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What are the benefits of a daily oil massage?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Daily Oil Massage (Abhyanga)
We tend to think of only getting massages from a therapist on special occasions. But you can treat yourself as often as you want to a warm oil massage in your own bathroom. This daily oil massage has several benefits including reducing stress, keeping skin youthful, and improving immunity. You and your partner can also do this massage on each other on the weekends to create an easy, affordable, and health-promoting romantic experience.

For the majority of people, the best oil to use is organic, cured sesame oil. But if you produce a lot of body heat, tend to get rashes easily, or are susceptible to inflammatory conditions, then organic coconut oil may be a better choice.

To purify the oil, “cure it” by warming it over low heat to about 212°F (100°C), the boiling point of water. Add just 1 or 2 drops of water to the oil in the beginning. You will know when the proper temperature has been reached when the drops of water sputter and pop. You can cure about 1 quart or liter of oil at one time. This will provide enough oil for at least 15 applications. To save time during your daily massage, transfer a 3-4 day supply of oil into a small plastic flip-top bottle (available at most drug stores). Heat the bottle in the bathroom by placing it into a cup of hot water from the sink. Let it sit for 1-2 minutes to warm up while you brush your teeth, etc.

Massage the head and neck first, then apply the oil to all parts of the body before you begin the rest of the massage. This will allow the oil to be on the body for the maximum amount of time before taking your bath or shower.

The head and scalp are the most important areas to massage, so spend the most time there. Use long, back and forth strokes on the long bones in your arms and legs; use circular motions over your joints, heart and stomach. Finally, massage the bottoms of your feet. The feet are also considered important, so proportionally spend more time on them.

The complete oil massage usually takes 10-20 minutes, but you can spend as little as 5 minutes a day doing abhyanga and still enjoy tremendous health benefits.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.