Bodywork is likely the most important component of all health. Literally, working the body. The body, like other forms of matter, has a tendency to collect "dust", among other things. Toxins and foreign particles are being introduced round the clock. Lack of proper use creates stiffness, pain and illness. And so, we must work the body out. This, of course, means many things to many people and there are a variety of ways to do this. But, ultimately the best way to do this is to sort of wring it out; much like you would a dirty mop. And how do we do this? Massage.
In Ayurveda, this massage is called an abhyanga. It's a warm oil massage that's blended with oil specifically to work towards alleviating ailing symptoms unique to each individual. Ayurveda uses the skin as the body's largest organ and puts the medicine directly on it. Using a choreographed like sequence (again, unique to you), the oil is massaged deep into the tissues to stimulate release of toxins and absorption of healing. Most importantly, an abhyanga is primarily a self-practice and secondarily a luxury treatment. A daily abhyanga practice is a key stone in living an Ayurvedic lifestyle and its recommended as a way to prepare for a variety of other practices. Marma, for instance, is another type of treatment that stimulates certain energy centers of the body and abhyanga may often be found as the basis for working on marma points. Shirodhara is a treatment in which warm oil is poured slowly over the third eye point and this too begins with abhyanga. There are many.
The benefits of abhyanga are also many. The release of toxin build up in the body is certainly of greatest benefit. And this toxin release also creates a major dumping of stress. Practitioners of abhyanga sleep better, have more effective digestion, clearer thinking, moisturized skin and joints, less physical tension, stronger immune systems and a general ability to handle the world at large with more calm and compassion. This, of course, if true of any massage, but in Ayurveda, these benefits are even greater due to the medicinal properties of the oils that are used. Truly, abhyanga cannot be over-emphasized.
Unfortunately, Ayurvedic bodywork is not yet mainstream. Most people must learn abhyanga from an Ayurvedic Practitioner and hold themselves accountable for maintaining a consistent practice on their own. And there are very few therapist practicing these techniques. So, I have teamed up with the staff at Gracefull Birthing Center in Los Angeles to bring Ayurveda into our community. A signature treatment that is a combination of abhyanga and marma will be offered, as well as lifestyle consulting and instruction on self-massage. Come join me for some healing!