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What is ayurvedic massage?

Howard S. Smith
Pain Medicine
Ayurvedic massage is an ancient therapy that is useful for alleviating chronic pain and increasing relaxation. This ancient Indian remedy is said to unblock invisible "marma" points in the body through which energy flows. When this energy is freed, your body will heal itself. Today Abhayanga massage (oil massage) is offered at many spas throughout the world. Using special herbal oil chosen for your particular dosha (metabolic type), two therapists massage you at the same time. This intense touch therapy is followed by an energetic rubdown with a coarse towel.
Ben Kaminsky
Dermatology
Ayurvedic massage, an ancient therapy that focuses on relaxation and the prevention of disease, is a spa favorite used for stress-related illnesses, to reverse the damage from negative lifestyle habits, and to maintain balance in the body. The 5,000-year-old traditional Indian system of medicine, Ayurveda, describes body massage with oil and spices. According to Ayurveda, health is the state of balance, and disease is the state of imbalance. Its premise is that there are three physiological forces called doshas (vata, pitta, and kapha). All of us are made of a combination of doshas that give us a particular metabolic type, yet have one dosha that dominates. Vata people are thin and energetic, while Pittas are hot tempered, and Kaphas are slow and solid.
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Ayurvedic massage is an ancient Indian therapy that focuses on relaxation, prevention of disease, and treating ailments. Hands-on or touch therapies probably came to India from neighboring China and surrounding countries.

While most historical records describing touch as medicine were written by physicians, the records of Indian massage focus on its sensual qualities. The 5,000 year old Ayurveda, traditional Indian system of medicine, describes body massage with oil and spices. Sensual massage is also recorded with descriptions of massage treatments and daily activities at the bath or tshanpau. The erotic sculptures at Khajuraho and the Kama Sutra give witness of a culture that uses massage to arouse people and to calm them. In fact, the Vatsayana Kamasutra mentions massage for enhancing vitality and sex between partners.

According to Ayurveda, health is the state of balance, and disease is the state of imbalance. Its premise is that the body's functions are composed of combinations of five elements:  air, fire, space, water, and earth. There are three other physiological forces called doshas (vata, pitta, and kapha) in which the five elements are manifest. All of us are made of a combination of doshas that give us a particular metabolic type, yet have one dosha that dominates. Vata people are thin and energetic, while Pittas are hot tempered, and Kaphas are slow and solid. Ayurvedic massage is said to unblock invisible "marma" points through which energy flows. When this energy is freed, your body will heal itself.

When India became independent in 1947, ayurvedic medicine flourished in popularity. With the help of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Transcendental Meditation Program founder, the therapies were brought to the Western nations and visibility increased.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.