Concept and Procedure of Ayurvedic Massage
The primary idea and purpose of Ayurvedic massage just as all other Ayurvedic treatment protocols are to help break and remove the toxins within the gross and subtle bodies. The toxins (Ama) are understood to be leftover putrefied-food stuff that has taken a grease-like form. The longer the Ama is retained in the bodies the more stubborn and harder they get and become embedded, thereby making removing them difficult, time consuming and unpleasant at times.
Ayurvedic treatment protocols may include some or all of, correct dietetics, massage, specially compounded herbal formulas, yoga therapy as well as proper Life style management according to one’s constitution.
In Ayurvedic body massage, the specialized Dosha oil (warmed), continuous strokes and techniques, full-body steam application, followed by the herbal formula wash/scrub, is an intense, dynamic and expansive experience.
1. A hot shower is necessary just before commencing the massage as it is understood that the toxins that we are trying to break and remove, are a grease-like putrefied waste and the heat from the shower helps to soften and loosen the toxins, in preparation for the actual massage.
2. Specially prepared Dosha oil for the individual is warmed and then applied to the body. This warm oil will allow for better absorption into the skin, thereby allowing the blood to carry the oil and herbs throughout the body to carry out the detoxification. The strokes and technique of massaging generates heat and also helps in the process of absorption.
3. Clients will undergo one complete hour of oil massage following the hot shower. Please be aware that throughout the massage it is important not to talk and the therapist has been instructed not to converse with the client or play music etc. This allows you to fully experience the subtle effects of Ayurvedic massage.
4. After this massage you will proceed to the steam bath for a period of around 10-15 minutes (time will be determined by Dosha). It is important to drink a glass of water to replenish fluids lost during the massage and steam bath. Remove your sarong in the steamer and you may circulate the steam with your hands also to distribute it more evenly. Take care not to put your feet too close to the steam pot under your chair (though this is perfectly safe). The therapist will place a small towel around your neck to help prevent steam escaping and also to stop oil getting onto the steamer cover. If you become very hot you are also able to open the steamer zip from inside to let the hot air out. Once you have been in the steamer a sufficient amount of time the therapist will open the zip to release the steam, remain seated for a minute or two to cool down a little before getting out. Be careful not to place your full weight on the steamer frame when getting out.
5. Then return to the massage bed, lightly dab/wipe off excess moisture from the steam bath and lie on the back. The therapist will apply a warm herbal paste/scrub to the body – to complete the process move onto one side so the therapist can put the paste on the back. Then lie still and allow the paste to dry for about ten minutes. This scrub exfoliates but most importantly it becomes absorbed and works as a blood purifier too. It is rich in vitamins particularly A and C and this nourishes as well.
6. Once dry you may go to take a hot shower (as hot as you can tolerate) to remove the paste and excess oil. Do not use any shampoo or soap.
7. You may then dress and go home. It is advisable to rest a minimum of two to three hours as the Doshas will be fluctuating a great deal and unable to best support you during this time. You may feel sleepy and weak and will certainly be slowed down a great deal. If you must go to work try to wait until after lunch at least and avoid any strenuous or stressful activities
Note: it is important to retain as much as possible of the specially prepared oil on your skin during the massage so the sarong will only be used to lightly cover you for the purposes of modesty. However, you will have complete privacy at all times in the therapy area so please relax so you are able to fully experience the effects of the massage.