Blog 2 – Ayurvedic Massages and Treatments Part 1
Ayurvedic massages are therapeutic in nature, designed to help you eliminate toxins by drawing them out of the cells and moving them into the blood stream in order to be eliminated from the body. The cells allow the oil molecules to drag the bitter herbs inside them to clean up and nourish them.
The movement of Ayurvedic massages works in harmony with the flow of prana, enhancing the circulation of blood and lymph. While western massages push the blood and lymph toward the heart, increasingly burdening it to process the flow and pressure, the Ayurvedic massage follows the pathways of vital energy, the prana. So blood, lymph and toxins can move through the body and toward the organs of elimination. In this way, the body easily processes and detoxifies any impurities clogging up the pathways.
These massages are not rough or aggressive. Ayurvedic massages use smooth, rhythmic movements to love the body back to health with nourishing herbal oils and a loving touch. The pressure and touch will be adjusted according your mind/body type or dosha focusing on the issues of discomfort or dis-ease affecting the body.
One of my favorite massages is called Abhyanga. Abhyanga means “oil massage”. You can perform an abhyanga by yourself before bathing or in a massage treatment room with one or two therapists. Abhyanga is a part of Dinacharya or daily regimen. The oil is carefully selected for your dosha. The best overall oil for vata dosha is sesame (massage grade). For pitta dosha, sesame may be used or coconut oil to cool down the body and mind. An oil that is more pungent in nature is usually used for kapha dosha, like mustard oil. I like to use herbal oils infused with specific herbs to give a more efficacious result selected by dosha and remedy.
Self Abhyanga ♥
If you are interested in giving yourself an abhyanga as part of your daily routine, I would be happy to teach you how to do this and give you all the tips you will need to start at no charge. I can also order the oils for your dosha or particular health need. Watch this space for a video demonstration. If you are interested in trying an abhyanga with me, they are usually $110 for 70 minutes. Please call our Reception at House of Sanjevani (505) 821-6300 to schedule one. You will want to wear older clothes as they might get a little oily after the massage.
For kapha dosha people, I like to do a Garshana using natural muslin gloves to exfoliate the skin prior to the abhyanga. This will increase the circulation of the blood and lymph and allow the oil to seep deeply into the pores.
There are a number of options you might like to consider as additional to pair up with an abhyanga. For example, a Swedna uses a cocoon-like steam tent called a Steamy Wonder Spa™ that goes over the massage table. You never have to move to receive the herbal steam treatment. One end of the tent has a vent that connects to a steaming pot of medicinal herbs. The steam helps you relax, detox and works as a cleanse for the lungs. Your head will be outside of the steam tent. This would be an excellent treatment if you are suffering from achiness or lung congestion. During the treatment, I will place cool cloths over your forehead. I also place a washcloth with some ice wrapped up in it over your heart area to keep it cool so you don’t overheat. The herbal steam carries the medicine and oil into the pores and directly into the blood stream. This treatment is great for any time of the year, but particularly during the fall and winter to stave off the chill at the change of seasons. The swedna is excellent for vata dosha and also kapha dosha. The herbs will be adjusted for each of these doshas. For example, vata’s stiff joints or kapha’s weight management.
Afterward, you can take a shower in the same massage room and get dressed in privacy. If you prefer to shower at home, then bring a scarf for your neck and a terrycloth turban or old hat to cover your head to avoid a chill when leaving the clinic.
I hope to see you soon for an Abhyanga and a Garshana or Swedna!