Monday, September 10, 2018

Benefits of Ayurvedic Massage for the Fall



By Catalina Rahaianu 




While each season manifests differently in each part of the world, Ayurveda considers fall as a season where the Vata dosha is dominant. The ancient medical system of Ayurveda explains how the qualities of nature and the environment manifest in the human system. For example, when it’s cold outside, you naturally feel more cold. These qualities are categorized as Vata, Pitta & Kapha bio-energies or doshas. The qualities of Vata dosha are cold, dry, rough, mobile, subtle, and light. When we shift from summer, which is hot and sticky, to fall which is usually cool, windy and dry, this can increase Vata in your body and contribute to you feeling unbalanced. Symptoms of Vata imbalance, such as excess bloating, gas, anxiety, dryness and uneasiness, can become exacerbated in the fall if we aren’t careful.
When the temperature, humidity and length of days start changing as a new season begins, you may respond to these changes in nature by desiring different foods and daily routine. As the weather cools in fall, you may notice you feel like warmer foods and different tastes – if you are in tune with what your body is telling you. When you tune into nature's intelligence and your own body's needs, then you will naturally crave the foods and daily routine that will support you as the seasons change. 
To read more about diet & lifestyle support for fall season: http://blog.naturopathicfoundations.ca/2015/10/balancing-vata-in-fall.html
One of the best ways to support balance during fall is Ayurvedic massage or “AbhyangaThis therapeutic massage is a traditional form of massage which supports the nervous system, promotes relaxation while detoxifying the body during this transitional season. Warm, medicinal oils are customized to your body type and health condition and are applied to the full body. As we move into fall, these massages are incredibly soothing and will better prepare you for the winter season.
Abhyanga massage will help with overall blood circulation and stimulation of the internal organs, will calm the mind disturbed by the winds and the changes in temperature, will facilitate the elimination of impurities from the body. Read more about how abhyanga massage can benefit you:

Benefits of Full Body Abhyanga

• Relives and prevents sinus and chest congestion due to cooling weather
• Improves sleep, strengthens and improves vision
• Strengthens your Ojas (immunity)
• Tones our tissues, bringing vigor and vitality to the body
• Improves circulation to extremities and internal organs
• Calms Vata (air and space) and Pitta (fire and water) while helping Kapha (water and earth) flow


What to expect?

An Abhyanga treatment lasts 3060 or 90 minutes, can be done daily, weekly or monthly depending on your health concerns.  It is most beneficial when a few are done close together. It is best to wear comfortable clothes and come on a light stomach (avoid eating a heavy meal right before treatment). Hydration before and after treatment is essential to support detoxification. Your practitioner may advise herbal teas or certain foods customized to your body type. Treatments are done in quiet to optimize your healing.

How is Ayurvedic massage different from conventional massage?

Abhyanga massage uses warm oils which are infused with herbs and essential oils that work medicinally when absorbed through the skin so it is considered a therapeutic massage, with relaxation benefits. The head, face and sinus treatments are unique to abhyanga and very helpful in revealing headaches, sleep problems as well as sinus conditions. 

Pressure is generally on the lighter side since abhyanga massage targets the lymphatic system and circulation of blood and prana or chi. If you have specific muscle tension, your therapist may use more pressure to target muscles and ligaments. Abhyanga also incorporates “marma points” or acupressure points which supports healing on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level. This treatment is also emphasizes massage around the joints so is excellent for joint stiffness, arthritis or other issues. It is safe and therapeutic to do both types of massage and many people find benefits with a schedule of abhyanga and conventional massage. Please speak to your therapist to learn about what is best for you.

If you haven’t tried Ayurvedic massage, fall is the perfect time to reset your system and treat yourself. If you would like to know more about Ayurvedic massage, please contact Catalina who is trained in Ayurvedic therapies  at catalina@naturopathicfoundations.ca  

To book an appointment, please call the clinic at 905-940-2727.