What is Padabhyanga?
Padabhyanga means foot massage with medicated oils. It is an Ayurvedic therapy which can be done as an integral part of the Abhyanga. It is important because most of the nerves of our body end up in the palms and the feet. Padabhyanga mainly helps in maintaining the health of the feet and has many benefits. It is more effective when it is done at night before going to bed. Padabhyanga can be done daily. As in Abhyanga, the medicated ghee/oil, the direction and pressure of the strokes depend on the prakriti of the individual.
Padabhyanga – Procedure
Ghee or oil used in the procedure is after examining the patient and after recommendation by the doctor. Medicated oil/ghee is warmed using a water bath. This is then applied to the feet covering the lower leg joints, soles, heel and the toes. The strokes usually are downwards from the ankles towards the toes and circular movements around the joints. Supporting the heel with one of the hands, the spaces between the toes are massaged. Each of the toes is squeezed and massaged from root to tip. End the massage with the soles. Moderate pressure is applied while ending the massage. Single therapist working on both the legs is considered best to maintain synchronicity.
Some of the oils used in this procedure is sesame oil, castor oil, coconut oil and sunflower oil. Medicated oils are prepared using processes by adding certain proportion of herbs into it. Even essential oils are sometimes used post therapy.
Benefits of Padabhyanga
Padabhyanga effectively reduces roughness, stiffness, dryness, tiredness, numbness and tingling of the foot and leg. It prevents and cures cracks on the heel and under the feet. It also increases attractiveness, tenderness, strength and stability in the feet, strengthens the joints and soft tissues in the feet. Padabhyanga helps in maintain eye health and good vision.