How to apply oil to the hands and legs

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Vaidya Meghraj Madhav Paradkar

1. As per Ayurveda

The basic Sanskrut Holy texts do not mention the exact application of oil, from shoulders or thighs to fingers or in the reverse direction, on the contrary they say ‘अनुसुखं मर्दयेत्’ meaning do whatever the patient feels better with.


2.The generally used technique

Generally society uses both methods for application of oil to the body from above downwards and from below upwards, as both are equally good for blood circulation. Going from below upwards pushes blood from the veins into the heart. Application of oil from above downwards increases the blood flow in arteries and further from the veins into the heart.


3. Analysis of application of oil using both techniques as per anatomy

3A. Application of oil from below upwards

1. In this technique oil is applied against the hair growth. Sometimes when application is done with less oil there is friction which can cause injury to the hair follicle leading to its infection and appearance of a boil. If more oil is applied then there is no friction so the probability of infection is less.

2. In case of varicose veins (a disease in which there is swelling of veins and stagnation of blood in them) gently apply oil from below upwards. This helps in pushing blood stagnant in the veins into the circulation. Ensure that pressure is not applied on the veins when applying oil.

3. In hands and legs muscle fibres move from above downwards. By massaging with oil in the reverse direction stretches the muscle fibres and improves their tone.

4. According to one school of thought by applying oil in this direction it gets absorbed in the body to a greater extent, through the hair follicles.

3B. Application of oil massage from above downwards

1. Here as oil is massaged in the direction of hair there is no pressure on the hair root.

2. If there are varicose veins then this is prohibited because it may increase the pressure on the veins leading to their rupture.

3. The hair follicles on the skin have nerve endings. By applying oil from above downwards cells receive impulses from the nerve endings to relax. Consequently muscle fibres relax for some time giving the experience of relaxation.’

-Vaidya Meghraj Madhav Paradkar, Sanatan ashram, Ramnathi, Goa (10.7.2017)


As per Ayurveda application of oil from
above downwards and massage from below upwards is correct


– Vaidya H.H. Vinay Bhave

‘Irrespective of the constitution, whether vata (wind), pitta (bile) or kapha (phlegm), as per Ayurveda, massaging should be done in only one direction. Oil should always be applied from above downwards and massaging should be done from below upwards, that is towards the heart. This process pushes the blood from the veins towards the heart and helps in proper circulation of blood.’

-Vaidya H.H. Vinay Bhave


Appeal to expert vaidyas

If any expert vaidya has more information on oil massage in a particular manner then please let us know the technique with its benefits and the underlying science as this will facilitate the process of spreading the science of Ayurveda.

Contact : Vaidya Meghraj Madhav Paradkar at 24/B, Sanatan ashram, Ramnathi, Bandoda, Ponda, Goa 403401

email : [email protected]

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