Ayurvedic massage: origin, treatments, benefits, abhyanga and more!

What is Ayurvedic massage?

Ayurvedic massage is an ancient technique that makes up the traditional medicine system in India (Ayurveda). This method has been expanded to the rest of the world because of its promising effect in alleviating physical and mental illnesses. It is a treatment that helps improve blood circulation, eliminates toxins, reduces stress, helps to deal with emotional problems, among many other positive points.

Therefore, this practice is very important to maintain a balance between body and spirit. Unlike Western medicine, which believes that illnesses should be treated locally, Ayurveda sees the individual as a complete being with its own particularities. Thus, various points of tension in the body can lead to illness and discomfort.

There are several types of massages in Ayurveda medicine and each one is indicated for a specific condition. Check below the characteristics of each of these types, as well as the fundamentals and advantages of this practice.

Fundamentals of Ayurvedic Massage

Ayurvedic massage has been around for thousands of years, providing many benefits. Some are specific, such as an improvement in the appearance of the skin, and others that can be felt by the patient right after a session, such as well-being and vitality. Check below its origin, how the practice is and other benefits.

■ Origin of Ayurvedic massage

Some documents indicate that the emergence of both Ayurveda, as well as Ayurvedic massage, was about 5000 years ago. Others say it was about 7000 years ago. Regardless of the exact date, it can be noted that this set of techniques and knowledge is very old.

In Sanskrit Ayurveda means science of life. One of the concepts present is that the human being is composed of 5 elements, namely air, fire, water, earth and ether, the latter corresponding to the soul. Each of these components will determine the energetic conditions of beings.

Because of its effectiveness, it has spread throughout the world. Therefore, it is common to see psychologists and physiotherapists recommending this therapy or even applying it. However, it can be performed by anyone, as long as they have prior knowledge.

■ Benefits of Ayurvedic Massage

It is normal to see individuals who have gone through an ayurveda session open up about their feelings. This is because this practice relieves bodily and physical tensions, providing balance and a state of well-being for the patient, making him feel comfortable sharing his emotions.

Due to busy routines and information overload, people tend to become overwhelmed, and ayurveda is able to restore the condition of fullness. However, the annoyances can return if there are no daily self-observation practices.

Among the benefits that the application of ayurveda allows are the relief of muscle tension, energy balance, disease prevention, relaxation, skin rejuvenation, reduction of body fat, strengthening of the immune system, among many other benefits.

■ Ayurvedic massage in practice

Massage brings peace to those who receive the treatment. In this way, the session is a time for cleaning up and dispersing tensions. But as relaxing as it may be, it’s not a light massage.

The movements used are strong and intense. Precisely for this reason it is possible to alleviate pain and discomfort. However, this can vary depending on the technique used. Furthermore, it favors blood circulation and disperses toxic substances present in tissues and muscles.

Ayurvedic Massage Doshas

Doshas are sets of biological traits of three types called vatha, kapha and pitha. All people have these three doshas, ​​but one of them always predominates. Find out below the characteristics of each dosha and which one you fit into.


The vatha dosha is one that gives movement. It is related to the element of air and ether, providing a motivating force for those who have this dosha as the main one. Furthermore, it is linked to the propagation of nerve impulses, breathing, heartbeat, among other functions.

People with the prevalence of this dosha have some physical characteristics such as dry and icy skin, thin and distant structure, thin and dry hair, they release little sweat, are agile and also distracted. Creativity is sharp, so it is common for these people to opt for the artistic area or areas that can explore creativity.

Furthermore, when in balance, they are willing and proactive people who seek new experiences. However, when out of balance, the person can become anxious and have an excess of negative thoughts due to worries.

Its most incident location is the large intestine, which can cause digestive problems when unbalanced. Whoever has this dosha as the central point, should prefer hot and sweet foods, also salty and acidic flavors and a more natural diet.


The kapha dosha is governed by the elements of water and earth. Favors union, nutrition and physical and emotional support. Provides joint lubrication and boosts the immune system. It is common to find that people who have the prevalence of this Dosha are strong physically and even emotionally.

They are stout people, with broad hips and shoulders, calm, charismatic and loving. Due to the characteristic of little movement, they are prone to obesity, which is why it is essential to maintain a healthy diet. The foods that contribute to this dosha are spicy and bitter flavors.


The pitha dosha is linked to the elements of fire and water. People with a predominance of this dosha are intelligent as well as intuitive and sensible decision-making. This is because there is a relationship of pitha with digestion and transformation, favoring self-knowledge, emotions and intellectual thoughts.

But in disarray, they can be restless and impatient, as well as they can suffer from indigestion, irritated skin and insomnia. They are friendly and ambitious people who have characteristics such as soft, silky skin and hair, high appetite, feel very hot, medium height, gain and lose weight easily, as well as muscle.

Pitta is located in the duodenum, being responsible for digesting food, keeping body temperature in balance, regulating metabolism and other functions. Self-massage can be an important practice in balancing this dosha and relieving tension. Furthermore, preferring refreshing, natural and bitter foods is a valuable tip.

Types of Ayurvedic Massage

There are different types of massages and each one uses different techniques. Thus, there are procedures that are ideal for certain cases, such as massage suitable for pregnant women, and others that are indicated for a specific dosha. Discover the abhyanga, shiroabhyanga, garbhyni massage and more.

■ Ayurvedic abhyanga-type massage

Abhyanga massage aims to reach all parts of the body with the help of oils. Its use is indicated when the vatha dosha is out of balance, but it can be used in other cases. It is a treatment capable of promoting complete stability.

The oils that can be used are numerous, but they are always applied at a warm temperature. The most common oil in this practice is sesame, but it is also common to see the use of almond and sunflower oil, among others.

Another interesting factor is that the pressure exerted in other massages does not occur in the abhyanga. That’s because it’s more of an oiling than a massage itself. This method is very effective for mental health care, removing anxieties and harmonizing feelings.

■ Ayurvedic pinda sweda massage

Suitable for both the vatha dosha and the pitha dosha, the pinda sweda massage favors blood circulation and promotes healthier digestion. In addition, the skin is also more beautiful, lush and nourished. The person also tends to feel more energetic, renewed and rejuvenated.

It is a treatment that uses hot compresses of rice, herbs and milk. They are placed in bundles and applied all over the body. In this way, it manages to make the joints more malleable and remove edema. It is indicated for those who suffer from paralysis, rheumatism, osteoarthritis, among other diseases.

■ Massage m ayurvedédica do tipo shiroabhyanga

Shiroabhyanga massage is done on the head, shoulder and part of the back. It is indicated for people who have pain in these regions. After a session the person is more willing and at the same time relaxed, increasing the flow of prana, his vital energy.

It also helps in the production of hormones such as melatonin and serotonin, which are responsible for providing a feeling of well-being. On top of that, this massage can also delay baldness.

■ Ayurvedic massage of the padabhyanga type

Padabhyanga is foot massage. Ayurveda has the ideology that there is the absorption of energy from the earth through the feet, which is why this massage is very important. The feet are responsible for the structure of the entire body, thus, in order to successfully complete daily activities, it is necessary to maintain health in this region.

The indication is to do the massage at the end of the working day, or before bedtime. That way you can relieve stress. The benefits of this practice are deep hydration of the feet and ankles, reduced fatigue and anxiety, improved sleep, increased circulation and reduced discouragement, helping in cases of depression.

■ Ayurvedic Garbhyni Massage

Garbhyni massage is suitable for pregnant women. She uses gentle movements that promote relaxation, allowing for a healthier pregnancy, as pregnancy can be a turbulent time for some women. It is beneficial for decreasing muscular and mental tension and also helps the circulatory and lymphatic system.

Therefore, any future mother who is interested in seeking a more harmonious gestational period can opt for this massage from the third month of pregnancy. Anyway, it is important to consult a doctor to find out if there are any contraindications.

■ Massagem ayurvédica do tipo kumara abhyanga

As well as having an ideal massage for pregnant women, there is also a technique that is reserved for babies: the kumara abhyanga massage. This massage can also be done on women during pregnancy, and it contributes to the connection between mother and child. In addition, it helps in a woman’s emotional health.

The baby enjoys massage using oils and undergoes a type of smoking known as dhumapa. This treatment is very similar to Shantala, popularly known in Western countries.

■ Ayurvedic Udwartana massage

Ideal for weight reduction, the Udwartana massage makes muscles more resistant, regulates body oxygenation, reduces cellulite and eliminates toxins. In addition, it is indicated for postpartum women. The massage is done all over the body, using vegetable and herbal oils in powder or paste.

■ Utsadana-type Ayurvedic massage

Utsadana massage is one more indicated to help the vatha dosha. Through light exfoliation, it is able to renew the health of the skin and make it stronger and more beautiful. It is noticeable that after an utsadana session the skin looks fresh and smooth. To do the technique, paste or lepa is used, that is, a mixture of herbs, oils and minerals.

■ Ayurvedic Garshana-type massage

Garshana is a massage designed to balance the kapha dosha, but it can also be applied to other doshas. It helps to reduce weight, strengthen muscles, nourish the skin, release toxins and can be effective even in cases of rhinitis and sinusitis.

The technique is done with salt, camphor and silk gloves. It can also be done with the help of a brush, as well as organic honey is applied in the most critical regions. Camphor helps to dry fat, because it has properties that help blood circulation. It is recommended to do the procedure in the morning and then take a shower to remove impurities.

■ Ayurvedic massage of the abhyanga marma type

To perform the marma abhyanga method, you first identify the places where the energy is out of balance. Soon after, a special oil is applied. Acupressure (pressure on specific points with the fingers) is done mainly on the head and feet, relieving pain and providing relaxation. Furthermore, this treatment also benefits the immune and lymphatic system.

Common Questions About Ayurvedic Massage

Some doubts arise when it comes to Ayurvedic massage. Questions are common about prices, care after the massage and whether there are any contraindications. So that there is no question left, find out more about these topics below.

■ Can anyone enjoy Ayurvedic massage?

Not all people can perform Ayurvedic massage. There are contraindications in cases of cancer, tumors, capillary fragility and thrombosis. Also in case of constipation, skin lesions, fever and cold it is also advised not to apply the massage. In any case, the ideal is to ask the doctor, avoiding further problems.

■ What are the post-massage indications?

After the Ayurvedic massage, it is preferable that the patient remains at rest for 15 minutes, the ideal is to remain in a meditative state, without conversations. After that, wait about 2 hours to take a shower, it is also recommended to opt for light meals. Following these recommendations is essential for best practice effectiveness.

■ How much does an Ayurvedic massage session cost?

The price of an Ayurvedic massage may vary according to each professional and establishment. But generally there are prices ranging from R$ 100.00 to R$ 300.00. It can be more expensive or cheaper, depending on the chosen technique.

Furthermore, it is also possible to purchase packages with various massages, ideal for those who want to experience the benefits of the practice for a longer period of time. Packages range from R$500.00 to R$700.00.

Can Ayurvedic massage help with depression?

Ayurvedic massage is able to help patients with depressive conditions. This is because it relieves stress and, therefore, can lighten your mind. In this way, the person tends to feel more willing, with more energy, pushing away discouragement and negative thoughts.

Therefore, in cases of depression it is recommended to look for this technique. It is known that depression is a very complicated disease, whether for the person who is suffering or for people who live with the individual, therefore, all help and healing method is welcome.

Massage is also effective in relieving various other ailments, both physical and mental discomforts, balancing the body and energies as a whole. Above all, it promotes the balance of the doshas, ​​eliminating the incidence of various inconveniences. Therefore, seeking Ayurvedic massage is extremely enriching.

Leave a Comment