If I described my own experience of receiving abhyangas, I would say its a completely calming, grounding and enriching therapy. I love each time the warmed oil is poured onto my body and spread over my skin. It is especially divine when I am feeling dried out and frazzled. There is something that I especially love about the higher amounts of oil used in an abhyanga vs a traditional massage. Also the oils are often infused with herbs, and those nervines going straight into the skin is an amazing way to get them in.
Each time, I leave feeling more contained in my body, grounded, and a little stronger.
From a practitioner perspective, I love giving them to people and see it as a sacred act. I love seeing how people sink in or open up in response to certain strokes. I love seeing how much they change once fully oiled. And I often wish that they could see how beautiful the movements of the practitioner is throughout the therapy. There are many times that the practitioner seems to be in a dance over the body, moving energy. Its very beautiful.
But I will give you the proper explanation. Abhyanga is an Ayurvedic body therapy. In Ayurveda, it is equally important to not only take your herbs and eat the proper meals, but what you do with your life and how you exist in this world affects your health just as much. Abhyangas help to support the imbalances that are affecting your physical body (which, therefore affects everything else)
Warmed herbal oils are applied to the body and chosen according to what is out of balance at the time. In the lineage I was taught, specific strokes are used to bring balance to the movements that affect the body, mind and spirit.
The lymphatic system is also a focus, and there is specific attention to help move it along. This is especially supportive when we have been stagnant, have been exposed to a lot of sickness, or seem to keep getting sick.
Abhyangas help to support the body in the detox process but also help to strengthen the nervous system. The oil is especially pacifying to vata- which can show up as nervousness, anxiety, overwhelm, ungrounded-ness, fear, etc. These therapies are recommended by Ayurvedic practitioners to support the person in getting to a more grounded place, and literally nourish the nervous system. Often, one will have this done weekly, daily, or in whatever intervals their practitioner recommends.
It can be used like a spa therapy 'relaxation treat' or for regular maintenance of the nervous system.
Abhyangas can be given buy one or two practitioners. With 2 practitioners it is more expensive, but it is especially balancing as both sides of the body are worked on simultaneously. Not to mention having 4 hands on you is a wonderful experience!
For the winter season, I have created buy 2 get one free sessions, you can check them out here and you are welcome to share them as gifts or book them all for yourself!