Ayurvedic Massage is based on ancient Indian principles of Ayurveda and pressure points, designed to heal the body and create a balance between mind, body, and spirit. The word is a Sanskrit compound: ayu, meaning “life,” and veda, meaning “knowledge.” Sometimes translated as “science of life,” Ayurveda lays out a complete mind-body prescription for healthy living that includes a dietetic regimen and a body of herbal healing techniques. Many of the dietary guidelines—say, for example, eating freshly prepared organic foods and varying the diet by including six different tastes—dovetail with modern nutritional thinking.
Ayurvedic massage is a customized treatment, incorporating essential oils, typically herbal-infused, with time-honored and non-traditional strokes and kneading that suit each individual’s needs. Movement flow can be quick or drawn out, depending upon the person; some spas provide two therapists working on one guest simultaneously.
When you get right down to it, balance is the keystone of Ayurveda. The philosophy holds that there are three basic constitutions, or doshas—vata, pitta, and kapha—that make up our physical, mental, and emotional selves. One dosha usually dominates, but ideally the three exist in harmony. That’s the healthy state. When the doshas get out of balance, illness can result. According to believers, Ayurveda’s lifestyle guidelines keep the doshas in equilibrium and the herbal remedies and proper diet realign them. It’s an approach that’s remarkably in line with current thinking about healthy living, as well as increasing scientific evidence that the mind and body interact to maintain health and fight disease. Because Ayurveda concentrates on wellness, it picks up another contemporary tailwind—skepticism toward and frustration with Western medicine.
Yoga, meditation, and massage are key components, and for devotees, there’s even Ayurvedic astrology and Ayurvedic architecture (à la feng shui). Ayurveda aficionados believe that the system was intuited from the divine by rishis, or seers, five millennia ago. It remains India’s traditional system of health care (and is often the backdrop to Western care)—with an estimated 80 percent of the population practicing it!
Popular Ayurvedic massage treatments include the Indian head massage; Abhyanga, an herbal massage, and Shirodhara, a quick treatment during which a stream of oil is poured in the center of the forehead to help the individual focus, concentrate, and relax the mind and body.
reference: Living Well by Spafinder Wellness 365