Our bodies are toiling. The physical labor, the pollution, the low-grade food and the mental churning at the job and at home. The mental pressures churn us every day and that takes a toll on the physical form. And when the mind and body are not in the proper form our optimal capabilities are not reached. Misbalanced energies and pressures create disharmony in the body which leads to pain and ailments. While the west believes in medication and rests the east tends to believe in getting to the root of the ailment and relieving it. Be it the lifestyle or the treatment the laidback noninvasive Eastern methods are getting much-needed recognition in the World today. Eastern medicine practitioners are trained to view the body as one unified system incorporating the physical body, the mind, and the spirit – otherwise known as a holistic approach.
One such way the body receives care is via Massages. Massage is not as simple as getting or giving a relaxed rub down. Much thought, science, and tradition go into the technique of your message.
Eastern Massage – An Introduction
Eastern massage drastically differs from Western styles before the massage therapist even lays a hand on you. Eastern massage begins with diagnosis. The practitioner will feel for the pulse in three positions on the wrist in an attempt to detect imbalances throughout the body. Much like Eastern medicine, the ultimate goal of Eastern massage is to find the root cause of any issues rather than just treating symptoms, such as back pain or tightness.
Special techniques are used to soothe very specific points on the body’s energy meridians. This is believed to create healing effects throughout the body.
Eastern Massage Approach to Healing begins with addressing the energy flow and balance within the body, stimulating and soothing specific points along the ‘energy meridians’ to create effects at other sites along those meridians. Based on the energy flow and balance, it works to attain a balance of energy in the mind and body.
Eastern Massage Therapists will find what areas of the body to focus on by determining where your energy imbalances lie. They can do this in a number of ways – one such way is to examine the pulse at three positions on the wrist. From this, imbalances and disharmonies in various parts of the body can be detected.
History in India
BC 300 Charaka Samhita believed to be the oldest of the three ancient treatises of Ayurvedic medicine, including massage. Sanskrit records indicate that massage had been practiced in India long before the beginning of recorded history.
Type of Eastern Massage
“We need to look beyond the physical components of breath—the oxygen, carbon dioxide, and other molecules that stream in and out with our every inhalation and exhalation. Beyond this breath—yet within it—is prana, the universal vital energy that is quite literally the stuff of life.”
“Nadis are the vast network of energy channels that makes each individual an integrated, conscious, and vital whole.
The Sanskrit word nadi derives from the root nad, which means “flow,” “motion,” or “vibration.” The word itself suggests the fundamental nature of a nadi: to flow like water, finding the path of least resistance and nourishing everything in its path. The nadis are our energetic irrigation system; in essence, they keep us alive.”
Abhyanga is an ancient Indian Ayurvedic oil massage therapy for healing and detoxifying Body, Mind, and Spirit. This ayurvedic detox and stress reduction therapy is performed by herbal oils. It incorporates an aromatic combination of oils prepared with herbs warmed and blended to your Dosha type.
A variety of Ayurvedic techniques is applied to work along the energy channels of your body in a synchronized manner to restore the flow of vital energy, Prana, where it has become blocked.
Lymphatic stimulation with ayurvedic herbal oils helps squeeze out toxic accumulation from channels. Hence it is DETOXIFYING massage. Warm oil is the best remedy for Vata which is governing energy for healthy body and mind, Abhyanga oil massage initiates deep healing within cells. Hence it is one of the most popular therapy in Ayurveda Bodywork treatments.
The session ends with steam therapy.
Oils are applied to detox physical toxins, mental toxins, and emotional toxins and also for pacifying aggravated Vata dosha (due to hectic and stressful lifestyle and improper foods/food habits) which is the root cause of imbalance, also it helps relieve stress.
Abhyanga is an Ayurvedic external therapy where one or two therapists (signature therapy) use aromatic herbal oils. It is a holistic treatment also meant to nourish the body with healing touch and warmed oil, and certainly promotes healthy circulation and joints. This treatment is very balancing and is excellent for detoxifying toxins in your body.
Ayurveda massage therapy is not only a muscle work but the approach is cellular. Warm oils deeply penetrate cells and release physical, mental and spiritual toxins, hence it is detoxifying as well as healing CELLULAR therapy. Hence the stress is removed from the root place thus it promotes self-healing of cells.
Benefits of Abhyanga
- Nourishes mind and body and rejuvenates the whole body
- Increases longevity delays aging
- Relives fatigue builds stamina
- Promotes deeper sleep
- Enhances complexion and luster of skin.
- Cleans your body (detoxify)
- Helps you avoid stress and enjoy a brightness of the senses (Balance body, mind and soul.)
- Prevents stiffness of muscles
- Corrects digestion and blood pressure and enjoy better sleep
- Mind (Avoid bad thoughts and feel happy)
- Soul (Only a sound body can bear a good soul)
Shirodhara – Third Eye Therapy
Shiro,” means head, and “dhara” is the continuous flow of a liquid. In this process, warm herbal oils, milk or buttermilk, or decoctions are poured in a slow steady stream on your forehead. A steady flow of warm oil onto the forehead stimulates the pituitary gland, or “third-eye.” This is one of the most divine therapies, awakening your body’s intuitive knowledge.
According to Ayurveda, Shirodhara is beneficial for Vata and Pitta dosha. When out of balance, Vata dosha exhibits as fear, insecurity, worry, racing thoughts. Out of balance Pitta dosha exhibits as anger, irritability, frustration, judgment.
The action and qualities of the liquid used in Shirodhara counters the qualities of the out of balance doshas. It soothes, nourishes and pacifies the doshas through the application of the liquid to the forehead, scalp and nervous system.
The Energy behind
In the procedure of Shirodhara, particular pressure and vibration is created over the forehead. The vibration is amplified by the hollow sinus present in the frontal bone. The vibration is then transmitted inwards through the fluid medium of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). This vibration along with little temperature may activate the functions of thalamus and the basal forebrain which then brings the amount of serotonin and catecholamine to the normal stage inducing the sleep.
Benefits of Shirodhara
- Stimulates the 3rd eye and crown chakras, and awakens intuition and inner wisdom
- Relieves stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia through natural serotonin, dopamine, and melatonin release
- Helps mental focus and concentration
- Balances VATA DOSHA
- Works on the cerebral system helps to relax the nervous system and balances the ‘Praan Vaayu’ (life force energy) around the head
- Improves the sensitivity of five senses
- Reduces and relieves migraine headaches
- Decreases hair loss and fatigue and makes one calm and refreshed
- Deeply relaxes mind and body
- Releases negative emotions and thought patterns.
- Improves sleep patterns
- Rejuvenates the entire face and softens worry lines
- Heightens the senses
- Increases spiritual awareness
- Pacifies Vata reducing anxiety, restlessness, irritability, nervousness, fear & excessive thinking
- Improves mental focus and concentration.
Shiatsu is a form of massage that originated in Japan and traditional Chinese medicine and has been widely practiced around the world since the 1970s. Shiatsu means “finger pressure,” which describes the technique. In shiatsu therapy, pressure with thumbs, hands, elbows, knees or feet is applied to pressure points on the body. This form of massage also focuses on rotating and stretching limbs, joints, and pressure points, or meridians, as they’re called in traditional Chinese medicine.
The theory behind shiatsu is that our bodies are made up of energy, called qi, and that energy gets blocked and causes suffering. Shiatsu massage helps remove the blockages by realigning meridian points, which balances the qi and eases the body and mind. When one balances qi, or vital energy, healing occurs in the body. The nervous and immune systems are both stimulated by applying pressure to the meridians, providing relief for both body and mind. Shiatsu also restores the circulatory system, improving blood flow throughout the body.
The body has twelve meridians, named according to its corresponding organ: lung, large intestine, stomach, spleen, heart, small intestine, bladder, kidney, heart governor, triple heater, gall bladder, and liver. The functions of these organs have a broader definition in Eastern medicine
Here is a list of some of the benefits:
- Restore and maintain the body’s energy, especially helpful to those suffering from fatigue and overall weakness
- Improves circulation
- Reduces stress and tension as well as anxiety and depression
- Relief from headaches
- Promotes healing from sprains and similar injuries
- Helps bring relief to arthritis sufferers
- Reduces problems with stiff neck and shoulders as well as backaches (including sciatica)
- Coughs, colds, and other sinus and respiratory problems
- Helps those dealing with insomnia
- Aids in treatment of such various things as digestive disorders, bowel trouble, morning sickness, and menstrual problems
The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words – Rei which means “God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power” and Ki which is “life force energy”. So Reiki is actually “spiritually guided life force energy.” It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.
- Promotes Harmony & Balance
- Creates deep relaxation and helps the body release stress and tension
- Dissolves energy blocks and promotes natural balance between mind, body and spirit
- Clears the mind and improves focus as you feel grounded & centered
- Aids better sleep
- Accelerates the body’s self-healing ability as you start to return to your natural state
- Helps relieve pain and supports the physical body healing
Thai Yoga Massage
2,500 years ago a dynamic bodywork therapy based upon yoga and Ayurveda practices, appeared in the temples of Thailand. This therapeutic art was directly rooted in the Indian healing traditions of Ayurvedic medicine. The father founder of Thai Yoga Massage, Jivaka Kumarbhaccha was a renowned doctor and yogi, he treated the Buddha, among others. After the Buddha’s death, the earliest Buddhist monks traveled to Southeast Asia and were accompanied by Ayurvedic doctors. These doctors practiced a healing art that would later evolve into traditional Thai Massage
The practitioner guides the client through a series of yoga postures while palming and thumbing along the body’s energy (‘Sen’) lines and pressure points. Together these actions result in a comprehensive full body treatment that relieves muscular tension, improves circulation, boosts the immune system and balances the body energetically.
- Helps detoxify the body and boosts the immune system
- Increases blood circulation and lowers blood pressure
- Great for muscle relaxation, increases flexibility in muscles and increases mobility
- Improves posture, balance corrects body alignments and dissolves energy blocks
- Helps tone the body, strengthens joints and fights diseases including chronic joint problems
- Reduces and relieves stress and anxiety
- Helps boost energy levels