AYURVEDIC Marma MASSAGE: ANCIENT INDIA’S BEST-KEPT SECRET
Ayurveda means “knowledge of life” and comes from the ancient civilization of India. This natural and holistic health care system utilizes the innate principles of nature to balance Body, Mind and Spirit.
Ayurvedic massage is one of Ancient India’s best-kept secrets and a key part of Ayurvedic therapy. Just as a machine needs to be oiled, the body loves to have its largest organ, the skin, soothed, which is why oils are commonly used in Ayurvedic massage.
Combining skilled knowledge of the body with knowledge of oils, music, and bodywork techniques has resulted in a profound art for balancing the body and mind.
What is Marma?
Ayurvedic body massage is performed with an acute awareness of the marmas and chakras. The Marmas (vital points) are a very important part of Ayurvedic anatomy and surgery, as with Acupressure, these points correspond to internal organs and systems of the body which react to manual stimulation. The word marma comes from Sanskrit origin mru or marr. There are 107 major ones located at the junctions where flesh, veins, arteries, tendons, bones and joints meet, as well as being the secondary seats of subtle energy (Prana or Qi). Marmas are also the points where the elemental life forces of ether, air, fire, water and earth converge and therefore where the body’s organizing intelligence is most concentrated.
Marma is also thought to be a Sanskrit word meaning hidden or secret. Each point has it’s own intelligence and consciousness, which co-ordinate with the mind and body and using the fingers to stimulate the Marma points thereby promoting physical and mental rehabilitation.
The seven great marmas in Ayurvedic massage are the same as the main chakras. These seven chakras are whirling vortexes of energy located over the main endocrine glands – the gonads and ovaries, pancreas, adrenals, thymus, thyroid, pituitary and pineal. Each chakra nourishes particular organs and controls various psycho-physiological aspects of our being. When they are blocked, physical disease ensues. Ayurvedic oil massage opens and cleanses these energy channels so the current can flow freely and our latent vitality is released.
The Hindu healthcare system uses Marma massage as a routine part of their preventative medicine and also aim to tone muscles. Supportive input to the senses is emphasized during Ayurvedic massage therapy as our senses are the gateways to our biological and mental processes.
Through centuries of practice it has been observed that the following symptoms are alleviated through Marma massage:
Nervousness & anxiety
Numbness or metallic taste in the mouth
Tingling in the fingertips and toes
Stress at work & home
Lack of energy
Weakness in general
Muscular aches & pains including back and neck
In an ideal world, Ayurvedic marma massage should be carried out every day to promote positive health, overcome fatigue, strengthen the nervous system, improve eyesight, nourish the bodily tissues, increase longevity, normalize sleep, improve flexibility and sturdiness as well as to maintain good health in general. Simulating or massaging the marma points gives benefits to the area of their locations and improves the function of the connecting organs. The marma massage itself is approximately 60 to 90 minutes of duration followed by hot towel ablution. The marma massage can be used as a part of a rejuvenation therapy or it could be used as preventative measure from unwanted conditions. Either way, marma massage is a really useful way to help improve or maintain an individual’s health balance.
An additional benefit of Ayurvedic massage is the potency of the herb-infused oils used. These enhance the process of purification and regeneration. Shown to completely permeate the dermis in 5 minutes and all seven layers of skin in 8-10 minutes, the oils used can be infused with up to 45 different herbs, increasing the therapeutic effect immeasurably. The oils have been scientifically proven to possess anti-carcinogenic and antioxidant properties. The Charaka Samhita, an ancient Ayurvedic treatise states that “Ayurvedic oils strengthen the metabolic fires, purify the intestines, remove toxins from the tissues, rejuvenate the body, prevent ageing and bestow the user with a lifespan of 100 years.”
As a intuitive Ayurvedic massage therapist I am able to read an individual’s body map of aches, pains, lumps and bumps, fully aware that every touch evokes certain emotions and gently facilitates the ‘letting-go’ of unresolved wounds.
During an Ayurvedic massage a subtle transfer of electromagnetic energy takes place between the therapist and the client so it is important to trust and feel ‘good vibes’ with your chosen therapist. One must feel receptive and safe in order to allow the energy of the therapist to facilitate the healing process. In turn a wave of unconditional love and compassion flows through the therapist as they respect the faith you have placed in them, an honour not taken lightly. Perhaps that’s why the Ayurvedic word for oil is sneha; a term also synonymous with love, kindness and tenderness; all the feelings that should engulf you during an Ayurvedic body massage. If love is the panacea, then an Ayurvedic oil massage is a great way to get a good dose of unconditional love.
Ayurvedic Massage: Therapists as Sculptors
The Ayurvedic massage strokes vary from deep to superficial and follow the flow of energy channels, nerve pathways and hair growth. There are three types of movements – active (strong pressure), passive (delicate stroking) and persuasive (pinching or kneading the small muscles with the thumb and forefinger).
Before the Ayurvedic massage, I focus my energy with a brief balancing meditation to magnify the healing potency and synchronize my breathing with the receiver in order to maintain a deep interconnection. Like a sculptor flowing with the body’s mould they create a very relaxing yet enlivening mood. The entire body (except the genital region) is tended to in order to bring about a sense of whole-body integration and alignment.
Ayurvedic Massage: Lend Me Your Ears
“Music gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, charm to sadness, gaiety and life to everything” – Plato
During an Ayurvedic massage, music is a very uplifting and meditative. Transcending the intellect, music touches our deepest spiritual essence which is why the Sanskrit term for note (swara) means expression of the soul. Transporting us to a realm of etheric vibrations, music activates the right side of the brain which nurtures creativity, intuition, receptivity, softness, stillness, silence, dreams, relaxation, imagination and regeneration. Sound is simply a vibration eliciting change in the forms it flows through, our atoms literally ‘dancing’ to the beat of the music.
As an expert in Ayurveda I can choose a suitable melody to reduce pain, induce sleep, coax one out of depression and subdue anger amongst many things.
These melodies were developed through the recognition of cosmic vibrations emitting from natural forces. Reflecting a particular mood and physical reality, the listener’s biorhythms start to resonate with the musical vibration, creating a harmony that removes obstacles to health.
Choosing The Right Aroma depends of your Doshi
Aromatherapy coaxes our 10 million sense-detecting cells into an effortless state of harmony. Smell is the only sense with a direct link to the limbic or emotional centre of the brain. During an Ayurvedic massage, therefore, this gives aromas the power to evoke vivid impressions, conjure up memories, boost our immune system, trigger emotions and drive the stress response. Smells are also used to literally ‘clear the air’ of negative influences or energies.
Everyone has a particular neuro-association linked to certain scents . To one person rose essential oil conjures up happy feelings of their childhood garden, another may be repulsed by its association with a tragic funeral service. It is of utmost importance that the smell induces a positive state in the inhaler. The essential oil should also counteract one’s elemental imbalances. For example a hot, angry, restless person with skin inflammation would experience aggravation from cinnamon essential oil in a mustard seed oil base. Yet this combination would be great for a cold, plump, lethargic person suffering from bronchitis.
Ayurvedic Massage: Mandala
The use of mandala is sometimes involved in massage therapy. Mandala are concentrated, specific geometry vibrations, which cleanse subtle impurities from the nerves, mind and energy channels. Before Ayurvedic massage, mandala may be incorporated to invoke particular healing energies or to clear specific blockages from the chakras.
Ayurvedic Massage: Dreams Are The Seedlings Of Reality
A very powerful partner to bodywork, visualizations trigger the right side of the brain’s capacity for renewal and change. Since the mind is exceptionally impressionable and receptive during massage therapy, due to the alpha brain wave state induced, it is the perfect time to clear out weed-negative beliefs and plant positive-seed beliefs with conscious intentions. Visualizations are a way of taking advantage of the old adage that anything we conceive and sincerely believe in, we can achieve.
AYURVEDIC MASSAGE: As a Part of Your Personalized Wellness Program
Where Ayurvedic massage is to form part of a more comprehensive therapy program,as Naturopathic/Ayurvedic Health Practitioner I will assess your body’s doshic balance before embarking on any massage therapy so to ensure you receive the most suitable form of Ayurvedic massage for your needs. A preliminary consultation ( includes Ayurveda Body Type Test) is therefore advisable for those looking to gain optimum benefit from their Ayurvedic massage experience.
After investigating the state of your tissues, your body systems, previous conditions and mental disposition, the ideal type of Ayurvedic massage for your needs will be recommended and then tailored to suit. Specific strokes, oils, marmas and chakras, music, affirmations and guided visualizations are also formulated to enhance the therapeutic impact of your Ayurvedic massage.
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