No Time For Massage? Here Is The Solution

If you have been to an Ayurveda clinic, many a times the Ayurvedic doctor would have encouraged you to undergo massage therapy. While taking a massage in an Ayurvedic spa is quite a relaxing and enjoyable experience, many of us might not have time and money to spend on it. Self massage is also an economic and effective option, but still, many might not have 15 – 30 minutes of time for that on a daily basis. Here is a solution for this problem.

Daily massage Benefits: 
Massage with Ayurvedic oils have lot of preventive and curative health benefits. If you do it regularly, it will keep you away from arthritis, spondylosis and such other degenerative disorders of joint tissue.

It strengthens the bones, relieves minor aches and pains quickly and keeps muscles well-toned. In a previous article, I have covered in detail about how massage works.

I also have covered about the precautions and benefits of massage during pregnancy.

It is a clinically proven fact that massage helps to relieve back pain.

Oil massage options for you – 

  •  The massage that we have been discussing so far, refers to oil massage. The first and best option is to visit a spa or Ayurvedic centre for massage, at least once in a week or 15 days.
  • It is a good option to go for weekend massage packages that many centres offer.
  • If that is not an option for you, next best thing is to ask someone in the house to give you a massage, at least once a week. You may also want to return the favour.
  • If that is also not possible, go for self massage, at least once a week.

If that too is impossible, then do go for SSDM technique. 

Short Self Daily Massage technique (SSDM):
Check with your Ayurvedic doctor for a suitable oil for you to massage your body, daily.
Take one big spoon of the oil into a small bowl.
Daily, 10 minutes before bath, apply a very thin layer of the oil to your whole body. If that is not an option, at least apply oil to your joints.
Make sure not to miss the weight bearing joints. If not full body, you should consider applying the oil to following places:

Forehead – to relieve occasional headaches, that you might be getting, and to keep your mind calm, through out the day. Make sure to check with your doctor, if the oil irritates the eyes. If so, take extra precaution.

Avoid eyes – It is best to avoid eyes because you may start feeling over-relaxed and sleepy.

Front and back of the neck – Neck bears the 7+ kg of weight of head. In case you have excess head weight, neck has to work extra hard. It is prone to stiffness, twitches, sprains, pains and cervical spondylosis, so do not miss your neck.

Shoulders – You will be moving them through out the day, while swimming, bowling, dancing etc,  so they need some lubrication.

Elbows – In a normal day, you might be lifting buckets full of paint, suitcase stuffed with a lot of money, your child’s school bag etc. So your elbows need some oiling.

Wrists – You might be playing badminton, or spanking your little kid, sharing grains with pigeons in your backyard, playing rapid fire chess games, your wrists are at work all the time. Give them a gentle massage.

Hip and lower back – bears the weight of your upper body, so definitely need some extra strength. Apply it there.

Knee joints – Again another weight bearing joint. Increasing its strength by applying oil, helps to improve your jogging speed, so, double benefit.

Calf muscle  – Nothing special here. But just because you have already bent down to apply oil to knee, show a little mercy on the calves also to have more strength and to lessen the pain.

Ankles – A must, if you have the wrong habit of using high heeled slippers and shoes.

So, apply a thin layer of the oil to these joints, do a gentle massage for 10 seconds each for each joint, leave it on for 2 – 10 minutes, then have bath, preferably lukewarm water bath.

Because, you have applied only a very thin layer of oil, just a regular bath will be enough to get rid of the oil from your body.

If you are comfortable, you may apply the oil, just before doing a workout. This way, the massage benefits will be enhanced. But it should not make your hands and legs slippery, making you prone to injuries and fall.

If you are lazy to consult a doctor, Maha Narayana Taila can be used as a general massage oil for any healthy adult. But it is best to get the opinion of your Ayurvedic doctor for the right choice of oil. So, try SSDM and share your experience with me. I will be keen to hear.

Related article: When not to go for massage

24 thoughts on “No Time For Massage? Here Is The Solution”

  1. Can we use gingelly oil for massage. I have heard that it should be boiled, cooled and then used for massage. Please let me know if that is correct and if so, should we add anything to it while boiling.

    • You can use gingelly oil (sesame oil) for massage. Only if it is kept in open air for a very long period of time, it needs to be heated. If you are bringing fresh gingelly oil from the market, no need to boil it.

  2. SSDM seems to be a good option for daily massage. Thank you, Doctor, once again for all your ”healthy” inputs.

    • I browsed some companies and found that they usually don’t add kasturi. But if it contains kasturi i think it is unethical to use it since it is a normal body massage and not for treating any specific disease per se. Also to keep in mind that kasturimriga(musk deer) is an endangered species,hence musk must only be used for serious cases, not for things like perfume, or normal body massage oil.

      regarding leather for belts it can be substituted, but for shoes especially upper part, i think there is no proper substitute, hence it can be used, i guess. But using non veg ingredient(need not be kasturi, but can be even normal meat of domestic animals) for normal body massage(when there is no specific or serious ailment) is unethical in my opinion, and not required.

      • For our very sustenance as a human being, we owe a great deal to Mother Nature, much more than we can probably repay in a lifetime.

        While it is certainly good to be conscientious about not using animal products, another complementary addition to such effort is to always pray for the peace and happiness of all living and non living beings everywhere while we continue to live in this world and use products. Assuming the person believes in the power of prayer, such prayer can have much greater impact, in a sense, than spending time in researching each and every ingredient of every product we consume and living focused on the narrow domain of not using animal products. We would be hard pressed to make sure that not a single animal was hurt in the production of all the things we use, at all times, and so on…

        For example, this is one of the reasons, prayers are chanted before meals, or even before preparing food — to ask for forgiveness (from the Lord or from Nature) for having to cut plants (which are traditionally considered to have life) to satisfy our bellies.

        Also, I’m not sure it is fair to assume that ‘normal body massage’ is not so important as ‘treating a disease per se’. After all, prevention is better than cure, particularly in Ayurveda, and normal daily body massage may go a long way in preventing lots of specific diseases, both physical and mental.

        Again, I’m not criticizing, but just trying to widen the perspective of the noble intentions expressed here…

        Thank you,

  3. Thank you for this article, Dr. Hebbar. I feel that the success of a doctor depends on how effectively he/she is able to help his/her clients/patients incorporate healthy habits into their lives (despite their challenges). Your efforts in this area are much appreciated, always!

  4. For the SSDM technique, how much oil to use for a vata person. Hard to imagine 1 spoon can do all those areas. Thanks

  5. Hi Dr. Hebbar,

    Does oil massage help with goosebumps?
    I have dry, flaky skin. Which oil do you recommend ? Coconut or Sesame?


  6. Dear Sir, Which oil is better? Maha narayana tailam or bala ashwagandhadi tailam for strong healthy bones and healthy nervous system. Thank you.

    • Good question!
      For strong healthy bone and nervous systems, between the two, I would pick Balaswagandhadi oil

  7. Thank you, Dr Hebbar for a very useful post. I use a combination of Narayan and kshirbala. Will mustard oil be ok? Your tips on method of message and SSDM are extremely useful Thanks

    • If the season is winter or if your place is generally very cold, then you can add equal part of mustard oil.


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