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It means therapeutic massage. It is meant for pacification of vata dosha and delaying ageing process.

Directions, indications and benefits of abhyanga (head massage and body massage)

नित्यं स्नेहार्द्रशिरसः शिरःशूलं न जायते| न खालित्यं न पालित्यं न केशाः प्रपतन्ति च||८१||

बलं शिरःकपालानां विशेषेणाभिवर्धते| दृढमूलाश्च दीर्घाश्च कृष्णाः केशा भवन्ति च||८२||

इन्द्रियाणि प्रसीदन्ति सुत्वग्भवति चाननम् | निद्रालाभः सुखं च स्यान्मूर्ध्नि तैलनिषेवणात्||८३||

न कर्णरोगा वातोत्था न मन्याहनुसङ्ग्रहः| नोच्चैः श्रुतिर्न बाधिर्यं स्यान्नित्यं कर्णतर्पणात्||८४||

स्नेहाभ्यङ्गाद्यथा कुम्भश्चर्म स्नेहविमर्दनात्| भवत्युपाङ्गादक्षश्च दृढः क्लेशसहो यथा||८५||

तथा शरीरमभ्यङ्गाद्दृढं सुत्वक् च जायते| प्रशान्तमारुताबाधं क्लेशव्यायामसंसहम्||८६||

स्पर्शनेऽभ्यधिको वायुः स्पर्शनं च त्वगाश्रितम्| त्वच्यश्च परमभ्यङ्गस्तस्मात्तं शीलयेन्नरः||८७||

न चाभिघाताभिहतं गात्रमभ्यङ्गसेविनः| विकारं भजतेऽत्यर्थं बलकर्मणि वा क्वचित्||८८||

सुस्पर्शोपचिताङ्गश्च बलवान् प्रियदर्शनः| भवत्यभ्यङ्गनित्यत्वान्नरोऽल्पजर एव च||८९||

One who has got his head daily well oleated alleviates head-ache, premature graying, and alopecia, while strengthening the cranial bones significantly. Hair roots become stronger, senses become clearer, the facial skin becomes smoother and the person gets sound sleep and happiness.

By filling the ears with oil daily, there will be no ear diseases of the vata type, no stiffness of the neck or jaws, no difficulty in hearing and reduced chances of deafness.

Just as a pitcher by smearing with oil, a hide by soaking in oil or an axle by lubricating with oil become firm, so does the human body when oleated with oil. The skin becomes beautiful, vata disorders are relieved, and tolerance to hardship and physical strain is enhanced. vayu predominates in the tactile sense faculty and the tactile sense faculty resides in the skin. Massage is exceedingly beneficial to the skin. Therefore, a person should practice it regularly. A person’s body accustomed to oil massage is not liable to be afflicted with injury due to external trauma or strenuous physical exertion. A person, by applying daily oil massage, becomes smooth and plump, strong and good looking, while slowing his ageing process. [Cha.Su.5/81-89]

Directions and benefits of foot massage

खरत्वं स्तब्धता रौक्ष्यं श्रमः सुप्तिश्च पादयोः| सद्य एवोपशाम्यन्ति पादाभ्यङ्गनिषेवणात्||९०||

जायते सौकुमार्यं च बलं स्थैर्यं च पादयोः| दृष्टिः प्रसादं लभते मारुतश्चोपशाम्यति||९१||

न च स्याद्गृध्रसीवातः पादयोः स्फुटनं न च| न सिरास्नायुसङ्कोचः पादाभ्यङ्गेन पादयोः||९२||

The roughness, stiffness, dryness, fatigue and numbness of feet are alleviated by massaging the legs. The legs attain gentleness, strength, firmness, the eyes attain brightness, and the vata is pacified. Foot massage also prevents grudhrasi(sciatica), fissures in the feet, contraction of the muscles, and blood vessels of legs. [Cha.Su.5/90-92]

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