HAVE YOU TRIED? Ayurvedic mas­sage.


In the Moment - - Contents - Words: Karen Young

Ayurveda, the tra­di­tional medicine sys­tem of In­dia, is the art of har­mo­nious, healthy liv­ing. Dat­ing back thou­sands of years, its name is de­rived from two San­skrit words – ayur, mean­ing life and veda, mean­ing knowl­edge or science. Ayurveda views each per­son as unique, with no sin­gle diet or lifestyle rou­tine work­ing for every­one. Preven­tion is para­mount and Ayurveda fo­cuses on main­tain­ing phys­i­cal, emo­tional and spir­i­tual bal­ance. This is achieved through a com­bi­na­tion of nu­tri­tion, herbal reme­dies, yoga, med­i­ta­tion and mas­sage.

“Cen­tral to Ayurveda is the idea that ev­ery­thing in the uni­verse is made up of ve ba­sic el­e­ments – space, air, re, wa­ter and earth,” ex­plains Mary Dal­gleish,

Vice Pres­i­dent of the Fed­er­a­tion of Holis­tic Ther­a­pists, who teaches and prac­tices di er­ent Ayurvedic tech­niques. “These come to­gether in the body to form three life forces, or doshas, called vata (space and air), pitta ( re and wa­ter) and kapha (wa­ter and earth). While every­one has a unique com­bi­na­tion of all three, one is usu­ally more dom­i­nant, and it’s the bal­ance of these doshas in the body that de­ter­mines our over­all health.”

Some Ayurvedic mas­sages in­volve treat­ing the whole body, such as ab­hyanga and vishesh, while oth­ers fo­cus on a speci c area, such as the head (shiro ab­hyanga), face (muk­ab­hyanga) or feet (pad­ab­hyanga). “What all Ayurvedic mas­sages have in com­mon is that they help to bal­ance the doshas by work­ing vi­tal en­ergy, or marma, points on the body,” ex­plains Mary. “To do this, the ther­a­pist may ap­ply a spe­cial, herb-in­fused oil, along with a va­ri­ety of di er­ent mas­sage tech­niques, in­clud­ing tap­ping, knead­ing and squeez­ing, as well as stroking, or ‘e eurage’, move­ments.”

An Ayurvedic ses­sion will be­gin with a full con­sul­ta­tion, dur­ing which you will be asked a range of ques­tions to help the ther­a­pist de­ter­mine your dosha type. A mas­sage treat­ment, tai­lored to your in­di­vid­ual needs, will then be car­ried out, us­ing herb-in­fused oils, com­presses, pastes or spe­cial mas­sage tools to com­ple­ment the treat­ment. Where oils are used, your ther­a­pist is likely to en­cour­age you to keep this on the skin for as long as pos­si­ble, to max­imise the bene ts of treat­ment.

Ses­sions can last from 30 to 90 min­utes and cost be­tween £25 and £100, depend­ing on the length and type of treat­ment, lo­ca­tion and ther­a­pist. Many peo­ple feel re­laxed, peace­ful and bal­anced af­ter treat­ment.

The Fed­er­a­tion of Holis­tic Ther­a­pists (www.fht.org.uk) is the UK and Ire­land’s lead­ing pro­fes­sional as­so­ci­a­tion for com­ple­men­tary, holis­tic beauty and sports ther­a­pists.

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