Ayurveda traces its roots back to ancient India in 5000 BCE, making it one of the oldest practices of medicine, health, and wellbeing known to the human race. Originating as an oral tradition, Ayurveda has evolved over time to a point where today there are Ayurvedic schools and practitioners all over the world. The reason for this incredible exposure seems to be the fundamental difference between Ayurveda and traditional Western medicine: Ayurveda treats the whole individual and not individual’s symptoms. Good health is the result of a balance between the Doshas, the three elemental energies (Vata, Pitta and Kapha,) and disease is the result of imbalance. Using aromatherapy in Ayurvedic massage is one excellent way to achieve that balance, through detoxifying the body and boosting the immune system.
Aromatherapy Massage – Ayurveda suggests an oil massage (Abhyanga) before physical exercise such as Yoga to relax and lubricate the muscles prior to activity. What sets this style of massage apart is the special care that goes into choosing the best possible herbal oil mixture for each individual patient and their relative Doshic balance at the time of the treatment. Each oil has specific energetic and therapeutic properties. For a patient whose energy is heavy and metabolically cool, an oil derived from herbs with heating properties such as jojoba, mustard, and safflower might be used to reach an energetic balance. For a patient who has a tendency towards inflammation and anger, an oil derived from herbs with cooling properties would be best suited to achieve a Doshic balance. Why not try one of the four Doshic blends and find out what’s best for you? Narayan oil is an invigorating oil that can also be used to maximize circulation, minimize pain, treat osteoarthritis, and is the leading musculoskeletal treatment oil in Ayurveda.
After exercise, when your body is cooling down, another massage with dry, powdered herbal scrub is recommended. This is highly effective for those with oily body types. This method is detoxifying and exfoliates the skin but does not contribute to the present oil burden. Herbal powders are commonly composed of corn, fenugreek seed, garbanzo, millet, and triphala.
A great way to clean off any excess herbal oils or powders is to utilize one of the Kundalini Yogi essentials, (Ishnaan/Hydrotherapy), and take a cold shower. Cold water acts on many levels to develop strength in body and mind and forces you to utilize your will to the best of your abilities. It will open up the capillaries to increase circulation and bring new, oxygen-rich blood to each of your organs.
Ayurvedic massage is just one method of practice that is part of an incredible and ancient technology. And, like most things that work well, this technology is actually very user-friendly and makes sense conceptually. With practice, Ayurvedic energy balancing becomes easier and easier to understand, logical to apply, effective, efficient, and ultimately extremely fun to experiment with.