There are several concepts and procedure for performing Kerala Ayurvedic Massages which are implemented depending upon the type of the massage.
Abhyanga is an individually prepared herbal-oil Ayurveda body massage designed to penetrated oil deeply in to the skin, relax the mind-body, breaks up impurities, enhances the ability of nutrients to reach starved cells and allows for the removal of stagnant waste, and also it is a technical adaptation of touch, which is an absolutely primal and a basic instinctive need for the living being. It relies upon the power and magic of touch for efficacy. It heals, it comforts and it brings a warm glow of security that encircles both the giver and receiver in a peculiar kind of bonding. It is beneficial for stress, muscular tension, stiffness, pain and swelling, excessive scar tissue formation, muscular spasm, tension headache and eye strain. The Kerala Ayurveda massage is performed symmetrically by two masseurs and is usually followed by a medicated steam bath.
Swedana is an individually herbalized fomentation in different methods. Medicated steam bath, in a steam box is the common procedure. Sudation therapy is beneficial in dyspnoea, cough, hiccup, heaviness, stiffness and rigidity of body parts, headache, ear ache, pain on neck, Bell’s palsy, paralysis, loss of sensation and sciatica.
Shirodhara is administered by mildly and methodically pouring warm medicated oil over the forehead, synchronizing brain waves and profoundly coordinating and calming the mind, body and the spirit. Every human being is considered to be like a tree with inverted position. Roots of tree carry all mineral substances and water for nourishment. Like wise, all ayurvedic treatments done on head like shirodhara, shirovasti etc relaxes and revitalizes all sensory organs including Central Nervous System, regulates hormonal balance and improves mental alertness. Shirodhara is good for stress and strain, insomnia, chronic headache, anxiety, paralysis, depression, Alzheimer’s disorder and in various diseases related to central nervous system.
Takradhara is a variant form of shirodhara, which involves continuous and steady flow of medicated butter milk over the forehead. Takradhara is especially good for psychosomatic problems, like psoriasis, stress and insomnia.
Pizhichil is a special Ayurveda treatment in Kerala developed by Kerala scholars, in which continuous stream of warm medicated oil poured over the whole body followed by Ayurveda massage in perfect unison. It is extremely soothing and relaxing. It acts as free radical scavenger, toning, strengthening and deeply rejuvenating the whole body. This also increases the vitality and immunity. It is prescribed in clinical conditions like paraplegia, hemiplegia and other Vata predominant ailments.
Udwartana is a deeply penetrating powder massage for reducing body weight and the removal of stagnant lymphatic toxins out of the body. The powder massage is usually done upward direction. As the massage promotes active blood flow, it revitalizes and reconditions the body, thus preserving its strength, skin texture and natural elasticity.
Njavarakkizhi is a tissue-nourishing treatment, using highly nutritious rice called 'Njavara'. Hence, its benefits in treating paralysis, Parkinson's disease, cervical spondylosis, osteoarthritis, diabetic neuropathy, inter vertebral disc prolapse, rheumatoid arthritis etc. are superior. Njavarakizhi is also an excellent rejuvenating therapy to keep the body young and healthy. It nourishes the muscles, improves their tone and imparts longevity.
Elakkizhi is an innovative classical Ayurvedic massage in Kerala with medicated leaves and is used to tackle joint pain, muscle cramps, stress and arthritis; it rejuvenates musculo-skeletal system and is good in post traumatic cases. Herbal poultices (bundles) are prepared with various herbs; the poultices are warmed in medicated oils and used to massage the entire body, neck, shoulders, hand and back, shifting the person from side to side.
Tarpanam is highly powerful procedure which rejuvenates the eyes. The paste of black gram is applied around the eyes and the medicated ghee is then poured in the eyes for a time described according to the diseased condition. The active ingredients of the ghee medicine start the regeneration process and the vision is restored. Tharpanam is said to improve eye sight, strengthen the optic nerve and prevent different eye diseases.
Kativasti is done by retaining certain amount of warm medicated oil on the low back of the body. This is one of the most effective treatments for many degenerative disorders of that area. Diseases like chronic back ache, sciatica, lumbago, weakness of lower limbs etc. are treated using Kativasti.
Januvasti is done by making a reservoir with black gram paste around the knee joints and filled with warm medicated oil. This is followed by a brief massage of the area. It is very beneficial in knee joint pain due to different diseases and it strengthens the knee joints.Kerala Ayurvedic Massages - Concept and Procedure