The fast-paced 21st-century lifestyle can make you feel fatigued. You may feel like you’re unable to cope up with the multifaceted needs of daily life and close to reaching a breaking point. To avoid that, you need to slow down and take out some time for yourself to relax, unwind, and be in harmony with your body and mind.
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Ayurvedic massage is a great way to calm your mind and rejuvenate your body to meet the demanding needs of daily life. Ayurvedic massage oils are a befitting accompaniment to Ayurvedic massages and choosing the right oils can contribute immensely to your well-being.
Types of Ayurvedic Massages
An Ayurvedic massage is a type of massage done with warm oils following the guidelines as mentioned in Ayurveda. It not only helps in alleviating pain but also in increasing the blood circulation and cleansing the body.
There are several types of Ayurvedic massages:
Abhyanga or Abhyangam - The term Abhyangam refers to a massage done in the direction of the body. In this type of massage, medicated oils are applied to the head and the body. Generally, sesame seed oil is used primarily in the winter and spring seasons for bodies with Vata and Kapha doshas while coconut oil is used in the summer and autumn seasons for bodies with Pitta dosha. The benefits of this type of massage are
Shiro Abhyanga - This type involves massaging the head, neck, and shoulders with Ayurvedic massage oils. It’s a combination of two Ayurvedic treatments - Shirodhara and Abhyanga. The benefits of this type of massage are:
Marma Therapy - Marma refers to the essential energy points of the body. The human body comprises 107 anatomical structures comprising nerves, blood vessels, bones, and joints. These are extremely sensitive parts of the body and any internal or external impact on any of them can lead to serious injury. In this therapy, the body part which is facing the problem is identified and then trained masseurs work to reduce the problem in the body part. The benefits of Marma Chikitsa or Marma Therapy are:
Shiro Dhara - This is a type of Ayurvedic massage where warm herbal oil is poured on the forehead in a fixed and continuous stream. The word Shiro refers to the head while Dhara refers to stream. It’s a part of the Bahiparimarjana Chikitsa or external treatment in Ayurveda. Oils processed with Ayurveda herbs suitable for balancing Vata, Pitta & Kapha doshas are used to do Shirodhara. In addition, medicated milk, buttermilk & decoctions are also used in Siro-dhara depending upon the clinical condition. The benefits of this type of massage are:
Shiro Vasti - This Ayurvedic massage is done after shaving a person’s hair and attaching a cylindrical cap to the head. A warm, medicated oil is then poured onto the scalp where the scalp absorbs the oil. This therapy is done mostly in the evening with the person receiving the massage in a sitting position. The benefits of this type of massage are:
Benefits of Ayurvedic Oils
The practice of body massage with Ayurvedic body massage oil (Abhyanga) has been mentioned in several Ayurvedic texts. In Ayurveda, Abhyanga is performed before Panch Karma, the five therapies for detoxification. The benefits of using massage oil during this process are many:
How to Choose the Right Ayurvedic Massage Oil
When it comes to choosing the right Ayurvedic Massage Oil, you should consider the three doshas - Vata, Pitta, and Kapha - and how they affect the following:
The Best Ayurvedic Massage Oils
Ayurveda has a natural cure for almost all diseases. There are Ayurvedic medicines for muscle and nerve pain and a host of other problems. Ayurvedic massage oils are one of the best medicines to maintain a balance of all doshas and ensure a healthy life.
Here are two of the best massage oils that you can use:
The Pitta skin is photosensitive and less tolerant of hot food. It’s generally rough and warm to touch. Moreover, they run a higher risk of freckles, moles and other sensitivities. Thus the Pitta skin requires a cool and pacifying nurturing. Using oils that are resistant to the sun is a good option. An ideal oil to take care of the Pitta skin is Tejas Oil.
It’s a light and aromatic oil that is prepared with sesame oil as the primary ingredient. All the ingredients are thoughtfully selected which can effectively help resolve any Pitta-related imbalances. The ingredients also provide a cooling effect and reduce any tension. They help improve your resistance to high temperatures and help pacify the Pitta dosha.
The ingredients used in this oil are:
Santhwanam Oil is an anti-inflammatory and pain-relief Ayurvedic medicine that can help in nourishing and moisturising your skin. It can be applied either through self-massage, as a part of a body massage, or even steam therapy.
This Ayurvedic massage oil can be used for varicose veins that help in treating several health conditions. Apart from relieving anxiety, it helps in improving blood circulation and strengthening body tissues.
The ingredients used in this oil are:
Some of the ingredients used in this Ayurvedic massage oil are: