Snehabhyangadyatha Kumbhashcarma Snehavimardanat

Snehabhyangadyatha Kumbhashcarma Snehavimardanat |
 Bhavatyupango Dakshashca Dradah Kleshasaho Yatha ||
Thata Shariramabhyangadradam Sutvak Prajayate|
Prashantamarutabadham Kleshavyayamasangraham||
 Sparshane Cadhiko Vayuh Sparshananca Twamashritam |
 Twacyashca Paramobhyangastamattam Shilayennarah ||
Na Cabhighatabhihatam Gatramabhyangasevinah |
 Vikaram Bhajateetyartham Balakarmani Va Kwacita ||
Susparshopacitangashca Balavan Priyadarshanah |
Bhatyabhyanga Nityatvannaroolpojara Eva Ca

Meaning: As polishing with lubricants makes a pot, leather and cartwheel shining, smooth and strong, the body also becomes strong and possesses beautiful skin by massaging it (daily) with oil. The vat (gas and movements related) problems are also allayed and the resistance and stamina of the body increases. Massaging the body everyday with due care makes the skin smooth and the body-parts strong; the signs of aging become less visible and the body becomes charming. Oil-massage helps in increasing one’s life -span and the glow of the body. The importance of oil is in no way less than that of ghee (clarified butter) in strengthening one’s health . Ghratadashta Gunam Tailam Mardane Na Tubhakshane | Meaning: The power of oil is eight times more than that of ghee; the only difference is the latter is useful in eating while oil is beneficial in massaging. Method of Massaging: First apply oil in the navel. It should then be rubbed on the nails of hands and legs. Then the soles should be massaged followed successively by the feet, above the feet, knees, thighs and hips. Then the hands, arms, neck, waist, back, abdomen, stomach should be massaged in that order. The chest should be massaged in the end. The hands should move in upward direction in all parts of the body except the neck; massaging the neck from top to bottom is more useful. Care should be taken to massage the chest slightly away from the heart. Massaging should be done in the morning before bathing. It is most beneficial if done in an open space; it could be beneath the shade of a tree etc, in summer. In winter it should be in the sun; in case there is cold breeze, it is advised to do it inside a room. A drop of oil could be poured in the ears while massaging them gently; this is quite useful against the problems of vat. Massaging the soles sharpens the eyesight because of the soothing effects on some nerves. Massaging should be done slowly; it need not take much time. (Although greater is the benefit if it is done for half an hour or so in case of adults). Some time should be given between massaging and bathing to help proper absorption of oil (for best effects, one should lie down or sit in a relaxed position for fifteen minutes or so if possible); shaving the beard and cleaning the nails etc could be done during this time. Massaging should be done every day. However, if one does not have time, it could at least be done on Sundays or holidays. Care should be taken not to do massaging for at least three hours after meal or eating something. Massaging should not be done during illness. Kshaurkarma (shaving): Shaving is a necessary requirement of the daily routine for adult males in most normal cases. Hardly do we know its importance other than looking and feeling neat and clean. The Ayurvedic scriptures (e.g. the shlokas below) tell us that this daily chore is important for mental and physical health , too.