HAVE YOU TRIED? Ayurvedic massage.
AYURVEDIC MASSAGE IS PART OF INDIA’S TRADITIONAL MEDICINE SYSTEM AND CAN HELP TO RESTORE BALANCE IN THE MIND AND BODY
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.