According to our expert Yogi Cameron, when we go to a masseuse who practices conventional Western massage therapy, we experience a kneading and manipulation of the muscles and connective tissue for the sake of releasing tension, fostering relaxation, and stress relief. In other words, we tie ourselves up in knots throughout the week, and then rely on the therapy to undo what has been done. In contrast, an Ayurvedic oil massage, known as abyangha, is a specific form of therapy intended to help strengthen and nourish the body’s various systems and to help the body function more optimally as a whole regardless of specific stresses or other stimuli. Abyangha is often prescribed for those who experience severe dryness in the body as might be the case for those with constipation, osteoarthritis, and other conditions indicative of too much of the air element. Essentially, Western massage is intended to reverse damage done to the body through a detrimental lifestyle, and abyangha is prescribed as a specific modality for strengthening the body’s overall functionality.