Massage with oils – the importance of external oleation.

The word for oil in Sanskrit, sneha, is also the word for love. So massage ritual is essentially spreading love and nourishment to all of the tissues in the body, as well as to the mind and senses.

“The body of one who uses oil massage regularly does not become affected much even if subjected to accidental injuries, or strenuous work. By using oil massage daily, a person is endowed with pleasant touch, trimmed body parts and becomes strong, charming and least affected by old age”

Charaka Samhita Vol. 1, V: 88-89
(One of the Great ancient texts of Ayurveda)

External oleation of the skin is becoming more important as our population ages.

The main reason to massage the body with the oil is to remove toxins from the deep tissues. It also works to purify, nourish, and tone the body on a deep cellular level.

How should we use this information to achieve our aims?

  1. Reduce the frequency of bathing, showering, and cleansing. The water should be kept at the coolest temperature practical, and one should get out as soon as possible. Sponge bathing should be encouraged.
  2. Apply an oil directly on skin that is still damp. 
  3. Self massage 30-60minutes before bath or shower.
  4. Keep room temperature low. Humidity should be kept as high as possible without causing damage.
  5. Limit the exposure to soaps, detergents, solvents, and water. Such products dry the skin and alter its pH balance. Overdrying should be avoided. In addition, friction from washcloths, rough clothing, and abrasives should be avoided.
  6. Use natural, pure, cold pressed, unrefined oils frequently. Use best quality oils that you can find.  Your skin is your biggest organ, and everything you put on it absorbs directly into your bloodstream.
    Dry skin – use carrier oils as often as possible 4-5 times a day.
    Oily skin – once a day.
  7. Use oils according to your skin type and needs. 
    Dry/Mature Skin Avocado, Jojoba, Kukui Nut, Olive, Rosehip Seed, Sweet Almond, Evening Primrose, Calendula, Camellia Seed, Olive, Sesame, Macademia, Argan, Tamanu


    Normal Skin Apricot Kernel, Peach Kernel, Jojoba, Sunflower, Sweet Almond, Sesame, Hazelnut, Pomegranate


    Oily/Acne Prone Skin Jojoba, Neem, Apricot Kernel, Coconut, Tamanu, Sesame, Hemp Seed, Black Cumin Seed, Rosehip Seed, Pumpkin Seed


  8. Avoid synthetic products. Synthetic moisturizing creams can be too dense on the molecular level to permeate the tissue adequately.

Benefits of applying oil to the body:

  • Improves softness, strength and color to the bodymassage with oil - external oleation
  • Helps in removal of waste products/toxins
  • Decreases the effects of aging
  • Improves sense organs
  • Nourishes the body
  • Increases longevity
  • Benefits sleep patterns
  • Benefits skin
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Imparts a firmness to the limbs
  • Imparts tone and vigor to the tissues of the body
  • Stimulates the internal organs of the body
  • Increases circulation
  • Pacifies dry, sensitive skin.

A full body oil massage, calms the mind, leaving you feeling grounded yet focused and alert, and balances emotions.

If you live in Wellington, NZ and are looking for massage: Aromatherapy and Ayurveda – contact me on (+64) 0210778203 or

When I was in India, studying Ayurveda, I also learnt how important it is to massage a baby from its early days.

What is baby massage?

Baby massage is gentle, rhythmic stroking of your baby’s body with your hands. Use pure, unrefines, cold-pressed oils only on your baby’s skin. As part of your massage routine, you can gently manipulate your baby’s ankles, wrists and fingers. You can talk softly, hum or sing to your baby while you are massaging.

Benefits of baby massage:

Massage may help your baby to:

  • develop mentally, socially and physically
  • stay relaxed
  • cry less
  • sleep better
  • improve weight gain
  • aid digestion
  • improve circulation
  • ease teething pain

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