Ayurvedic massage is an ancient bodywork tradition that is utilised to release tension and effect healing. Its origins are in India, where heated medicated herbal oils are applied to the full body by the hands or feet. This has the effect of revitalising the body and mind by stimulating all the nerve endings in the skin, while helping to eliminate toxins from the body. Massage can be utilised for a range of conditions and ailments, including anxiety, stress, insomnia, back pain, fatigue, skin conditions and sports injuries; amongst others.
The Ayurvedic tradition, which translates as life knowledge, believes that every person contains some of the universe's five basic elements - air, earth, ether (space), fire and water – with every person comprised of 3 basic metabolic types or doshas. Any ailment, illness or disease is seen as an imbalance in one of the doshas. All Ayurvedic treatments are holistic and based around which dosha you are - which is determined after a consultation which details your physical and psychological profile, as well as your preferences and attributes. Treatment may involve elements of herbal medicine, yoga, meditation, diet as well as massage.
Ayurvedic massage has many advantages for individuals, including:
An Ayurvedic massage involves the application of oil to the body. The client assumes a comfortable position, typically lying down on a massage table or the floor. Oil is applied liberally to the body and left to soak in before the massage commences. The massage often commences with the head and scalp, including manipulation of the third eye and hypothalamus at the base of the skull. The massage technique is rhythmic and concentrates on other vital points and energy centres, which balance the body and facilitate energy flow. The oils are derived from a diverse array of plant extracts, with each formulated to treat a specific deficiency. The oils are characterised by having extremely small molecules, which enable them to enter the deep tissues of the body and expel toxins.
A massage therapist should be an accredited professional who has qualifications and been trained in the appropriate massage techniques. Ensure yours is registered with a national association and is in possession of the necessary insurance.