Infant Massage in India is a daily ritual for the baby and an ancient Ayurvedic custom still practiced to this day. The use of oils in Ayurvedic massages is of prime importance, and as such one also sees this custom applied in baby massages.
In Abhyanga, one typically applies oils in the massage, but there’s not just one specific massage oil used in India. It’s a large country, with a great variety of local cultures and specific regions, and oils are used depending on the Dosha-type of the baby, the baby’s needs, the weather and climate, and the local availability of certain oils, among other factors.
In our lifespan, we tend to grow most rapidly during our childhood years. The bones lengthen, muscles become sturdier, sense organs get stronger; the brain growing rapidly, and so does the immunity.
With so many activities going on during childhood, the body must have sufficient care & maintenance. This can happen in two ways –
1. Healthy and nutritious food that facilitates healthy metabolism
2. Care of the body through Oil massage.
The traditional practice of Abhyanga done to babies is very much on the principles of Ayurveda. Childbirth is a natural process involving considerable stress & strain both on mother & child. Such activities increase Vata dosha in the body. According to Ayurveda, Abhyanga (oil massage) is considered best for controlling aggravated Vata dosha. Traditionally we find babies being given an oil bath and then covered well with warm clothing so that they feel well. Having a balanced Vata Dosha is essential for the proper growth and development of babies.
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