What to Expect in an Ayurvedic Massage

Ayurvedic Massage - the Art of Living Retreat Center

You haven’t truly experienced a massage until you’ve had an Ayurvedic massage, or abhyanga. This type of massage therapy, which originated in India, is a holistic approach to healing that is deep, nourishing, and relaxing. Using warm oils infused with healing herbs that are tailored to each recipient’s needs, practitioners gently massage the entire body to nourish the cells, tissues, and energy channels. This method helps us maintain our current health and prevent future disease, leading us to happier and healthier lives. If you’re curious about what the entire practice entails, here’s what you can expect!

Before the massage begins

Before your Ayurvedic massage begins, you’ll spend around 15 minutes in consultating with your massage practitioner, discussing your health, lifestyle, and current needs. At this time, your practitioner will evaluate your Ayurvedic body type and choose the organic oils and herbs that will bring your body into balance. They will then begin heating up the oils to prepare them for application. The oils used are typically based in coconut or sesame oil.

At this time, you’ll also be able to discuss any allergies you have to certain oils, and if you’re looking to deal with any particular pains or ailments during the session. If you have any discomfort removing your clothes or exposing certain body parts, you can bring this up at this point.During the session, only the body parts massaged will be exposed. The rest of you will be covered and kept warm with soft sheets, blankets, or towels.

During the massage

As the massage begins, you will lay down on a comfortable table and the massage therapist will begin rhythmically rubbing the warm, aromatic herbal oils into your full body, including your hair. These ayurvedic oils penetrate deeply into the skin, allowing them to transport their healing properties directly to your cells, which strengthen your immune system.

In order to loosen toxins, relax the nervous system, and help you rest and rejuvenate, the therapist will use a variety of techniques with their hands. These include strong strokes to loosen tension, delicate stroking to loosen knots, and kneading and light pinching to invite more softness into your skin. To increase effectiveness, therapists will synchronize their breathing to match the technique they’re using. This entire process typically lasts between 30 and 90 minutes.

After the massage

After your full body massage is over, you’ll be free to continue laying down and relaxing peacefully until you feel ready to get up again. You will then have the option of taking a slow shower to wash the oil away.

Following that, your therapist will provide you with some personalized tips regarding diet, exercise, nasal sprays, herbal remedies, sleep, meditation, and yoga that will help you to live a more balanced life. Once you’ve heard their suggestions, you’ll be free to go on with your day.

In order to fully integrate all the benefits of your Ayurvedic treatment, it’s recommended that you follow your massage with relaxing, low-energy activities, such as spending time at the spa, eating a leisurely meal, or taking a slow walk through nature. Taking it easy and integrating your therapist’s tips will allow you to maintain this stake of well-being for as long as you like.

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