Ayurveda Massage 101: Everything you Need To Know

    ayurveda massage

If you are over getting a typical Balinese massage or a Swedish massage and are looking for something more intense or holistic, here’s an Ayurveda massage that you can look forward to and enjoy.  Ayurvedic massages are treatments based on the ancient science of alternative medicine that was born in India around three thousand years ago. According to experts, it is believed that the body is built up of five basic elements, namely, earth, water, air, space and fire. However, all said and done, we would like to know what exactly is an ayurvedic massage what to expect.

If you are over getting a typical Balinese massage or a Swedish massage and are looking for something more intense or holistic, here’s an ayurvedic massage that you can look forward to and enjoy.  Ayurvedic massages are treatments based on the ancient science of alternative medicine that was born in India around three thousand years ago. According to experts, it is believed that the body is built up of five basic elements, namely, earth, water, air, space, and fire. However, all said and done, we would like to know what exactly is an ayurvedic massage what to expect. 

What is an ayurvedic massage?

The massages lent out by ayurvedic experts are borrowed from the ayurvedic principles that creates a unique experience which helps focus on stress relief, relaxation and the release of emotional burden and blockages too. In most ayurvedic massages, they would focus on a particular chakra in the body and the energy points as well, which are used for healing in ayurvedic medication. The aim here is to get these points manipulated and to adjust the energy manually in the body so that one feels totally relaxed.

How is it different from a regular massage?

In an ayurvedic massage, there is a lot of use of essential oils and there is a lot of focus on the specified energy points in the body, which does not happen with a regular run of the mill massage. In addition to that, one should not expect a lot of actual massaging to happen; the treatment here is to manipulate more of your energy fields and to free the emotional burden that works out in the core of your muscles. There are even props used to do an ayurvedic massage, such as metal tools and tuning forks in some parts of the body, which helps relieve tension and bring harmony to the body mentally and physically.

What kind of oils do they use in ayurvedic massage?

In Ayurveda, it is said that therapeutic oils are best used to balance the three body doshas, namely, vata, pitta and kapha. These three doshas in the body create a unique biochemical lab in the body and is individual to everyone’s body. The combination of the three doshas are endless, and each person has an individualized combination, as unique as a fingerprint, say experts. However, in most of us there is one dosha that is dominant, the other being secondary and the last one being the least prominent.

According to Ayurveda, one must choose Ayurveda massage oil that is according to the dominant dosha in the body. One must consult an experienced ayurvedic doctor to find out which dosha is most dominant in the body, and choose an oil accordingly.

  • If you have dry skin or vata: One must use oils which are heavy and warm. Oils such as bhringraj, avocado, sesame and almond are to be used.
  • If you have overheated skin or sensitive skin or pitta: One must use oils which are neutral and cooling. Oils such as olive, ghee, castor, coconut and sunflower are best used for this dosha type.
  • If you have oily skin or kapha: One must use oils that are stimulating. Oils should be light. Some of the oils to be used are safflower, canola, corn and flaxseed oils for the body with this dosha type.

Tip for self massage:

Prior to going to bed, it would be wise to rub a little warm sesame oil all over the body. Pay special attention to the nostrils and the ears, and other openings in the body. If you have trouble sleeping, it would be nice to rub the scalp and the soles of the feet with some oil. After that you must take a warm shower and allow the muscles to relax. This will help relax and rejuvenate the body, and you will sleep better.

Origin of Ayurveda Massage 

There was always a practice of using touch as a healing method in the ayurvedic massage techniques and customs rooted in age old therapies and history. The East and West civilizations found out that the massage and natural healing could also heal injuries, bring relief from pains, cure and prevent ailments and illnesses too. In addition to that, it helped reduce stress and brought about refreshment and relaxation to the body, mind and the soul.

The concept of massages as a therapy began as a practice of natural healing and was considered to be a sacred system. However, over time and through cultural shifts, there came about a disreputable form of indulgence for a long time in history. Taking into account these turns, massage therapies have experienced a different rise in demand in this day and age. Nowadays, massages are considered to be a highly holistic way of healing which is practiced the world over.

In India, the act of practicing massages came about in 3000 BC or even earlier. It was believed to be of divine origin and was orally passed down from one generation to the next.

Ayurveda is a traditional medical system of holistic ways in the nation of India. Natural scientists and ancient seers and sages developed this system based on many years of experiments, studies and meditations. There are texts that detail ayurvedic practices and principles which were composed sometime between 1500 and 500 BC. It is based on these texts that the holistic system of ayurvedic massages were adopted widely across India.

When the body system is living out of harmony of the environment around, it is then that it incurs ailments and diseases, say ayurvedic experts. And to get these conditions treated, individuals must bring back their natural physical and mental balance, by reestablishing the harmony between the world around them and themselves. It is when this is done that the natural healing process begins, say experts in Ayurveda.

It will be all based on the health imbalances of the patient, and the constitution of the body, even the time of the year that ayurveda would recommend how to use the five senses to interact with the environment around to create an orderly balance. 

Types of Ayurveda massage 

Below are the types of Ayurveda massages mentioned:

  •       The Murda Taylam, where the oil is applied to the head
  •       The Shiro Abhyangam, where the oil is applied to the scalp
  •       The Siro Pitchu, where the oil soaked cloth is kept over the head
  •      The Shiro Vasti, where the oil is kept on the head for a period of time with the help of a hat

Benefits Of Ayurveda massage

Here are ayurvedic massage benefits:

  • It helps strengthen blood circulation, and helps the blood reach the nerve endings
  • An ayurvedic massage helps with muscle toning
  • An ayurvedic massage has a calming effect on the body and the brain
  • An ayurvedic massage helps with joint lubrication and increases the joint strength too
  • An ayurvedic massage helps with increase of mental awareness and alertness
  • Ayurvedic massages helps with the process of removing impurities and toxins from the body
  • Ayurvedic massages help with detoxification of the body
  • Ayurvedic massages help with daily endurance levels in the body
  • Ayurvedic massages bring about sound sleep and better sleep at night
  • Ayurvedic massages help with longevity
  • Ayurvedic massages helps strengthen the visual senses and the vision in the long run
  • Ayurvedic massages help improve skin health and removes wrinkles from the skin
  • Ayurvedic massages brings radiance to the skin overall
  • Ayurvedic massages help nourish the body overall
  • Ayurvedic massages help hair grow thick and soft and shiny too
  • Ayurvedic massages help refresh and sooth sensory organs
  • Ayurvedic massages help remove stiffness and coarseness, fatigue and roughness from the body

 Best Ayurveda Massage Destinations

Here are some of the best Ayurveda massage destinations in India; however the best Ayurveda Resorts are in Kerala.

1. Ananda in the Himalayas

2. Kumarakom Lake Resort, Kerala

3. Wildflower Hall, Shimla

4. Kalari Kovilakom, Palakkad, Kerala

5. Vivanta By Taj, Bekal, Kasargod, Kerala

6. Isola Di Cocco, Kerala

7. Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra

8. Hilton, Shillim, Maharashtra

9. The Leela, Udaipur

10. Somatheeram Ayurveda Resort, Kerala

11. Devaaya, the Ayurveda and Nature Cure Centre, Goa

12. The Zuri Kumarakom Kerala Resort & Spa

13. Kairali Ayurvedic Health Village, Kerala

14. Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur

15. Khyber Resort and Spa Gulmarg

16. Devaaya Ayurveda and Nature Cure Centre, Goa

17. The Himalayan, Manali

18. Aalia, Haridwar

19. The Terraces, Kanatal

20. Athreya Ayurvedic Center, Kerala

Recommended Ayurveda Massage for different Dosha types

Five treatments for pacifying pitta:

1. Garshana massage

2. Abhyanga massage

3. Vishesh massage

4. Shirodhara massage and

5. Marma therapy.

Five treatments for pacifying vata:

1. Abhyanga massage

2. Shirodhara massage

3. Marma therapy

4. Swedana massage and

5. Oshadhi massage

Five treatments for pacifying kapha:

1. Garshana massage

2. Vishesh massage

3. Swedana massage

4. Udvartana masaage, and 

5. Neti massage.

In a nutshell…

So, here is everything you wanted to know about ayurvedic massages, its origin, the types, the benefits and more. You must try out these massages at least once in your lifetime. These are holistic massages and they have varied benefits for the body, the mind, and the soul.

Speak to an ayurvedic expert with immense Ayurveda massage training or book yourself into one of the Ayurveda retreat at a wellness center close to you to understand your body type or the dosha type, and then upon consultation get the type of ayurvedic massage best suited for you. If you already have experienced ayurvedic massages, according to your dosha type, you must write in and let us know how you feel and what your experience was like.


Author Details

Retreat Kula

Retreat Kula is a team of spiritualists and yogis by heart and travelers by soul on this journey to bring together yoga lovers across the planet as a single community entrenched in the heart and spirit of authentic Yoga Life.


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