The word ‘Abhayanga’ indicates massage. Therefore, this popular medicated oil massage therapy is aimed at improved body circulation, rejuvenation, improved muscle and tissue strength, trimming down cellulite and weight loss, relieves stress, improved skin tones, eliminates toxins, reduces aches and pains, induces better sleep and promotes better energy.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage is a type of massage therapy that focuses on realigning deeper layers of muscles. It is used for chronic aches and pain and contracted areas such as a stiff neck and upper back, low back pain, leg muscle tightness, and sore shoulders.
Some of the strokes are the same as those used in classic massage therapy, but the movement is slower and the pressure is deeper and concentrated on areas of tension and pain in order to reach the sub-layer of muscles and the fascia (the connective tissue surrounding muscles).
How Does It Work? Techniques With chronic muscle tension or injury, there may be adhesions (bands of painful, rigid tissue) in muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Adhesions can disrupt circulation and cause pain, limited movement, and inflammation. Deep tissue massage works by physically breaking down these adhesions to relieve pain and restore normal movement. To do this, the massage therapist uses massage oil and often uses direct deep pressure. Muscles must be relaxed in order for the therapist to reach the deeper musculature
Dhara (Thakradhara and Shirodhara)
The‘dhara’ series of massages are predominantly focused on the head. Collectively speaking, the basic derivative from these massages is to help relax and revitalize our mind and nervous system. In addition, this therapy is excellent to treat insomnia, hair loss, some mental diseases like depression and anxiety, de-stressor, memory loss and some skin complaints.
In Thakradhara, after a good head massage, medicated buttermilk that is infused with herbs is poured slowly, steadily and in an uninterrupted flow from a vessel placed over the head and is aimed directly at the forehead and scalp. In Shirodhara, following a head massage, it follows the same pattern as the thakradhara excepting that medicated herbal oil is used in place of buttermilk.
Patra Potala Swedam
Plant leaves and medicinal herb powders are sautéed in medicated oil and applied all over the body in a systematic, rhythmic massage for a specific duration. This is also referred to as Elakizhi or Pachakizhi and the treatment fomentation process includes using herbs, boluses and medicated oils. The treatment duration is for a period of at least 7 days and it helps relieve certain arthritic conditions, frozen shoulder, sciatica, cervical spondylosis and pain and stiffness in the joints.
In the Shirovasti treatment, tepid medicated, herbal oil is poured gently on the head anywhere between 15 minutes to an hour, as per the requirement and for the treatment period lasts anywhere from one week to a fortnight. In this treatment, a kneaded dough band is placed around the head to contain the oil and it is left for a prescribed time so as to take effect. This treatment helps cure cervical problems, sleeplessness, migraines and other problems relating to the head, hair loss and ringing in the ears.
In the Pichu method of treatment, cotton sponges dipped in special medicated oils are used to sponge a person from head to toe, and this is effective in treating a nervous breakdown, rheumatism, paralysis, insomnia, hypertension, headaches and back pains and migraines.
Udwarthanam powder this is relatively a dry massage, wherein herbal powders are massaged on to the body.Udwarthanam is proven effective especially for weight loss, to tackle obesity, reduce cellulite, tone skin and muscle and thus tighten loose skin and help generate better complexion. This treatment does help remove unwanted fat deposits in the body. The treatment time and duration is specified individually.
The Tharpanam treatment is aimed at improving the health of the eyes, reduce strain and thus improve eyesight and the blood circulation to the eyes. Medicated Ghee is poured into an herbal paste and placed on the eyes for anywhere between 15-30 minutes a day.
Herbal facial or Soundaryavardhanam
‘Soundarya’, means beautiful and ‘Vardhanam’ means enhancing and that is what the herbal facial sets out to achieve. In an herbal facial, certain specially made herbal powders, pastes, lotions and packs are used as part of the facial. The overall benefits of improved and glowing skin tones, rejuvenated skin, reducing pimples, wrinkles and freckles and also any marks and reducing of black circles are achieved.
Little drops of medicated oil are gently and gradually administered in each nostril as part of the Nasyam treatment. This treatment helps eliminate toxins from the head and neck region and helps cure headaches, migraine, sinusitis, chronic cold, chest congestions, cervical spondylitis and even facial palsy. One experiences a certain lightness of the body and head and this helps improve sleep.
Ksheera dhoomam is a unique fomentation process using medicated cow’s milk which is heated and the resultant steam is aimed at the body or affected areas. This has proved to help effectively treat facial paralysis, neurological problems and speech disorders.
The body is induced into a perspiring mode, by applying the boilednjavara rice pack . This is good to treat muscular dystrophy, skin problems, and improve muscle tone and skin texture.
As part of this intense Ayurvedic treatment, lukewarm herbal medicated oils are applied over the body by at least two to four masseurs in a rhythmic pattern, for a determined time duration of about 60-90 minutes a day for at least anywhere between 7-21 days. Pizhichil is majorly rejuvenating and is proven effective in patients suffering from arthritis, stiffness and pain in the joints and limbs, joints dislocation, rheumatic conditions and even certain paralytic conditions.
This is a specialized body purification procedure that is an inherent part of the Panchakarma therapy. The Vamanam process sets out to reduce the kapha dosha and thus helps reduce chest and lung congestions, reduce cold and cough etc.
Virechanam (Body Purification Therapy)
The Virechanam therapy is also part of the Panchakarma therapy. This involves an oral intake of purgative medicines to detox, cleanse, purge and purify the body and thus generate a balance between the doshas, vata, pitta and kapha. Bile, toxins and waste materials are purged from the body. This does enhance our strength, appetite and is a great rejuvenative therapy.
With the Njavara Kizhi treatment, a paste or a pack of a special type of rice called njavara cooked in milk and then packed in tiny cloth bundles is used to massage the body. This is a total rejuvenation therapy that takes care of the skin, aches and pains, tiredness, stress and improves circulation and our overall sense of wellbeing.
'Dhara' is unique to Ayurveda. All 'dhara' based treatments emphasize on the use of medicated oils or liquids to be poured on to the body or head in a constant rhythmic manner, the time and period are determined individually. The vata dosha effects are reduced with this and rheumatic complaints and paralysis and other ailments does find relief in this treatment.
Vasti (Matra Vasti, Sneha Vasti, Kashaya Vasti)
Vasti is an important aspect of the Panchakarma therapy and is in turn useful to relieve and treat many sicknesses. This is more like an enema but the application and purpose differs. Medicated oils, herbal formulations and preparations are used. This is used to help our digestive system like constipation, ulcers and other disorders, degenerative sicknesses, chronic back pains, arthritis, infertility and obesity.
Medicated Steam Bath
Typically after a massage therapy, the patient is subject to a medicated steam bath wherein some good herbs and leaves are boiled and the steam helps heal and also eliminate impurities once the patient undergoes a steam bath and also helps improve circulation.
A special medicated powder is combined with medicated oil and applied on the head anywhere between 15 to 45-minute duration. This helps in alleviating certain E.N.T. problems, sleeplessness, hypertension, migraines etc.
Lepanam or Upanaham
The Lepanam or Upanaham treatment procedure entails applying medicated herbal pastes to the affected areas of the body. This is especially useful in treating inflammatory conditions where intense pain is experienced. The treatment helps reducing pain and the therapy is undertaken for a period between 7-14 days and from 90 minutes to 2 hours every day for 14 days.