One of the central elements of Ayurveda is massages. The best known techniques are the ones that incorporate oils. These massages can have many positive effects on the body. Above all, they are doing something that is becoming increasingly important in today's stressful time: they have a relaxing effect.
The oil massages in Ayurveda are summarized under the term snehana, which incorporates both full-body, as well as partial massages of individual body parts. The snehana massages involves heating the oil that is being used. Preference is given to pure oils or oil mixtures that are free of additives. This type of massage (abhyanga) promotes blood circulation and has detoxifying effect. It also helps to remove toxins from the body and strengthen the muscles. The immediate and visible effects of these massages are that the skin is left feeling soft and smooth, resulting in a healthier appearance. This subsequently strengthens the self-confidence and well-being.
Recently, the popularity of shirodhara massages has increased. This oil is applied by pouring it on the skin instead of rubbing it on the skin. This technique is a great help against tension and reduces stress. It also increases the ability to concentrate.
The shiromardana massage belongs to the realm of partial massages because it is limited to the head. This may improve brain performance and prevent hair loss.
There are a number of other techniques, such as the pinda-sveda massage, whereby a small, heated herbal pouch is used.
All these different massage techniques have one thing in common: if applied regularly, they support the immune system, may strengthen the self-healing powers of the body and stimulate cell renewal.