Abhyangam (Therapeutic massage with medicated oils):
Abhyangam is a Sanskrit word, which means application of oil all over the body. It is relaxing and refreshing full body massage with medicated herbal oils to take care of physical, mental, emotional well being of the person while balancing the doshas. Ancient Ayurvedic text books recommend this as an integral part of the daily routine to all who wish good health and longevity of life.
Abhyangam is performed over a specially designed wooden table (Droni) by trained masseurs. The sesame oil processed with various herbs is selected based on person’s doshic type. An Ayurvedic physician can access this and decide the appropriate oils and exact way of massage. After the procedure the person is directed to take herbal steam bath.
Duration of the treatment: 45-60 minutes
Benefits of Abhyangam:
- Subsides ailments caused by Vata dosha and Kapha dosha
- Removes fatigue
- Pacifies Vata dosha
- Improves eyesight
- Induces longevity
- Induces sleep
- Provides resistance against diseases
- Improves complexion and luster of the skin
- Increases physical strength
- Delays aging
Abhyangam is also an important and integral part of Panchakarma procedure as pre-operative procedure. Here the oil is applied to the entire body with a particular type of massage which helps the toxins to move towards the gastrointestinal tract. This also makes the superficial and deep tissues soft and supple.
Padabhyanga is Ayurvedic foot massage (Pada=foot and Abhyanga=massage) which is soothing, revitalizing, calming and balancing various disturbances of the autonomic nervous system. It is basically explained as a daily ritual especially before retiring at night. Ayurveda says that five marmas ( vital areas) out of 107 marmas are located in each foot. The feet are very important part in our body as it contains many nerve endings. Padabhyanga releases negative energy from these marmas.
So padabhyanga is central to our health and wellbeing. Foot massage holds a sacred place in Ayurveda and Indian culture as touching the feet shows deep respect for elders. Sesame oil is most commonly used for foot massage. Sesame oil is a powerful antioxidant, is easily absorbed and is very nourishing for the skin. Depending on the condition of the person medicated oil or medicated ghee can also be used.
Duration of the treatment: 30 minutes
- Helps to calm the mind
- Relaxes and revitalizes the central nervous system
- Helps maintain eyesight and hearing
- Promotes quality sleep
- Improves peripheral circulation
- Removes fatigue of the lower limbs
- Helps to prevent sciatica
- Removes contraction of the ligaments, vessels and muscles of the feet
- Provides sturdiness to the limbs
- Helps to calm and maintain the “Vata Dosha” which, when present in excess, is regarded as the major cause of illness
It is useful in the following conditions:
- Diabetic neuropathy
- Hemiplegia and paraplegia
- Sprains, cramps, numbness of the feet and legs
- Roughness and cracking of feet.
Swedanam (Medicated steam bath):
Swedanam is a traditional steam therapy designed to open tissues with the saturation of heat and moisture. Deep seated toxins are released through the pores of skin, thereby reducing inflammation, improving circulation. It promotes healing & restoration.
Note: Generally Swedanam is done after Abyangam.
It is the pre-operative procedure in various Ayurvedic detox therapies where the objective is to dilate the channels of the body to detach the toxins from the tissues. Herbs are selected depending on the condition and doshic predominance.Treatment is continued till the forehead and abdomen sweat very well.
There are many different varities of Swedana. Some of them are as follows:
- Bashpa Sweda (Chamber steam):
The fomentation is done by making the person to sit in the chamber where steam emanates from boiling herbal decoction.
Naadi sweda is penetrating heat. It is a more penetrating type of wet heat than Bashpa Sweda. This is given to affected parts, using a tube; importance is given to thick and complex structures of joints.
- Balances Vata and Kapha humors in the body
- Detaches toxins; expels them through the tiny pores of the skin along with sweat
- Increases circulation; reduces inflammation
- Revitalizes and rejuvenates the skin
- Improves digestion
- Acts on fat tissues
- Relieves stress
- Eases sore muscles
- Reduces numbness, stiffness, rigidity, heaviness; improves mobility
Udwarthanam (Herbal Powder Massage):
Udwarthanam is special therapeutic deep tissue massage using combination of herbal powders or paste. This massage involves upward stroking, where the powder is rubbed forcibly on the body.
The herbal powder is warmed by heating. The massage is done in the opposite direction to hair follicles by two therapists. The procedure is performed in seven postures. After completion the person is advised to take rest for 30 minutes, followed by a shower with warm water.
Duration of treatment : 45 minutes to 60 minutes
- Pacifies the aggravated Kapha dosha
- Reduces the excess fat accumulated in the subcutaneous tissues
- Softens and exfoliates dead skin cells, thereby giving a lustrous glow to skin
- Detoxification, purification, toning the skin
- Eliminates bad body odor
- Improves mobility of joints
- Strengthens and tones up the muscles
- Refreshes and rejuvenates the body
- Takes care of conditions due to improper blood supply
- Improves the circulation; opens up the body channels, increasing the basal metabolic rate.
- Tones up the skin and muscles after the child birth
- Removes cellulite and helps in weight reduction
- Improves the sense of touch
- Makes the body and mind alert; gives a sense of lightness of the body
- Reduces the blood cholesterol
The dry powder massage is very useful in the following conditions:
- Muscular dystrophy
- Multiple sclerosis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Skin diseases
Beauty Treatments (Ayurvedic beauty care):
As a holistic health science Ayurveda relates to every aspect of the mind, body and the soul, it considers beauty as an intimate part of the human personality.
Ayurvedic beauty care deals with
- Skin care
- Increasing hair growth
- Improving eye sight
- Foot care
The best part of this holistic program is removing all the toxic wastes from the body and uplifting the purification process which lays emphasis on internal beauty. Since there is a sense of mental peace and tranquility which is reflected by the appearance disguised with cosmetics. In other words Ayurveda emphasizes on internal beauty and rather than externally made up beauty. It is believed in ayurveda that one can enhance internal beauty by understanding and obeying natural laws of beauty. Ayurveda is the technique of maintaining beauty by ensuring healthy living and addressing specific beauty issues with natural remedies. Just like the case of health care, Ayurvedic beauty care also depends on freeing body from bodily wastes or toxins, optimum nutrition to body and the balance of the tridoshas. Ayurvedic herbal medicines act as nutricosmectics which nourish the tissues and micro-channels of the body. Ayurvedic oils are chosen by the doctor as per your body type and then utilized in a massage that improves circulation, revitalizes the body and eliminates impurities. They also lessen hair-loss, condition the scalp, improve eyesight and help with your sleep disorder. One of the most important reasons for the increasing use of Ayurveda in beauty and skin care is that this system can clearly bring out a clear, glowing skin together with happiness and relaxation which otherwise cannot be achieved by cosmetics.