Ayurvedic massage is among the very best ways to decrease stress, slow down the skin’s aging process, improve blood flow and eliminate toxins from the tissues. Using ancient Ayurvedic herbs combined with oils, it works to purify, nourish and tone the skin on a deep cellular level.
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It promotes lymphatic drainage, reduces free-radical activity and detoxifies. The herbs used have organic anti-oxidants and have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Massage is prescribed in Ayurveda as it is one of the secrets to longevity. It is helpful to pacify the Vata dosha and it’s this dosha that dries out us as we get older, causing everything from wrinkled skin. Massage stimulates the body’s own healing response, and he regularly recommends massage therapy. “An increasing body of research shows that massage provides health benefits during the life span: It promotes weight gain and motor development in babies, boosts respiratory function in children with asthma. Additionally, it increases blood circulation, reduces stress hormones, increases range of motion, reduces depression, and enhances immune function.”
Vital to Health
Massage relaxes and tones the muscles, stimulates glands beneath the skin to produce hormones, including serotonin that calms the mind and emotions and promotes drainage of the lymphatic system. Lymphatic fluid provides nutrients to the cells and carries away cellular debris and toxic particles. As the fluid passes through the lymph nodes, the waste products are flushed out. Unfortunately, unlike the blood system, the lymph system doesn’t have a pump, but is determined by muscle contractions to move about the bodies’ network of lymph vessels. When muscles are inactive, the unfiltered fluid stagnates and becomes’ama’ which can precipitate hereditary breakdown and disease. Massage stimulates the nodes and drains the poisonous fluids, which is very important to good health.
The Ayurvedic oils utilized enhance this purification procedure, by penetrating the skin and balancing the doshas, they’ve anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial and anti inflammatory properties. Designed to penetrate the skin, their nutrients do right into the blood capillaries, loosens toxins that are attached and carries them into the digestive tract for elimination. The herbal oils enhance blood circulation, digestive tract, feeds the skin and works to balance the emotions and relax the mind.
Ayurvedic Pressure Points
Ayurvedic massage is unique because in incorporates a therapeutic technique known as “marma” treatment. Ayurveda describes these marma points as junctions of consciousness and matter, the body is crisscrossed like irrigation stations with meridians or nadis, a closed interconnecting system through which prana flows in the body. There are 107 big marma points in the body, seven of which can also be identified with the 7 chakras of the human body. The navel, that’s the seat of the second chakra, is especially full of nadis, 72,000 in all, said to be the life-giving station from mother to unborn child.
The marma are situated within the lymph nodes, at joints where five anatomical structures contain: blood vessels, ligaments, muscles, bone and nerves. They therefore play a very important role in balancing the endocrine system, the 3 circulatory systems of lymph, nerves and blood, in addition to the three doshas or delicate constitutions of the human body and mind. Marma points raise the prana every time that it flows through, leading to a more powerful life force energy. Like acupressure points, care must be taken when massaging, as certain points when struck, can lead to a negative effect, as opposed to a positive one.
Ayurvedic Oil Massage. According to Ayurveda, full-body warm oil self-massage, done every morning (or as frequently as you can), is relaxing and simmer for body and mind. Usually before morning bathing and Pilates so the oil could be absorbed through the skin from the heat created by the Yoga. Using oils specific to doshas can bring every one of the doshas into alignment. It’s nourishing, pacifies Vata and Kapha, relieves fatigue, provides stamina, pleasure and perfect sleep, enhances the complexion and the luster of the skin, promotes strength and nourishes all areas of the body. For very oily skin use chickpea flour or a body brush.
- helps improve circulation and lubrication
- helps strengthen and tone the muscles and joints
- helps release deep-seated toxins for removal from the body
- helps keep skin supple, moisturized and nourished
- helps balance the emotions and keep in mind calm yet focused and awake
- helps boost energy throughout the day and promotes sound sleep at night
How to perform Abhyanga?
Materials: 2-3 ounce massage oil suited to your needs for balance, plastic squeeze bottle, pot of very warm water, old cotton towel or mat, paper towels.
- Pour the oil into the squeeze bottle and closed bottle tightly.
- Place the bottle in the warm water for 5 minutes or until the oil warms up to comfortably warm.
- Stand on your mat or towel at a comfortably warm, draft-free room.
- Squeeze the oil a little at a time in your palm and apply the oil to your body, working systematically down until your whole body is anointed with oil.
- Next, massage the oil into your skin, giving each part of your body sufficient care. Use up and down strokes and round strokes over joints, abdomen and chest. Apply lighter pressure over torso and abdomen compared to over extremities. This procedure should take about 10-12 minutes.
- If massaging your scalp, apply oil to the crown of the head and work the oil into your scalp with your fingers in external circles.
- Sit quietly with eyes closed for 5 minutes, breathing deeply.
- Pat any excess oil with paper towels.
- Take a warm shower or bath, being very careful not to slide. Wipe excess oil off your feet before stepping away from the mat or towel. Use a very gentle, non-soap cleaner along with a gentle shampoo.
- Pat your skin with a towel and apply moisturizing cream or a gentle natural dusting powder.
The mats and towels you stand on for abhyanga will get stained and finally oil-saturated, so use old ones and don’t place them in washing machines or dryers. They ought to be occasionally thrown away and replaced.