Author(s): Archana Raman Belge, Raman Shankar Belge*
Abhayanga is one of the foremost massage maneuvers mentioned in the Ayurvedic texts like Brihattrayi and Laghutrayi. It is the oldest technique for healing, preventing diseases and promoting health. It has been included in the Dinacharya and also as the treatment measure for a variety of diseases. It is also a part of the pre-therapeutic procedures of Panchakarma. Abhyanga improves blood circulation (arterial as well as venous), lymphatic flow and thus offers nourishment to the body cells. It not only de-stresses the whole body but also strengthens the nervous system, improves blood circulation, removes toxins and improves the overall well-being of the person. Besides offering an immuno-modulatory action, it improves the quality of life thus benefitting the persons of all the ages. The ancient Ayurvedic literature as well as modern references was referred to have a critical study of the classification of massage; to compare between Abhyanga and Massage; to study the mode of action according to Ayurvedic and modern view. This being the Bahiparimarjana Chikitsa plays a vital role in improving the quality of life, thus fulfilling the basic motto of Ayurveda. Modern studies have proven that, Abhyanga has potential psychogenic and physiologic benefits. It can certainly be said that Abhyanga, “Adds life to years” rather than “Years to life” and thus bears a strong contemporary relevance. This review article is meant to have a critical review of Abhyanga with special reference to its contemporary relevance.