Ayurvedic massages: benefits and how they are performed

Ayurvedic massages are used to reduce pain, stimulate circulation and promote relaxation. Today we tell you more about its benefits.

Last update: February 26, 2022

Ayurvedic massages are also known as abhyanga. They are a practice of complementary medicine that combines the principles of Ayurveda with the application of acupressure. Its main objective is the rebalancing of the body, mind and spirit as a way to heal the body and promote well-being.

Unlike a regular massage, these take advantage of the properties of some medicinal oils that complement the effects of the applied technique. In addition, the masseur adapts the session according to the dosha of the person. Are you interested in knowing more about it? Below we detail its main benefits and how to apply them.

Principles of Ayurvedic medicine

Before addressing the benefits of Ayurvedic massages, it is pertinent to briefly review the principles of Ayurvedic medicine. According to a post on Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, this is one of the most accepted traditional systems of medicine throughout the world.

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

  • wow (air).
  • Pull (Water).
  • Aakash (space or ether).
  • Prithvi (land).
  • Roof tile (fire).

In turn, these elements make up the 3 basic humors of the human body, also called tridoshas (vata dosha pitta dosha and kapha dosha). In this way, when there is an imbalance in the 3 doshaailments and diseases begin to manifest.

Because of this, the main focus of Ayurveda is to generate a state of balance in the whole being, that is, in the mind, body and spirit. It is believed that with this the body heals itself. So how can Ayurvedic massage help? Let’s see.

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

Benefits of Ayurvedic massages

Ayurvedic massages or abhyanga They have been used for hundreds of years as a way to achieve well-being. To be more precise, consist of the application of oils with massages in specific directionswhose purpose is to reduce ailments and promote the relief of diseases.

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 effects of rebalancing.

According to a review article published in Journal of Traditional Medicine & Clinical Naturopathythe main benefits attributed to this practice are the following:

  • Stimulation of blood circulation.
  • Elimination of toxins.
  • Relief of the sensation of physical and mental fatigue.
  • Optimization of the functions of the immune system.
  • Stimulation of the proper functioning of the musculoskeletal system.
  • Decreased feeling of stiffness and heaviness in the body.
  • Body weight reduction.
  • Reinforcement 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 would have positive effects in the treatment of some diseases. In such cases, an oil with pharmacological potential for the specific ailment is chosen.

However, it should be clarified that it is not a treatment of first choice and must be applied by an expert.

Contraindications of Ayurvedic massages

Ayurvedic massage application considered safe for most people. However, there are certain conditions in which it is better to refrain from using this therapeutic option.

The reason? It can worsen symptoms or interfere with their respective treatments. The most important contraindications are the following:

  • Fever episodes.
  • Menstrual period.
  • Infectious diseases.
  • indigestion problems
  • venous thrombosis
  • Treatments with antidepressants, psychoactive drugs or medications for cardiovascular diseases.

Now, at this point it should be mentioned that it is essential to receive the massage by an expert. The movements must be done correctly to achieve the desired effect. Also, misapplication can lead to ailments and injuries.

Of course, it is also important to discuss with the doctor the intention to use this type of natural therapy. The professional can help determine if it is safe or not, according to individual characteristics.

Types of Ayurvedic massages

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

  • Abhyanga – Classic Ayurvedic massage with 4 hands: 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 choice for people with stress, emotional distress, fear, mental fatigue and insomnia. It is a deep head massage in which the oil is dropped on the forehead.
  • vizrama – Ayurvedic massage with 4 hands and energy points on the body: combat stress, chronic fatigue and the supposed accumulation of toxins. It is usually applied with sesame, coconut or almond oil. It was about different pressure points of the body.
  • udvartana – Dry herb therapy: It helps stimulate circulation and promote the elimination of fluid retention. The therapist prepares a mixture of dried plants to apply with gentle movements throughout 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, while relaxing and relieving stress.

Of course, these are just a few examples of the wide range of Ayurvedic massages. In specialized sites, other alternatives are offered to reduce pain, calm illnesses or improve the functions of the metabolism.

The oils are chosen according to the ailment of the person. That is why it is required that a specialist performs the massages.

How are these massages performed?

Regardless of the technique chosen, Ayurvedic massages have a process that is applied at a general level. First of all, the therapist determines the person’s skin type and makes a brief questioning to find out more about their state of health.

In this sense, you can evaluate the dosha predominantly with questions about digestion, sleep, the presence of illnesses, the state of mental health, and so on. 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 achieve the effects of the massage. Therefore, a soft light, a warm temperature and relaxing music are used. The idea is that the patient can “disconnect” and concentrate on the sensations.

The application of the massage must be done in anuloma. This means that the masseur moves his hands in the direction of hair growth. Doing it the other way is thought to cause inconvenience. Likewise, the patient can be asked to acquire different postures, according to his ailment.

This whole process can take between an hour and an hour and a half. The session may even be a little longer, depending on the talk you have with the expert.

What to remember about Ayurvedic massages?

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

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

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