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ABHYANGA defined by
The AYURVEDA Encyclopedia Natural Secrets to Healing, Prevention, & Longevity.
Swami Sadashiva Tirtha
More than 2,000 years ago in India, oils were found that healed illness and prevented future imbalances. These therapies were traditionally given to oneself or others on a daily basis. Oil was poured onto the entire body, head, ears, feet, or specific sites that required attention.
One important benefit from abhyanga is the stimulation of the lymphatic system. The lymph system is pervasive throughout the body, except in the brain, bone marrow, and seep skeletal muscle ( though some scientists believe they may extend there as well). The role of this system is to carry nutrients to and remove toxins from the cells. Some cells in the nodes destroy bacteria, viruses, and other potentially harmful particles. Other vessels send fresh fluids from the other side of the node to the heart.
Lymph contains about half the concentration of proteins in the plasma and returns the serum proteins into the blood. Thus, this sort of self-feeding system means the body prepares its own food and feeds itself. Additionally, it contains many white blood cells that help maintain the body’s resistance to immune disorders, forming the body’s resistance to immune disorders, forming these infection-fighting cells in the nodes.
This system contains various amino acids. One amino acid called tryptophan is needed for producing energy and balancing the hormonal and nervous systems. Melatonin, a brain hormone synthesized from tryptophan within the pineal gland, is believed to be related to the thyroid, adrenals, and gonads. It has been found to help to calm excess mental activity. Dopamine beta-hydroxylase is an enzyme believed to be related to schizophrenia and other mental disorders. Histaminase, another enzyme, breaks down histamine. If histamine is in excess, it may cause gastric acidity, lethargy, itching, headaches, pain in muscles and nodes; and allergies. Thus, abhyanga may help the body produce its own natural antihistamines. Lymphs also play a role in various forms of edema.
Lymph provides the nerves with receiving and transmitting signals. It also helps develop antibodies that are important for the immune system.
By rubbing the joints in a circular motion, circulation is enhanced, and rubbing the joints in the circular motion secretes fluid secreted from the lymph nodes. This causes more protein, glucose, minerals oxygen, and antibodies, involved with the lymphatic system, to circulate the blood.
The Ashtanga Hridayam, one of the triads of the classical Ayurveda texts, suggests abhyanga be given daily to prevent and heal illness. Many benefits arise on a daily basis to prevent and heal illness Many benefits arise from daily abhyanga. Let us look at each benefit individually.
- Reverses | prevents aging and increases longevity
- Removes fatigue and stress from work and life overall
- Heals and prevents nervous system disorders
- Promotes healthy vision
- Nourishes the body and promotes sturdiness
- Assist in the reduction of insomnia
- Creates an electrochemical balance in the body
- Oil rubbed into the skin prevents dehydration and strengthens the nerves
- Oil helps the electromagnetic field of the body
- Stimulates antibody production, thus strengthening the immune system
Aging (Jara) is a natural process of the body, and surely one of life’s certainties. Nevertheless, imbalances caused in the aging process are relieved through the practice of abhyanga.
Abhyanga provides passive exercise, cleanses stress from the muscles, removes toxins from the organs, cells, tissues, and blood: and tones the muscles and nerves.
Abhyanga assists in removing toxins calming the nerves bringing the body and mind back into balance with nature and helps the person naturally adjust to daily rhythms.