What Is Ayurvedic Medicine?
The ancient Indian medical system, also known as Ayurveda, is based on ancient writings that rely on a “natural” and holistic approach to physical and mental health. Ayurvedic medicine is one of the world's oldest medical systems and remains one of India's traditional health care systems.
Are there any side effects?
No, there are no side effects. Initially, after the treatment, your body might experience a temperature rise and sudden fever. But this is a natural phenomenon as this is your body’s way of getting rid of the toxins. Few individuals can experience cold for few days as the herbs, and the oil use can cool your body. But these symptoms are very much temporary and should heal within a few days.
Ayurvedic Massage Contraindications
-In ‘ama’ conditions which includes an acute swelling
-Immediately after Ayurvedic detox therapies like Vamana (induced vomiting) and Virechana (induced purgation)
-In any acute illness (unless permitted by your doctor)
-Blood clots (like deep vein thrombosis) or bleeding disorders
-In extreme emotional states
Note: If there is pregnancy seek the advice of your doctor before receiving Abhyanga.
Ayurvedic massage is known as abhyanga. The word ‘abhyanga’ is composed of two Sanskrit words, abhi and anga. Abhi means ‘towards’ and anga, in one of its meanings, refers to ‘movement’.
Abhyanga is a synchronized massaging of the body towards the direction of the movement of arterial blood. In practical terms it means massaging the body in the direction of the body hair. The scientific reason for this protocol may be to increase the blood flow towards the most distal parts of the body and avoid overwhelming the heart through increased venous return if the massage is done towards the heart, or in other words, in the direction opposite to that of the body hair.
Abhyanga may be done using oil, herbal powder, herbal pastes or ghee. It is a part of the dinacharya or the daily routine suggested by Ayurveda. It is used for relief of pain, stiffness and tiredness. It also forms an important part of snehana or oleation which is an indispensable prelude to panchakarma treatments, the five Ayurvedic detoxification therapies.
Abhyanga not only prepares the body for panchakarma, but also helps to mobilize the dosha from the periphery toward the core in order to get them eliminated through the body orifices. The Vata dosha is particularly pacified by Abhyanga but even Pitta and Kapha can be pacified using different massage mediums like ghee and herbal powders respectively. Abhyanga is considered an important treatment modality for balancing the dosha.
Abhyanga and other types of massage are the same in that both involve the basic manipulation techniques that have been developed through experience by different schools and have been passed on from generation to generation. Interestingly, Ayurvedic texts do not give details of the procedures involved in abhyanga but mention ‘samvahan’ which means gentle rubbing, ‘peedan’ which means pressing and squeezing and ‘mardan’ which means pressure massage, which corresponds to modern day massage techniques. Different abhyanga techniques have been developed over centuries. Marma massage and Kerala foot massage which were traditionally used to heal injured warriors were carefully guarded secrets. Now they are being taught to other seekers as well.
NOTE: Abhyanga is a unique form of massage, originating in Ayurvedic medicine. Ayurvedic massage has tremendous benefits to the mind, body, skin and immune system. It involves copious amounts of oil and a unique two or one-therapist sequence that relaxes and softens the tissues. Delight your clients, friends or family with Ayurvedic massage, a balancing bodywork treatment for mind, body and emotions.