Saturday, August 1, 2009

Enjoy an Ayurveda massage

Enjoy an Ayurveda massage
by Kalwant Kour
Sat, Aug 01, 200

DESPITE the concept of ayurveda having been around for thousands of years, the closest I had come to it was something that came out of a bottle.
So when this “ayurveda virgin” ventured into Ayush Ayurveda clinic for some treatment for my long-standing sinus and asthma issues, I was not sure what to expect. But ayurveda physician Bindu Ancy Joshy put me at ease immediately.

She assured me that the only way to get to know ayurveda was to experience it.

Dr Bindu explained that ayurveda treatments are based on three fundamental elements: Vata Dorsha (wind element),

Pitta Dosha (fire element) and Kapha Dosha (water element). And before any hands, or oil for that matter, touch your body, the doctors at the clinic do a full consultation with you to find out more about your body’s constitution.

That way, they can pick the correct course of treatment to enhance your health and emotional well being.

Ayurveda believes in the treatment of not just the affected part but the total well-being of the person.

After the consultation, which took about half an hour, a Kerala-trained therapist was briefed on my body condition and the necessary treatments and oils to be used for the massage. Since I had an asthma condition, a warm oil – imported from Kerala according to Dr Bindu – was used on my head.

But honestly nothing prepared me for the massage part of the treatment when I was handed a loincloth and told to put it on. I was apparently lucky as usually you have to be nude for the massages.

For the first part of the treatment, I sat in a chair as warm oil was poured on the centre of my head for 10 minutes. This was followed by a firm 10-minute head massage which felt great.

Then began the real journey: As I lay on a wooden bed, a variety of oils were generously poured onto my body as the therapist massaged me. She said the combination
of the oil and massage would improve blood circulation and reduce any swelling from water retention. During the hour-long massage, the therapist also pounded my body with
a warm herbal pouch called the Kizhi. Though this sounds painful, it wasn’t... it actually relieved the stiffness in my neck, shoulders and knees.

And, despite my initial discomfort about being in my birthday suit, the therapist’s magic fingers sent me into dreamland as she worked the knots and aches out of my body.
I walked out of Ayush Ayurveda clinic... no, sorry, I floated out, smelling of oil and loving it. And that night I slept like a baby.

This article was first published in tabla!

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