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ABHYANGA

Ayurvedic Massage

Presentation by
Jacquie, Kellie & Hasanthi

What is Ayurveda?

Science of Life

Deals with body, mind and the spirit Dates back 5000 years Part of the Vedic tradition in India

Origins of Ayurveda
Vedic Sages compiled medical treatises Atreya Samhita the oldest medical book! Ayurvedic physician-surgeons were priests, sages, seers or holy people. Knowledge of healing through Divine revelation Health was an integral part of spiritual life.

Evolution of Ayurveda
Devine revelations on healing were transcribed into book form Became a widely accepted system of healing in India.

Atreya- the school of physicians


Dhanvantari - the school of surgeons

Ayurveda &

Spirituality
The Vedic deity who presides over Ayurveda is known as Dhanvantari

Ayurvedic Healing Therapies Pancha Karma

Shodhana
Cleansing and elimination procedures

Shamana
Supporting therapies

Snehana
Caring therapy

Abhyanga
Massage

Development of Ayurvedic Massage


Developed along with a form of martial arts
Initially used for promoting the wellbeing of early warriors Became available to all through Pancha Karma treatments Can be used independently of Pancha Karma Many variations of Abhyanga exist today

Abhyanga Philosophy
Abhyanga is intimately linked to the profound harmony of the Earth. The ancients believed every movement of the cosmos to be filled with universal Abhyanga.

Benefits of Abhyanga
the Ayurvedic Oil Massage
Increased circulation, especially to nerve endings
Toning of the muscles and the whole physiology Calming for the nerves Lubrication of the joints Increased mental alertness Improved elimination of impurities from the body Softer, smoother skin

Increased levels of stamina through the day


Better, deeper sleep at night

The Marma Points


Abhyanga is based on the knowledge of Marma points or reflex anatomical sites where junctions of prana or life force are located.

Knowledge of these vital points were applied:


to fatally wound opponents; for surgical procedures;

in healing through Ayurvedic acupuncture; and


in revitalizing the body through Abhyanga therapies.

Types of Abhyanga Massage


There are three main types of Abhyanga massage: Active massage - strong pressure is applied

Passive massage - delicate stroking is performed


Persuasive massage uses pinching and kneading techniques

General Techniques
General techniques used during the massage include: Soothing rubbing movements Pinching technique Kneading technique Pressing technique Small circular thumb movements applied to Marma points

Massage Oils for Abhyanga


A wide variety of Ayurvedic oils are used to soothe, stabilize and nourish the body. Sesame oil is used as the dominant base oil Formulas for massage oils include herbal decoctions, herbal infusions, or oils combined with fresh herbal juices and gels. Sometimes essential oils are also added

Ubtans for Abhyanga


Freshly ground flours or Ubtans are also applied
Usually made from a various beans and occasionally from grains. They have inherently astringent and antiseptic properties. Used for enlivening the skin tissue as a final measure to the Abhyanga therapy

Energy Bodywork
Abhyanga involves energy bodywork

It is important for the therapist to be able to touch and perceive the pranic, or energy body, of the patient. The key to Abhyanga is to remain centered and follow the movement of prana.

References
Florida Vedic College, 2007: The History of Ayurveda, www.floridavediccollege.edu (accessed 11 April, 2007) Gogia, B., 2003: The Ayurvedic Energy Bodywork, www.naturalhealthweb.com (accessed 11 April, 2007) Maharishi Ayurveda, 2007: Abhyanga The Ayurvedic Daily Massage www.mapi.com (accessed 11 April, 2007) Tiwari, M., 1995: Ayurveda Secrets of Healing, Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt Ltd, Delhi