Dosha Specific Oils
Abhyanga is a self-massage that is part of the daily ayurvedic routine. I have written about this before, and the many benefits: it helps to tone the muscles, to help the skin release toxins, and it soothes the nervous system. The oils used in abhyanga can also be used in other massage techniques. Vata types respond best to a gentler, slow massage. Pitta types prefer tapping and rolling, with medium pressure. And Kapha types appreciate the stimulation of a deep tissue massage mixed up with short, firms strokes. Some massage oils have been specifically created to be dosha-balancing with the additional benefits of herbs and aromatherapy. Nature’s Formulary has massage oils for Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. The Vata oil includes essential oils of ylang ylang, frankincense, and carrot seed to be especially calming. The Pitta oil has added the essential oils of camphor, rose otto, and peppermint to be particularly cooling. And the Kapha oil is wonderfully warming with the essential oils of nutmeg, cinnamon, and cumin. These oils can also be applied to the feet just before bed for a good night’s sleep. And the oil may be added to the bath to help soothe dry skin.