Relaxation and Health: The Complete Guide to Oil Massage Benefits and Varieties

A properly executed massage is an extremely relaxing experience and helps relieve stress, muscle soreness and body pain. Individuals of all ages can experience oil massage benefits. While in children, it is done to promote bone health and healthy growth, in older adults, it acts as a form of pain relief and relaxation. It is known as Abhayangam in Ayurveda and has a wide range of health advantages. It is important to know these different benefits and the oil to use for each purpose to experience optimal results. 

Different types of oils and their benefits

In Indian Ayurveda, the usage of aromatic oils for body massage dates back over five thousand years. It has been long considered a tradition of healing and spiritual rehabilitation. Be it the stress of work or a strenuous workout, a body massage can help soothe the knots and tissues in the body. To experience the full benefits of a body massage, it is important to use a high-quality body oil that is rich in nutrients, which promotes the overall healing process. 

Type of Oil



MCT oil

Medium-chain triglycerides that are present in coconut and palm oil. Made through fractionation.

High in antioxidants and has anti-bacterial properties to prevent skin issues like eczema.

It acts as a lightweight moisturiser.

Excellent carrier for relevant essential oils and can be incorporated into skincare and hair care products.

Olive oil

Pressing whole olives

Provides skin moisturisation.

Enhance blood circulation and eliminate lactic acid.

Helps reduce inflammation.

Reduces stressed muscles and sports injuries.

Almond oil

Almond nuts

Great for massaging babies for better blood flow.

Has an anti-inflammatory nature that helps prevent itchiness, rashes, psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema.

Helps relieve muscle pain.

Coconut oil

From the white fleshy part of the coconut

High amount of Vitamin E helps prevent signs of ageing like wrinkles, fine lines and dryness.

Improves blood flow.

Provides protection from infections.

Apricot kernel oil

Bitter kernel of apricots

Prevents skin diseases and helps prevent eczema, psoriasis and acne.

Relieves pain in muscles and joints if applied directly.

Wheat germ oil

Wheat germ, through milling

Rich in Vitamins E, A and D and helps in skin rejuvenation.

Combats ageing symptoms and dryness.

Promotes muscle and lymph abilities.

Jojoba oil

Fruit capsules of S. chinensis plant

Anti-inflammatory properties help cure chapping and skin chafing.

Reduces dry skin and redness.

Soothes severe effects of rosacea and eczema by making skin calm.

Kukui nut oil

Aleurites moluccana nuts

Heal the skin layer and promotes skin rejuvenation from within.

Provides optimal moisturisation.

Heals burns and chapped skin.

Pain relief oils

Made from different herbs

Aimed to relieve muscle and joint pain.

Soothes muscle inflammation.

Eases symptoms of osteoarthritis.

8 benefits of oil massage

Different types of oil have their respective benefits based on their properties. However, the standard oil massage benefits are also plenty. The following sections highlight the 8 overall
benefits of oil massage for individuals of all ages and genders. 

  • Enhances blood flow: A properly performed massage stimulates the skin's surface. This leads to heat generation, which then massages the nerves and the blood vessels present below the skin layer. All this together contributes to better blood flow. Healthy blood circulation, in turn, poses a range of benefits, including skin detoxification and better skin texture. In fact, it also supports the proper functioning of essential organs.
  • Better mood: A human body has thirty pressure points on the soles and palms, which are connected to all the different organs. There are also 7 reflex centres connected to the neck, kidneys, head, liver, reproductive organs, and pancreas glands. Massaging these thirty pressure points and seven reflex centres effectively helps release hormones, which promote a sense of calmness and relaxation. 
  • Relieves body pain: One of the major oil massage benefits is that it helps relieve body pain caused by sore or inflamed muscles. It also helps reduce joint pain. It is done through enhanced blood circulation and the secretion of hormones. 
  • Skincare: Regular body massage removes dead skin cells and dirt from pores and various parts of the body. This helps prevent infection and also helps get clear and plump skin. It also removes harmful toxins, which helps prevent acne and pimples. Proper oil massage promotes melatonin, which helps reduce the signs of stretch marks. 
  • Nerve health: Oil massage activates the nerves present under the skin layer and helps them work better. This leads to sharpened senses and better focus.
  • Stomach health: Proper massage of the lower abdomen and stomach region helps reduce accumulated gas and guarantees the secretion of vital gastric juices. This, in turn, helps the liver function properly. However, given the delicate nature of these organs, the massage should be done gently. 
  • Sinusitis: Practicing oil massage on the nose and face can reduce symptoms of sinusitis. This helps prevent colds.
  • Eye health: Massaging the eye area and the side of the head can help enhance eyesight and also relieve any discomfort caused by prolonged eye strain. 

How to choose the right oil

While oil massage has a wide range of benefits, choosing the right oil is equally important. The 4 main steps to undertake are as follows.

  • Oil purity: Always evaluate the purity of the oil. Pure oils have more nutrients and offer more benefits.
  • Texture: A massage oil is either lightweight or thicker. Lightweight oils like jojoba oils are great for relaxation, while thicker oils like coconut oil are good for deep nourishment.
  • Skin sensitivity: Always check for any allergies and skin conditions before applying a body oil. It is best to do a patch test.
  • Massage purpose: Be clear about the purpose of the massage and choose the oil accordingly. You can also add other essential oils for better effects.


There is a wide range of oil massage benefits. However, to receive the best result, it is essential to choose the right oil and practice caution while massaging. The human body is a complex network of nerves and muscles, and incorrect pressure in an area can have adverse effects. While light massage at home is safe, for deeper massages for health benefits, it is better to get professional help. 


1. Is it good to get a daily oil massage?

Yes. Regular oil massage can help improve muscle and nerve health, along with a range of skin benefits.

2. Which is the best oil for full-body massage?

The two best oils for a full-body massage are coconut oil and almond oil.

3. How long should an oil massage be done?

The standard duration, according to Ayurveda, for a full body massage is ten to fifteen minutes.

4. What is the ideal time for an oil massage?

The best time for a full body massage is after a workout. This helps in muscle relaxation and soothes soreness. 

5. When should an oil massage not be done?

Do not get an oil massage if you have a fever or a contagious disease. It is always best to consult a physician in case of any health issue.


Zandu Ayurvedic Team

Zandu Ayurvedic Team has a panel of over 10 BAMS (Ayurvedacharya), boasting a collective experience of over 50 years. With a deep-rooted understanding of Ayurveda, they are committed to sharing their expertise & knowledge through our blogs.
We use all kinds of Ayurvedic references in our content. Please use the contact form for any editorial queries.

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