Why Ayurveda Massage May Be The Best For You!

November 27, 2008

With all the different varieties of massage therapy programs available today, it has become really difficult for individuals to select which one is best for them.

The Swedish Massage, which is often called the classic or traditional massage. This is the most common massage therapy method and it is what most people commonly favor. The long and flowing strokes characterize this method, and it is ideal for relaxing muscles, improving joint flexibility and aiding in better circulation.

The first stroke is known as effleurage, this involves a long gliding stroke from the neck down to the base of the spine or from the shoulder down to the fingertips. It is as well done on the limbs with all strokes directed toward the heart to aid blood and lymphatic flow. A therapist would usually apply their whole hand or a thumb pad to do this.

Next is petrissage, which consists of lifting the muscles gently off the bones and then rolling the muscles while gently squeezing them. It usually consists of rolling, squeezing, or pressing the muscles to enhance deeper circulation. It increases circulation through eliminating toxins from muscle and nerve tissue.

The third technique friction, is the most forceful one and uses deep circular movements using fingertips. it is applied near bony areas and joints, it relaxes the muscle fiber which in turn enhances flexibility in muscles and joints.

After friction, another technique called tapotement is done. Tapotement is a series of quick forceful movements made by striking or tapping the muscles with the hand. This can be done with the edge of the hand, a closed fist or just with the fingertips. It releases tension and relieves muscle cramps.

Lastly, the therapist employs vibration or shaking that entails the pressing of hands on the back or limbs and shaking in a rapid motion for a few moments. It improves circulation and muscle contraction and is advantageous to individuals with low-back pain.

On the other hand, Ayurvedic massage originated from India and its purpose is to produce harmony and balance within the individual and it helps in the removal of toxins and rejuvenation of the body. It was not practiced publicly until Indian practitioners decided to roam around and give muscle, joint and back massages

Ayurvedic massage is based on a particular system that includes the knowledge of Ayurvedic and Greek systems of medicine which is focused on Ayurvedic doshas and marmas or pressure points. Muslim massage techniques were also adapted in this system.

Ayurvedic massage uses particular oils that suit your dosha. One such, is the Abhyanga-Garshana which comprises of skin brushing followed by an oil massage. Udwarthanam which is a slimming massage that uses herbal powders and the Ayurvedic foot massage which is a deep massage where the therapist uses their feet.

Now you have adequate knowledge on both Swedish and Ayurvedic massage, it is up to you to select between the two which better suits your style of relaxation. Remember both massages have unique qualities and techniques, the choosing part can be a little difficult though, so if you are still undecided why not try both?

Additional Reading:

Massage Therapy Styles and Health Benefits

7 Top Ayurvedic Massage Oils for Back Pain Relief

5 Health Benefits of Massage Therapy

All Natural Ayurvedic Massage Oils