Ayurvedic massages: benefits and methods of execution

Ayurvedic massages are also known as abhyanga. I am a complementary medicine practice who combines the principles of Ayurveda with the application of acupressure. Its primary focus is on rebalancing the body, mind, and spirit as a way to heal the body and promote well-being.

Unlike a normal massage, these exploit the properties of some medicinal oils which complete the effects of the applied technique. Furthermore, the masseur adapts the session according to the doshas of the person. Are you interested in learning more? Below we detail its main benefits and how to apply them.

Principles of Ayurvedic medicine

Before addressing the benefits of Ayurvedic massages, it is appropriate to briefly review the principles of Ayurvedic medicine. according to publication in Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, this is one of the most accepted systems of traditional medicine worldwide.

Its basic principles suggest that the universe is made up of the following 5 elements:

  • Vayu (air).
  • Shot (waterfall).
  • aakash (space or ether).
  • Prithvi (Earth).
  • Tile (fire).

In turn, these elements make up the 3 basic humors of the human body, also called tridosha (vata dosha, pitta dosha AND kaphadosha). As, when there is an imbalance in the 3 doshasailments and diseases begin to manifest themselves.

For this reason, the main objective of Ayurveda is to generate a state of balance in the whole being, i.e. in the mind, body and spirit. It is believed that with this the body heals itself. So how can Ayurvedic massages help? We see.

Ayurvedic medicinal herbs.
Ayurvedic medicine uses compounds derived from plants to carry out its treatments.

Benefits of Ayurvedic massages

Ayurveda massages or abhyanga They have been used for hundreds of years as a means of achieving well-being. To be more precise, they consist of applying oils with massages in specific directionswhose purpose is to reduce ailments and promote relief from disease.

In fact, it is not necessary to suffer from any health problem to enjoy its benefits. In general, this skin and muscle manipulation process can be applied to anyone who wishes to enjoy the rebalancing effects.

According to a article review published in Journal of traditional medicine and clinical naturopathythe main benefits attributed to this practice are the following:

  • Stimulation of blood circulation.
  • Elimination of toxins.
  • Relief from the feeling of physical and mental tiredness.
  • Optimization of the functions of the immune system.
  • Stimulation of the correct functioning of the musculoskeletal system.
  • Decreased feeling of stiffness and heaviness of the body.
  • Body weight reduction.
  • Strengthening of spiritual development.
  • Relaxation of the nervous system and reduction of stress and anxiety.

In addition to the above, it is believed that the application of this type of massage it would have positive effects in the treatment of some diseases. In these cases, choose a oil with pharmacological potential for the specific disorder.

Contraindications of Ayurvedic massages

Ayurvedic massage application considered safe for most people. However, there are some conditions where it is best to refrain from using this treatment option.

The reason? It can make symptoms worse or interfere with respective treatments. The most important contraindications are as follows:

  • episodes of fever.
  • Period.
  • Infectious diseases.
  • Indigestion problems.
  • Venous thrombosis.
  • Treatments with antidepressants, psychopharmaceuticals or drugs for cardiovascular diseases.

Now, at this point it’s worth mentioning It is essential to receive the massage from an expert. The movements must be done correctly to achieve the desired effect. Also, bad application can lead to ailments and injuries.

Of course, it is also important to discuss your plans to use this type of natural therapy with your doctor. The practitioner can help determine whether or not it is safe, based on your individual characteristics.

Types of Ayurvedic massages

The Ayurvedic massage specialist can choose different techniques, depending on the doshas dominants and imbalances of each patient. The most used methods are the following:

  • Abhyanga – Classic 4 hands Ayurvedic massage: It is considered a natural drainage to promote the elimination of toxins. Warm oils such as coconut, sunflower, almond or camphor can be used.
  • Shirodhara – Oil therapy on the head: It is the ideal option for people with stress, emotional distress, fear, mental fatigue and insomnia. It is a deep head massage where oil is dropped onto the forehead.
  • Vizrama – Ayurvedic massage with 4 hands and energy points on the body: combat stress, chronic fatigue and the alleged accumulation of toxins. It is usually applied with sesame, coconut or almond oil. These were different pressure points on the body.
  • udvartana – Therapy with dried herbs: It helps stimulate circulation and promote the elimination of water retention. The therapist prepares a mixture of dried plants to be applied with gentle movements all over the body.
  • Ayurvedic Facial – Relaxing and nourishing Ayurvedic massage for the face: in this case masks with Ayurvedic herbs or oils are applied to relax the muscles of the face and neck. It is believed to contribute to rejuvenation, relaxation and stress relief.

Of course, these are just a few examples from the extensive catalog of Ayurvedic massages. In specialized sites other alternatives are offered to reduce pain, alleviate diseases or improve metabolic functions.

Ayurvedic massage with oil.
The oils are chosen according to the person’s ailment. That is why a specialist is needed to perform massages.

How are these massages performed?

Regardless of the technique chosen, Ayurvedic massages have a process that is applied on a general level. First, the therapist determines the person’s skin type and conducts a short interview to find out more about their health.

In this sense, you can evaluate the doshas predominant with questions about digestion, sleep, the presence of diseases, mental health status, etc. Once this is established, determine the type of technique and the most suitable oils or herbs for the case.

The environment is also considered important to obtain the effects of the massage. Therefore, soft light, warm temperature and relaxing music are used. The idea is that the patient can “disconnect” and focus on the sensations.

The application of the massage should be done in annuloma. This means that the masseur moves his hands in the direction of hair growth. It is thought that doing it the other way around can cause inconvenience. Similarly, the patient may be asked to assume different positions, depending on his illness.

The whole process can take anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half. The session can also be a little longer, depending on the interview you have with the expert.

What to remember about Ayurvedic massages?

In Ayurvedic medicine, massages with oils and herbs are a way to promote healing of the body and the balance of the body doshas. However, for this to happen, this must be applied by a professional. It is important to know the body’s energy points and the properties of the ingredients used.

In any case, it must be understood that it is a complementary therapy which does not replace the treatments prescribed by the doctor. Even in case of illness, it is better to consult before opting for its application.

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