Why use any massage oils at all ? If the body is rubbed dry, the friction created generates heat and pain, which aggravates the element of vata (wind) and thus disturbs the gasses in the body.
Massage oils eliminate friction and disperse heat evenly through the body. Massage oils are a nutrient for the skin and strengthen the nerve fibers that are connected to the hair follicles. The small amount of massage oils remaining on the skin afterwards, and after the shower or bath that follows, provides resistance to environmental temperatures and pressures. Application of massage oils to the navel before going to sleep cures dryness of the whole body. When massage oils are applied at the junction of spine and skull, they calm the entire nervous system, strengthen memory and improve the eyesight.
Many types of massage oils are used in Ayurvedic massage. For general body massage, mixed formulas of massage oils are widely used in ayurvedic massage, of which some examples :
Massage oils for women and children : To 4 cups of sesame oil, add 2 tablespoons each of almond oil, wheat germ oil and jasmine oil.
Massage oils for men : To 4 cups of sesame oil, add 2 tablespoons of mustard oil, heated with ½ a teaspoon of asafoetida. Filter the mustard oil, then add 3 tablespoons of turmeric (kurkuma) powder and cook until the turmeric turns dark brown. Then add to the sesame oil.
The following massage oils are primarily used to stabilise an aggravated or simply dominant dosha :
|Aggravated or dominant dosha
||Primary massage oils
||Mustard or Olive
Individual massage oils may have particular therapeutic use, such as Babuna (Chamomile) oil for relief of muscular pains or coriander oil that removes excess body heat. Some indian formulas for massage oils have becomes particularly popular, such as Bringaraj oil, Brahmi oil and Mahanarayana oil.