If you are wondering what to expect during an Ayurvedic massage, or what techniques will be used by your therapist, it is important to recognise that this style of massage therapy is not a set of predetermined moves but an overall lifestyle health system. Accordingly, a properly performed treatment will be bespoke and adapted to fit each individual’s own state of mind and body.
Here are 11 interesting things you may not know about Ayurvedic massage.
1. Ayurvedic massage is a part of Ayurveda, a medicinal and lifestyle system widely practiced in India since around 1500 BC and still hugely popular today. This makes it one of the world’s longest standing health systems.
2. The word Ayurveda comes from the combination of Ayur meaning life and Veda meaning knowledge or science.
3. In England, this period in history is known the Bronze Age. However, in India it is known as the Vedic Period, named after the Vedas, a collection of poems and sacred hymns composed around 1500 BC, which set out Aryan principals of life.
4. Some of the key principles of Ayurveda are: Exercise, Eating Well, Proper Digestion and Good Rest. Most importantly these must be done in balance with a deep and thorough understanding of your own personal mind-body type. Ayurvedic massage forms part of the digestion branch of this health system.
5. The standard form of Ayurvedic massage is a full-body oil based massage called Abhyanga. It is traditionally performed on oneself and should form part of your daily health and wellness routine, ideally before bathing in the early morning every day.
6. There are several other forms of Ayurvedic massage, with one of the most well recognised ones being Pizhichil. In a Pizhichil massage, warm medicated oil is continuously poured from a special vessel known as a Kindi throughout your treatment. This type of treatment is not suitable for mobile therapy due to the oil and equipment requirements. The Massage Rooms’ Ayurvedic massage is a form of oil-based Abhyanga combined with Indian yoga style stretches.
7. Despite its spiritual and non-materialist humble origins, Ayurvedic massage now regularly features at many of the world’s most exclusive spas and hotels amongst their top-end luxury treatments. You can stay at the feet of the Indian Himalayas at Ananda, a select spiritual retreat where a week’s stay costs around £5000 per person or you can instead stay closer to home and indulge in a £200 two-hour treatment at Scotland’s world-renowned Gleneagles Hotel.
8. In India, Ayurvedic massage is most commonly performed on men by male therapists and on women by female therapists and can be found for as little as £5 in places like Kerala, India.
9. High quality organic, cold-pressed almond or sesame oil is the most usually recommended oil for performing Ayurvedic abhyanga massage. Coconut oil is also often used at the end of treatments to take advantage of its cooling properties.
10. The concept of balance between three key biological elements or ‘doshas’, named Vata, Pitta, and Kapha is core to the doctrines of Ayurvedic medicine. There are many similarities between the principles here and those discussed in the ancient Chinese medicinal beliefs around Chi (or Qi).
11. Whilst some forms of Ayurvedic massage are performed in specially designed treatment rooms, in its most essential form this therapy is best performed at home. This treatment originated as and is still primarily intended to be a basic health and wellbeing lifestyle practice and accordingly should be easily accessible to all people. Allow one of our trained therapists bring Ayurveda therapy to the comfort of your own home.
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