oil massage helps maintain proper functions of the body and ultimately helps to reduce the effects of aging.

Interesting Video: Shirodhara – Gently Pouring Oil Over The Forehead

Shirodhara is a form of Ayurveda therapy that involves gently pouring liquids over the forehead and can be one of the steps involved in Panchakarma. The name comes from the Sanskrit words shiro (head) and dhara (flow).

Ayurveda Soothing & Moisturizing Massage Oils
Personalize your daily massage with herbal massage oils.

Benefits of snehan [oil massage] include:

  • Pacifies vata and pitta
  • Strengthens the body’s tolerance
  • Nourishes the body
  • Helps reduce the effects of aging
  • Increases longevity
  • Promotes good vision
  • Supports regular sleep patterns
  • Benefits the skin
  • Imparts firmness to the limbs
  • Imparts tone and vigor to the dhatus (bodily tissues)
  • Stimulates the internal organs of the body


Massaging oil on the body is a great way to keep the skin soft, supple and wrinkle free. It is a rejuvenating technique that improves circulation and, when done at night, induces sleep. Massaging the scalp can prevent hair loss and graying. In the evenings, massaging the scalp and soles of the feet with bhringraj oil can help in achieving a calm, restorative sleep. It is advisable to start with the outer extremities and work towards the heart. One should massage in a linear fashion along the limbs and with circular motions on the joints. Some popular oils used are coconut, sesame, sunflower and almond. According to one’s natural constitution, one should pick an oil that is appropriate to their state of balance.

“Give yourself a full-body oil massage on a daily basis. It is nourishing; pacifies the doshas; relieves fatigue; provides stamina, pleasure and perfect sleep; enhances the complexion and the luster of skin; promotes longevity; and nourishes all parts of the body.” – Ancient Wisdom Of Ayurveda

Ayurvedic Qualities Of Snehan [Oil Massage]
Oily quality provides lubrication to tissues
Liquid quality allows for liquefaction of toxins
Heavy quality grounds the body and nourish tissues
Subtle quality allows the oils to enter into the cells
Mobile quality helps direct toxins from deep tissue to the G.I. tract
Soft quality helps to soften tissue and induce tranquility
Slow quality stabilizes the mind and promote sound sleep
Sticky quality brings support and cohesiveness to the body

Which Oils For Who:

Vata Dosha
Vata predominant types can use Sesame oil.
For the body, ears, oil pulling and enema.
Nasya could be sesame, ghee or almond.

Pitta Dosha
Pitta predominant types can use Sunflower oil.
For the body, ears, oil pulling and enema.
Nasya could be coconut, sunflower or ghee.

Kapha Dosha
Kapha predominant types can use Mustard seed oil.
For the body, ears, oil pulling and enema.
Nasya could be sesame or ghee.

Click Here – To Learn More About Oleation & Abhyanga

Amrit Kalash Ambrosia 
Traditional ayurvedic formula of 13 herbs that supports the health of mind, brain, and nerves; increases vitality and inner strength; powerful antioxidant — research shows it to be up to 1,000 times more effective than vitamins C and E.

Snehan For Panchakarma
Modern living is filled with impurities. These impurities are typically stored in adipose/fat tissue and in order to remove these toxins the cleansing process of panchakarma makes use of oleation therapy called “snehana”. Sneha is the application of medicated oils to the entire body with gentle massage and allows the toxins to move into the gastrointestinal tract for easy elimination. It is also administered internally for 3 – 5 days depending on the disease and patient’s tolerance.

Some Indications Of Snehan [Oil Massage]:
– most vata disorders
– dry skin
– constipation
– worry, anxiety, stress
– excessive physical activity
– muscle weakness, tremors, twitching
– sciatica, arthritis
– emaciation or debility
– general health benefits

Few Contraindications Of Snehan [Oil Massage]:
– severe levels of toxins
– very low agni [digestive ability]
– obesity, edema, ascites
– food poisoning, nausea or vomiting
– acute infection

These are considered general and basic guidelines for overall health and wellbeing. Always first discuss with your primary care physician before considering any new health regimen. This is strictly for educational use and not to be considered medical advice.

Mike Dhaliwal

Post A Comment

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
Transform your life with the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda.
Please subscribe to our informational newsletter to receive your free eBook!
Transform your life with the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda.
Please subscribe to our informational newsletter to receive your free eBook!