Ayurvedic Self-Massage for Winter

Posted on Updated on

Massage or Abhyanga as it is called in Ayurveda, is an integral part of winter health care. Whole body massage with suitable oil can be done in any season of the year. However, due to cold and increased dryness in winters, a good self- massage is a must-do winter routine.Ayurveda encourages people to learn the technique of self- massage which can save them both time, as well as money.

Benefits of Self-Massage

The benefits of massage go deeper than just improving the health of our skin and hair. When done correctly, massage helps to improve circulation of both blood and lymph in our body. Massage helps in balancing body weight. Meaning, it helps in reducing weight in people who are overweight, and promotes healthy weight gain in those that are underweight.  Massage helps in de-stressing and relaxing by stimulating the production of ‘happy-hormones’ a.k.a endorphins. Good massage relieves tiredness and improves energy levels. Also, massage is the best way of promoting healthy sleep.

Massage helps to prevent premature aging and age related skin changes like wrinkles and pigmentation. It is the best therapy for hair related conditions like hair-loss, greying and premature balding. Health issues like tension headaches, migraines, constipation, abdominal boating, menstrual cramps, joint pain, myalgia, muscle weakness etc. can be relieved by regular massage.

Also, apart from its great health benefits, the quite down-time that we get during self-massage is a great way of reconnecting with our own self.

Massage in Child health

Massage has also been an integral part of child health-care in Ayurveda. Parents and family members should make massage a  regular health routine for children of all ages.  It is especially helpful in children who suffer from failure to thrive and poor weight gain. Also, regular massage helps in promoting healthy digestion, immunity, healthy skin, joints and strong bones, healthy growth and development in children. Also, for children who suffer from disorders of growth and development, mental and physical retardation, learning disabilities, ADHD etc, the benefits of a good daily massage are unparalleled.

 Choosing Massage oils

Choosing the right kind of oil for massage is the first step towards getting optimum benefits of your massage routine. The oils that can be used depending on your Dosha body type are-

Kapha body type-

  • Sesame seed oil
  • Almond oil
  • Mustard oil

Pitta body type-

  • Sesame seed oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Chandan bala lakshadi Taila (oil)

Vata body type-

  • Sesame seed oil
  • Olive oil
  • Almond oil
  • Dashamoola Taila (oil)
  • Ashwagandha- Bala Taila
  • Mahanarayan Taila
A drop or two of Aromatherapy essential oils can also be added to the warm massage oil, for a true spa-like experience, in the comfort of your own house and at a fraction of cost. Essential oils like Chamomile oil, Lavender oil, Sandalwood oil etc  blend well in the massage oils.

The technique of correct self- massage

Self- massage can be done in the morning or in the evening. Doing a self- massage every day is ideal. However,  those who find it difficult to pack in  massage on busy days, can try to do it at least two to three times a week for optimum benefits. Massage should be done for at least 15 min. Wait for 15 to 20 min before you head for bath.

Massage oils need to warmed- up before using. Use copper or steel bowls, as they complement the qualities of oils. Massage oils need to be heated using indirect heat. Directly heating the oils can deplete their health benefits. For warming up the oils, leave the bowl containing the oil in a sauce pan or a pot that has hot (and not boiling water) for 10 to 15 minutes. When the oil is warm to touch, remove and use immediately for massage.

Check out the detail and easy to follow instructions for self-massage  at-



5 thoughts on “Ayurvedic Self-Massage for Winter

    jesty said:
    November 23, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    Hello Dr Chetali,

    I’ve been searching over the internet, to know if I can use Bhringraj tailum on my infant. She’s two and a half month old. I apply warm Chandan Bala Lakshadi Tailum on her body before I give her a bath.
    I’ve heard that applying Bhringraj tailum on baby’s hair is good.
    If not Bhringraj tailum what oil should I apply on her head. I am planning to give my baby Balghutti. I’ve brought the herbs, what I wanted to know was whether I have to wash and dry those herbs also can I give her the herbal paste everyday in the morning.
    Please do reply

    Thanks in advance

      Dr. Chetali responded:
      November 27, 2012 at 11:42 am


      Chandan bala lakshadi is a good choice for the body massage. It is Ok to use Bringajraj taila for head. However, avoid massaging the baby’s head, since the skull bones are still soft. You can apply the oil very gently to your baby’s scalp..be very careful not to press the two fontanelles- soft spots- one in front and one behind the baby’s head. Also, using plain coconut, almond oil etc. are healthy for the baby.
      As far as Balghutti is concerned- what are the exact herbs that you have bought? Please let me know and I can tell you whether it is safe and in what medium you can give them.
      Thanks for contacting me..

      Dr. Chetali

    Elements Massage said:
    February 3, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    I really liked your blog, thanks for sharing this useful information……

    vrushali said:
    March 8, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    Can I use chandan bala lakshadi for my 2yr old baby girl for her hairs….after her mundan..her hairs are not growing as it should be…and how should I use this oil on her body…uf nt dis oil den plz suggest sum other for faster growth if her hair…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s