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Which Type of Ayurvedic Massage is for You?

When we think about Ayurveda, the first thing that comes to mind is often the nutritional aspect of it–the herbs and foods that bring our bodies into balance. While dietary guidelines are a big part of Ayurveda, massage therapy plays an almost equally important role in this ancient healthcare system.

Ayurvedic massages are different from your typical massage in that they generously incorporate soothing, warm oils, which are infused with healing herbs. Throughout these massages, the oils sink deeply into our skin, with the goal of purifying the blood, nourishing the cells, and removing toxins from the system.

There are countless variations of Ayurvedic massages, and our spa has many to choose from. No matter your body type or state of health, we have a massage that suits you perfectly. Just like everything else in Ayurveda, Ayurvedic massage is tailored to your specific constitution and needs. Keep reading to find out which of our offerings is right for you.

Abhyanga: Detoxifying Warm Oil Massage

Abhyanga is one of the most popular and recommended therapies in Ayurveda. This practice involves rhythmically massaging warm, aromatic oils over the entire body in order to loosen toxins and relax the nervous system. As the oils sink gently into your skin, you’ll experience deep rest, nourishment, and rejuvenation.

Other benefits of abhyanga include reducing the effects of aging, increasing circulation, stimulating the internal organs, deepening sleep, and lubricating the joints.

The oils, herbs, and massage techniques can be altered to suit nearly anybody at any time. Before the session begins, you’ll have a brief consultation with your massage therapist to allow him or her to alter their procedure to align with your needs. For that reason, if you’re looking for relaxation and rejuvenation, abhyanga is always a great choice.

Udvartana: Herbal Exfoliation Treatment

Another popular Ayurvedic massage is udvartana. Udvartana is a sanskrit word meaning upward, and the name refers to the upward stroking technique used in the practice. Oil-infused or dry powdered herbs, minerals, and medicinal spices are rubbed in the opposite direction of your hair growth. This creates a mild abrasive effect, which is ideal for removing impurities and stimulating the metabolic process.

Udvartana is best suited for kapha types, due to its successes in reducing fat, cellulite, and fluid retention in the skin. However, this massage can also be tailored to any body type to drain the lymphatic system, increase circulation, reduce lethargy, and activate circulation.

Basti: Joint Rejuvenation

As the name suggests, basti is a treatment best suited for those dealing with pain in their lower back, neck, shoulders, or knees. With this treatment, an herbal dough is applied around the area of focus, and then filled to contain a pool of warm, medicated oils designed to soothe your body. This process allows the oils to sink deeply into your skin to soften the rigid, tight, and stuff tissues that were causing you pain, thus reducing swelling, decreasing pain, and increasing mobility.

This practice also includes a deep cleansing massage to the affected areas in order to further stimulate blood flow, release tension, and promote mobility.

Sundarya: Lavishing Treatment

This full-body massage relaxes your entire body, including your scalp, face, and neck. With the use of our luxurious and fragrant blend of essential oils, your senses will be delighted as your body is deeply nurtured, moisturized, and purified.

After that, you’ll be treated to a cleansing full-body exfoliation using Shankara’s Sundarya Salt Scrub to awaken, refine, and purify the skin. By the time it’s over, not only will your body be revitalized, but your spirit will be uplifted as well.

Shankara Signature Massage

This massage is entirely tailored to your needs by our expert massage therapists. After evaluating your body type, they will create a unique blend of oils perfectly tailored to your constitution, which will be used to massage whichever areas you’d like to focus on.

No matter what your needs are, our retreat center can help bring you back into a state of balance through one of our massages. However, these therapies are only scratching the surface of what our center’s Ayurvedic lifestyle has to offer. Here, you will find many opportunities to move beyond massages into the realm of holistic wellness through peaceful yoga, nourishing foods, and uplifting retreats as well. We’re looking forward to seeing you here soon!

Want to learn more about the kind of retreats the Art of Living Retreat Center offers? Check out our calendar, or feel free to call us at 800-392-6870. We’d love to chat with you!

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