Ayurvedic massage is an intense, heavy pressure massage originating from India and its historic medical text, the Ayurdeva. This particularly rigorous experience focuses on the marmas, or special pressure points, of the body and used to accomplish one of four goals of an Ayurvedic session: eliminate toxins through purification, strengthen the muscles, relax or rejuvenate the body.
The client will lie down on a reed mat over futon mattress instead of on a table or sitting in a chair. With the use all the limbs, feet included, this massage begins with the practitioner holding to a rope and using the feet to spread copious amounts of oil up and down the back, arms and legs, creating an energy throughout the entire body. In cases that the rope is not available for the practitioner, dense and heavily oiled balls are used to create the total body energy.
This stimulus is then focused on to the particular marma of the client. For instance, if one is very stressed, the center of the forehead or third eye is focused on for clarity and release. Bad memory? Increased stimulation on the base of the spine is proscribed by the Ayurveda to help.
The giving and receiving of massage was a staple in all Indian households and still holds true in many rural areas of the country. Before the modern medical culture, it was rare that anyone sought out a massage specialist, except when in need of specific work for a dosha or bodily humor that was aggravated or overly dominate. Otherwise, most simply bask in the warmth and touch of their close friends and family.
Because of its “big picture” energy focused onto small areas of the body, Ayurvedic massage is also considered ideal for pain management and to be used in complement to modern medicine treatments. For example, someone dealing with cataracts would begin as everyone does in the full body massage, and then would have the practitioner massage oil into the temples to relieve the pain caused by the cataract growth. Such practice has been throughout Ayurvedic massage history, as ancient practitioners used Greek and Muslim medicine practices to augment their own regimes.
For someone looking to have both overarching and specific issues taken care of in a single session, this traditional Indian massage provides relief and relaxation on a macro and micro level.