Abhyanga Self-Massage Routine

Abhyanga Self-Massage Routine

Traditional Ayurvedic therapies (known as Panchakarma) offer a strong support in healing and detoxing the body and mind. Receiving the Abhyanga treatment, a full body warm oil massage, with a professional therapist regularly is a profound way to detox, balance and ground the nervous system, support digestion and much more.

What to do in-between appointments?

Self-Abhyanga massage is known to be a great way to sustain the effects of a full Abhyanga and keep us balanced in our day-to-day life. The benefits accumulated from self-Abhyanga performed consecutively for 7 days are equivalent to one full Abhyanga given by a professional therapist.

Benefits: Brings grounding and deep relaxation, balances the Vata dosha, soothes the nervous and endocrine systems, encourages lymph drainage, rejuvenates the skin, tones the muscles, eliminate impurities and promotes youthfulness.

Performing Self-Abhyanga

Time: Best performed in the morning before shower or evening before sleep

Oils: Always use organic and cold pressed oils. It’s best to consult with your Ayurvedic Vaidya or Therapist on the type of oils to use for your dosha (constitution). Sesame oil is considered the most penetrating of oils. Occasionally it can produce excess heat in the body. Alternatives are sunflower, almond or coconut oil (very cooling). You may also use dosha specific oils for best results.

Tip: Cold pressed sesame oil must be cured before usage. This allows better penetration. To cure the oil heat it up to 100 degrees celsius then store in a cool place. You may add essential oils suitable for your dosha (constitution) to your massage oil. Warm 3-4 tablespoons of oil at body temperature or just above body temperature.




Head: Using the flat of the hands, massage the head vigorously for about 1 minute

3 strokes down the face using full hands
3 circles on the temples using first two fingers
3 Circles around the eye socket using thumbs
Swipe across upper lip using thumbs
Strokes back and forth on forehead using full hands
Repeat 3 swipes down the face using full hands

Ears: Massage lobes and outer ears. Avoid going too deep into the ear

Chest: 5 circular movements clockwise and 5 counter clockwise

Stomach: 7 slow and gentle circles clockwise

Sternum: 7 up and down with fingertips (at the same time as stomach massage) using second hand

Shoulders: 7 strong back and forward movements over shoulders

Arms: Use round movement on joints, and up and down movements on long bones

5 rounds on shoulder joint
5 up and down on upper arm
5 rounds on elbow
5 up and down on lower arm
4 up and down on palm
5 round on wrist joint
5 up and down on palm
Pull each finger at a time

Kidneys: 4 small circles clockwise and counter clockwise

Back: 7 up and down with knuckles as far as you can reach

Legs: Same routine as arms

10 up and down on soles
10 up and down on achilles heel
Massage between each toe
Rub the whole bottom of foot for 60 vigorous strokes


Leave oil on body for 10 to 15 minutes and then take a warm shower.
Do not use soap on the body. It removes oil and dries your skin.
Women should not massage while menstruating.
Wash massage towels, robes separately from other clothes. Careful when tumble drying, they can ignite if too oily.