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Types of Ayurvedic Treatment

Ayurveda Training / June 4, 2014

If you have ever thought of getting an Ayurvedic massage or treatment, you might have come across a number of different types of massages that the therapies are based on. This form of massages uses the age-old Indian system of balancing and strengthening the qi (a form of energy) within the body to restore health and beat stress. Ayurvedic treatments are essentially part of a holistic therapy that works along with allopathic treatments to yield results and the massage system uses a combination of pressure, vibration and different motions along with a combination herbal oils to bring about relief. After a treatment, there is an increase in the blood circulation in the body that reduces stress and pain from the injury or discomfort. Here are a few common massages and what you can expect.

This massage involves the pouring of warm oil from a Kindi (a special type of vessel) placed several inches above the body while a masseuse performs the massage. Since this massage works to balance out Vata Dosha, the medicated oil used depends on the patient’s condition. The heat from the oil causes perspiration which is required to balance Vata Dosha. This massage type is good for those suffering from stiffness in the body, fractures, paralysis, paraplegia, monoplegia, and hemiplegia.

This is a special type of massage meant to increase perspiration in the body. This is generally a style practiced in Kerala whereby after applying the medicated oil, pressurized massage is given with the help of small cotton ‘blouses’ filled with a special type of cooked rice called Njavara. During the massage, these blouses are dipped in cow’s milk and a special herbal paste and applied to produce sweat. This is not only great for the skin but is also a very de-stressing and revitalizing massage.

This is a type of head massage whereby stimulation of the nerves in the scalp is done by pouring medicated or herbal oil on the head in a constant stream or ‘dhara’. It relieves mental fatigue, increases focus and clarity and alleviates headaches.

Ubtaan and Elakijhi
These involve the use of various herbal or animal centric materials to create a skin and beauty solution. This type of treatment vitalizes the skin, improves the skin texture, nourishes the body, improves circulation as well as improves upon the external beauty.

It is a full body hot oil massage with medicated herbal oil in the dosha according to the medical condition of the patient. Care is taken to ensure that a comfortably warm temperature is maintained in the room. With the help of motion, pressure points and ways of applying pressure, different energy centers are stimulated to assist the body in releasing deep seated toxins as well as improve the blood circulation in the body. The joints, muscles and bones are also strengthened with this massage. In the olden days, this was done daily before bathing. The body would thus be ‘awakened’ and vitalized before the start of the day.

The Udvartana massage is aimed to increase blood circulation and release toxins from the body. It is a wonderful treatment for those who wish to control their cholesterol level, lose weight, improve their skin complexion or have an excess of Kapha Dosha. In this, herbal paste or dried herbal powders are applied opposite to the hairgrowth i.e. in an upward direction. This breaks down the Kapha and the adipose tissues in the body.

The Garshana massage involves no oil or herbal powders. It is a process of stimulating the body using raw silk gloves only and without the application of any lubricant. Light and vigorous movements form a part of this massage which seeks to eliminate toxins from the body by stimulating the lymphatic system. The vigorous massage also helps the fat cells in the body to break down. On the surface level, there is exfoliation of the dead cells and the skin is left looking clean and radiant. Since the body is invigorated after this dry massage, the application of oil and doing Abhyangam post this will give greater benefits. This is because the pores are opened and so the absorption of massage oils will be significantly higher.

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