Abhyanga ~ Lymphatic System Support
In Ayurveda, performing a daily self-massage, called abhyanga, is an essential daily ritual for overall health and wellbeing.
Abhyanga has a very different purpose than a regular massage which is to get the oil into the body through the skin. The skin is considered an organ of digestion, and the herbs decocted in traditionally-made Ayurvedic oils aid the digestion of the oil through the skin. The oil helps drive the herbs deeper into the tissues, enhancing the medicinal properties of the herbs. Warm oil is applied and rubbed into the skin to nourish and cleanse the tissues - warmth is key for absorption.
One important benefit from Abhyanga is the stimulation of the Lymphatic System.
Two very critical jobs of the Lymphatic System: maintaining fluid balance by collecting excess liquid, waste, and particulates, and providing immunity by distributing special disease-fighting cells called lymphocytes. Think of the Lymphatic System as the major drainage system of your body moving out waste and toxins.
The Lymphatic system does not have a pump to move it along, so it needs stimulation to keep it flowing. Lymphatic blockage or congestion leads to swelling, edema, and the buildup of metabolic byproducts/toxins called ‘ama’, which causes all sorts of imbalances that can affect almost any part of the body.
The techniques and oils used in Abhyanga enhance lymphatic flow and loosens toxins in the body, acting as a powerful treatment to aid in detoxification.
Abhyanga has many other healing properties. Some benefits include:
decreases the effects of aging, lubricates the joints, proliferates the production of estrogen in the skin, stimulates internal organs, increases stamina, benefits sleep, deeply calms and nourishes the nervous system, and stimulates Agni (digestive fire).