Role of massages in Ayurveda


ayurveda massageA good body massage helps in reducing the muscle-tension, provides relief from pain and helps in opening skin pores and eliminating toxins from the body in the form of sweat and increases blood circulation.

Massage literally means manipulation of soft tisuues of the body by hands. In Ayurveda massage plays a very important role in the treatment of various diseases. Massage has been used as an excellent remedy for ages in places like India, China, Greece, Rome and Egypt and a number of other countries.

In physiotherapy treatment, the massaging begins with massage of arms and legs, followed by abdomen, chest, back, hips and then the face and head. Massage is mostly done with hands for deriving maximum benefit.

In Ayurveda massage is also called Snehan (Oleation) and is given before proceeding with the Panchakarma treatment. Pankakarma is the process used to purify or detoxify the body using five basic principles called Vamana, Virechana, Nruha, Anuvasana and Nasya. These massages are then followed by a fermentation called svedana. Usually Snehana and svedana are the two massages given before the panchakarma treatment.

Massages are given for relief from oedema, for relief from adhesions that occur in the body after an injury, for reducing muscular spasm and to improve muscle tone. It also helps in stimulation  of the digestive and the urinary system. As massages produce heat, a hot shower is given after massage the is done.

Massages are not done when a patient is suffering from fever or during pregnancy. Also abdominal massages are avoided for patients suffering from ulcers, appendicitis, diarrhea and abdominal tumours.