Ayurvedic Daily Routine: Oleation + Self Massage [Abhyanga] - Healthy Ayurveda

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Ayurvedic Daily Routine: Oleation + Self Massage [Abhyanga]


Ayurvedic Daily Routine – Oleation & Abhyanga
Ayurveda takes pride in oleation therapy where we can apply oil to every part of our body, inside and out. As we enter into Vata Season we enter into a period of dryness and coldness. The quality is light and we can feel ungrounded. Due to the dryness and coldness the orifices, especially those that are exposed to the elements are susceptible to these qualities and become compromised causing various conditions and creating a forum for disease to start. The first line of defense of the body is the skin. It covers us from head to toe and lines all the orifices; eye, ears, nose, digestive tract from mouth to rectum.  Ayurveda suggests that we keep these areas lubricated throughout the winter for our protection and immunity.

Regular Daily Practice:
– a drop of warm oil can applied to each ear before bed. *Make sure to avoid hot oil.
– a drop of ghee can be added to each eye before bed. *Make sure to avoid hot oil.
– 3-5 drops of basic oil or medicated oil applied to each sinus in the morning, before showering.

We can oil pull (Gandusha) with 2 tbs. of warm oil. Which means swooshing and gargling every morning after brushing and before eating; for about 10-15 minutes. Make sure not to swallow the oil.

Before bathing or showering we can apply a layer of  warm oil on our skin and lightly rinse off with soap and water; allowing a residue of oil to remain on the skin.

Organic Massage Oil
Base oils infused with a decoction of one or more Ayurvedic herbs combine nourishing and soothing qualities of oil with the healing properties of the herbs.

Great Video: “How To Do Abhyanga, A Self Massage With Warm Oil 

A self massage with warm oil, known in Ayurveda as abhyanga, is a luxurious treat considered a must for health and longevity. Learn how to do it and the great benefits to your entire body and mind in this step-by-step instructional video by  Banyan Botanicals.

Cooking With Oil
Ensure that you are cooking daily with oils such as ghee/coconut, even drizzling food with olive oil. (never cooking with olive oil)

Basti/Enema – [Not Daily]
Once a month we can conduct a home enema using Fleets kit from the pharmacy. Replace the content with a slightly warmed oil. Clean the nozzle and exchange it with ghee/coconut oil. Insert and hold for several minutes; alternating sides (laying on the left side, right side and on all fours with buttocks elevated and chest descended towards the ground). Basti should be performed under the guidance of a qualified Ayurvedic professional. Always first discuss risk/benefits with your primary care physician regarding any new health regimen.

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 Canola oil.
For the body, ears, oil pulling and enema.
Nasya could be sesame, canola or ghee.



For body massage you can add:

Vata: Tulsi (holy basil), rose, lavender or nutmeg.
Pitta: Sandalwood, geranium, lemongrass or mint.
Kapha: Cinnamon, myrrh, clove or eucalyptus.


Some oils are tri-doshic such as Tulsi, Rose and Sandalwood.
Clove and Myrrh are good for Vata as well.

This information is strictly for educational purpose only and not considered medical advice. Always first discuss with your primary care physician before considering any new health regimen.

About The Author: 
Vishnu M.Ayu, BA Psy., LMT, CSP, E-RYT, CS2, is a licensed massage therapist with more than 15 years of experience and Master’s of Ayurveda/Yoga from Hindu University of America. He is the owner of ‘Hidden Health’ Center and offers Ayurveda out of a few locations. To learn more about Vishnu and his practice you can find him at hiddenhealthcenter.com.


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