Give it or get it: you won’t regret it – Abhyanga and its Transdermal Benefits

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Nowhere is the science of ayurvedic transdermal healing better illustrated than in the chapter on Abhyanga. Abhyanga is the time-tested ancient method of massaging the body with warm herbalized oils to make the limbs supple, relax and energize the mind, building resistance to physical and mental stress.

VAta with vit d 16oz

With unique SVA formulations, you can now safely supplement your body with Magnesium, Vit D, Turmeric, and many more unique herbal and floral synergies. Massage, when it’s done right, relieves fatigue and stress, relaxes the muscles, calms the mind, improves circulation. It is ideal to get a massage a week, or even two! But if you can’t afford to get the time for one, or can’t seem to find that perfect therapist who does not leave you bruised after a too deep-tissue massage session, why not do it yourself? That’s right, you can do this yourself in the comfort of your own home each morning, or at least once, or twice, per week.  The benefits are innumerable:

  • it transdermally nourishes the body with minerals and nutrients – depending on the oil you are using;
  • pacifies all the doshas;
  • relieves fatigue;
  • provides stamina, and induces deep restful sleep at night;
  • enhances the complexion and the luster of the skin;
  • promotes longevity;

But wait, there is more:

  • Improves circulation
  • Gives mental clarity
  • Increases Longevity
  • Decreases the effects of aging
  • Reduces Stress
  • Strengthens Immune system
  • Rejuvenates skin to make it smooth and support fat metabolism
  • Softens and moisturizes the skin
  • Lubricates the joints
  • Calms the nerves
  • Tones the muscles

What does the Carak Samhita say about Abhyanga?


With proper oil, abhyanga gives the skin firmness even as it makes it soft. In the second sentence we read that all body parts (anga) become more efficient, firm and more tolerant against physical stress.


So the first line of the verse says “doing full-body massage gives more strength and better complexion to the skin.  The second line tells us that abhyanga pacifies all vata disturbance and gives more endurance for exercise.”


Here Carak explains that if there is sensitivity of skin created by vata dosha imbalance, then it will get pacified, and acquire better tolerance to touch pressure. In addition, massage nurtures all six layers of skin. The health of the skin, its lustre and suppleness improve even more with regular weekly massage. Overall, all vata-pacifying health benefits accrue with daily or weekly oil massage sessions.

What Oil to Use?

Over the years I have formulated several SVA massage oils to address different constitutional types and their needs. You don’t need to use SVA formulations, as long as you have good massage oils appropriate for your constitution and the season, provided they do not have any chemicals or a chemical preservation system.  You also have to make sure your massage oil has not been adulterated. Finally,  there is a high chance that it is, or soon will be after opening, rancid and active with free-radical causing molecules in your body through transdermal absorption.

The SVA massage oils undergo pranic prepping and special preservation methods that stop oxidization without compromising the intelligence of the oil base or the herbal infusions. We have a wide range of oils to choose from:

Consult your SVA practitioner or follow the link to each product to find out which SVA Massage Oil is best for you.

How It’s Done!

Warm your oil slightly in the sink by keepin under hot running water, or in a baby bottle warmer – this calms and pacifies the body and mind right away, also facilitating absorption.  to give more comfort and absorption. Pour a little warm oil into your palms and apply it onto the area you are working on. It’s a good idea to start from the feet and the toes first. Work your way up, and massage your entire body, applying even pressure with the whole hand — palm and fingers.

Finally, oil your head. Use one of our SVA oils made especially for hair and scalp. Warm it up as well. When massaging sensitive areas such as the abdomen or the heart, use very light pressure. Circular motions on chest area are best done clockwise; same for the lower abdomen.  Do circular motions over rounded areas such as head and joints, and straight strokes on your arms and legs.  For arms and legs massage outward from core to extremities.

Leave the oil on for 20 minutes. Cover yourself. You may leave the oil on for longer but you must cover your head with a cotton scarf or towel and make sure you warm and stay away from cold drafts.  The longer the oil is on, the deeper it penetrates.

It is very important to follow your abhyanga with a relaxing warm shower to remove excess oil and toxins that got released through the skin.

When you want to do an abhyanga, but don’t have time, do the quicky version:  massage only arms and legs and your lower back.  It is ideal to indulge in a full body massage, at least once a week; but if it is just not happening, it is then best to at least get a quick massage on your limbs and lower back.

Precautions:  Oil is slippery.  Take extra precaution in your shower to avoid slipping.  Oils can be combustible on towels, clothing, etc. with oil residue.  After washing, do not over-dry or over-heat them in your dryer.

Here are some of the SVA best-selling massage oils. We have many more online, at, where you can choose the oil that’s just right for you, with or without turmeric, with or without

Mens oil 16oz

Magnesium, Vit D, and so many other options.

Men’s Rasayana Oil  
A daily massage oil especially formulated for the biological and psychological needs of men.  Men will find that this oil nurtures and maintains not only the intelligence of their skin, but their entire masculine physiology and stamina, with immediate and long-term benefits.  Men’s Rasayana Oil is Tridoshic; but mainly pacifies vata through santarpana – nourishing – effect, and through shamana – pacifying – effect.


Ingredient-wise benefits:

Ashwagandha: Famous adaptogenic herb that helps us adapt easily to stress mentally and physically.  Nourishes and enhances the function of the nerves;

Mucuna: A tonic legume which gives physical, mental and spiritual energy. Transdermally, mucuna increases dopamine, a bliss enhancing nero-transmitter;

Lata Kasturi (musk substitute):  Provides aromatic energy to increase bliss;

Amla: alkalizes and nourishes the skin transdermally;

Musli: is a great Vajikarana ingredient – it promotes masculine stamina. Musli supplies transdermal nourishment for the male physiology;

Shatavari: Lubricates and nourishes the skin.  Shatavari combined with musli supports the male phsyiology;

Guduchi: A maharasayana that nurtures the skin and has cumulative beneficial effect over long term;

DGL:  Cools, alkalizes, and nurtures the skin;

Shankapushpi: Transdermal support for balancing the mind and its three functions (dhi, dhriti, and smriti). Shankapushpi with ashwagandha provide mental stamina and nurture the physical brain

Womens oil 16 ozorgan.

Women’s Rasayana Oil

A combination of aromatic herbs, this formula was designed for the unique biological needs of women’s physiology.  It is overall tridoshic, but it specifically balances vata through a total approach of santarpana, or nourishing, effect, as well as through its shamana, pacifying, effect.


Ingredient-wise benefits:

Dashmoola is an ancient formula that is particulalry nurturing to women’s physiology and the skin. “Dash” means ten and “moola” means root. The combination of these 10 roots affects the health and balance of all seven tissues in a woman’s body. It also regenerates and detoxifies all these 7 tissues.

Jatamansi:  has a calming effect on the mind and body

Shatavari: supports the body’s ability to enhance estrogenic activity

Jasmine: enhances the repair of wear and tear of the skin and maintains the integrity of the skin layers through sandhaniya, unifying, effect.   Jasmine also gives a feeling of bliss through its aromatic properties.

Ylang-ylang:  Balancing and bliss enhancing aroma

Lime: Alkalizing, and a natural preservative

Sesame: Ayurveda’s favorite oil – prized for its balancing and nourishing properties.  Warm and unctuous, it is a rasayana for all layers of the skin.

Vata Massage Oil:

Did you know that Vata is called the “king of the doshas”? Because if Vata stays in check, other doshas remain balanced. If Vata goes off, Pitta and Kapha are fast to follow too.  Vata is the principal that governs the 

Vata oil 4 ozintelligence of proper timing and quantity of movement and circulation within the body. This intelligence can become compromised as aggravation accumulates over time. So if you want to manage your overall health, keep your vata dosha in balance! Vata gets easily imbalanced because it is governed by the air and space elements. Anything that disrupts those elements, increasing or decreasing them, will imbalance vata.Our modern lifestyles are, by definition, vata imbalancing! We are always rushing, from the crack of dawn, late into the wee hours, getting things done, and still falling behind schedule, running on adrenaline or mental stress. To compensate for the hectic rhythm, we eat clogging heavy foods to get the sense of grounding that always eludes us, further blocking vata dosha and impeding circulation of energy and nutrients. So that we aggravate vata dosha and then supress its flow further. Once Vata goes off, Pitta and Kapha are not too far behind! Did you know that there are overall 80 listed Vata diseases, as opposed to 40 for PItta, and 20 for Kapha?  Abhyanga is the well-kept secret for Vata pacification, because the skin is a crucual site of vata dosha. A daily warm oil massage goes a long way to keep vata balanced overall and to nourish those areas of the physiology disturbed by vata, not allowing imbalances to go into deeper tissues and systems.

What else can you do to pacify vata?

1) Address and eliminate the etiological causes (hetu) which have aggravated vata:  this could be one or more of the following – stress; EMF; physical fatigue; dehydration; malnutrition; over- use of the senses; eating too dry or drying food; poor daily routine; etc.

2) Vata can also become aggravated if you are deficient in specific nutrients needed by the body. This can be alleviated by supplementing the deficiency.

3) As the body ages, and particularly crosses 50, we move into the vata time of life according to Ayurveda. In this sense, we will be more predisposed to high vata or vata aggravation, depending on our body types. In this case, we have to make a little more effort to further pacify vata, and keep it in check on a daily basis.

Daily mini-abhyanga with warm oil, Vata oil, is ideal. I have put together a SVA Vata Oil for massage, with herbs specifically chosen for their prabhava – ultimate post-digestive and post-metabolic action. The herbal synergy in this massage oil is formulated to address and keep in check vata imbalance and aggravation, as these herbs have the special ability to restore the intelligence to the physiology in addition to pacifying the accumulation of vata.

Ingredient-wise benefits:

Brahmi: a highly prized ayurvedic herb that stimulates the medhagni – the transforming metabolic power of the brain. Brahmi optimizes cerebral activity, supports efficient information processing by the brain centers of acquistion and recall.  Brahmi in this herbal synergy formula is key for vata imbalances, especially when vata has been aggravated by undue stress. An imbalance caused by external stress, can become source of stress itself – a vicious cycle is set into place, where stress breeds stress, keeping the mind and body in a constant state of panic;

Shankapushpi:  Transdermally supports the power of the mind (dhi, dhriti, and smriti) with long term use;

Ashwagandha:  a famous adaptogenic herb that empowers the nervouse system to maintain calm when faced with stress. Nourishes and enhances the function of the nerves;

Jatamansi:  a powerful herb that calms and grounds the mind;

Pushkarmool: dilates physical channels, improving circulationl; enhancing the coordination between physical and vibrational channels;

Lavender:  a calming flower and plant, for physical, mental, and emotional equanimity;

Grapefruit: a great anti-oxidant that helps balance and preserve the subtle qualities of this formulation;

Jasmine:  maintains the integrity of the skin layers through its “sandhaniya” (unifying) effect;  Jasmine also uplifts the emotions and calms the mind through its therapeutic aroma;

Organic sesame oil: warm sesame oil is one of the best carriers for pacifying vata, because its warm and unctuous qualities are soothing to the dry and cold condition that accompanies vata aggravation.


The sole purpose of this blog is to provide information about the alternative healing modalities of Shaka Vansiya Ayurveda (SVA) as practiced in Vaidya Mishra's ancestral family tradition. The information contained herein is not intended for use in the diagnosis, prevention or cure of any disease. If you have any serious, acute or chronic health concern, please consult a licensed health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. Otherwise, for more information, you may call Vaidya Mishra's Prana Center toll free in the USA at 1.888.3CHANDI (888.324.2634). or 1.818.709.1005 globally, or email us at: You may also visit:, or


  1. Pranitaa Pranav says

    Dear Vaiya Mishraji
    How can I make Vata Oil at home..I am suffering from chronic Insomnia for three years with no sleep at all..And what else would you suggest to aid me in this excruciating dilemma.. Please help and guide me. Thank you

  2. In Vaidya’s Oral Care Cafe, he discusses different oils for different constitutions in the context of oral care (about 45 minute mark). You may consider almond oil for Vata:

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