Abhiyanga is a process in which the toxins in the body are eliminated by herbal oil message on the body by qualified massage therapists. Abhiyanga forms a pre-treatment to various other treatments in Ayurveda. The kind of oil to be massaged is selected based on individual body constitution. The word Abhi means into or Towards and thus Abhiyanga actually means that through proper massages, the toxins are pushed towards the gastrointestinal tract from where they are eliminated.
Abhiyanga helps in removing toxins (ama) from deeper tissues and moves them to their origins from where they can be eliminated effectively through Panchakarma procedures. In addition to this, massages help in stimulating the circulatory system and lymph tissues.
Abhiyanga is performed by two or more therapists with the patient lying on a few fixed postures like lying on the back, lying on the left side, lying on the stomach, lying on the right side etc, seated with legs stretched etc. Approximately the same amount of time is devoted to each position. Massages are done by applying pressure in the downward direction on certain specific joints and bony areas of the body called cutaneous energy points or marma sthala.