What’s the difference between a regular massage and an Ayurvedic massage?

India is known around the world for its ancient culture and wisdom. One such form of medical treatment found in India, Ayurveda medicine has been used to heal people from all over this vast country for thousands upon millennia! The system uses food spices herbs remedies body work lifestyle changes which boost your health balance spirit throughout life’s journey.

Abhyanga is an oiling of the body that is based on the principles of Ayurvedic medicine. Which means it’s designed to relieve stress and release emotional blocks. This technique can be very beneficial for people suffering from anxiety or depression because they focus heavily upon relaxation during these massages as well!

HOLISTIC HEALTH

The pursuit of overall wellness can be achieved through gaining proper balance in life. The idea has been around since ancient times and was made popular by doctors like Hippocrates, who believed that all parts must work together for good physical shape- mind, body & spirit too!

Holistic healers take an holistic approach when they look at your environment, stress in life and medications you’ve taken before. Some people want only natural treatments while others may utilize both Western medicine AND alternative practices such as yoga, Ayurveda or meditation for their healing path.

A good Ayurvedic Professional will treat the whole person – not just what’s wrong with them so that their bodies can be functioning properly but also how it affects other aspects of our lives like mental health, diet and lifestyle to exercise and relaxation techniques.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN AYURVEDIC MASSAGE AND A REGULAR MASSAGE?

The focus of an Ayurvedic massage is holistic- relieving emotional stress as well physical. The practitioners hands are used along with medicated herbal oils to help relieve tension from the body’s energy points instead joints and muscles which can be released through activating the body’s Marma points. These are vital points on the body are the junctions of the body and mind much like acupuncture in Chinese medicine but much larger and are not related to the meridians.

A typical Western Massage focuses on pinpointing problem areas such as tight shoulders while also working over time into strengthening those weak spots so they become less noticeable when someone applies pressure elsewhere.

The body is made up of three energies in Ayurveda, which can be balanced through diet and lifestyle. These are the Kapha (earth/water), Pitta(fire/little bit of water) & Vata (air/space) combinations that each person has one dominant dosha based on their individual makeup with an ability to keep it within normal ranges by following specific practices like eating wisely according to what type you are primarily represented at any given time as well taking care not only about your physical needs but emotional.

An Ayurvedic massage may include: mantras, oils, sound therapy, light therapy and more. Ayurvedic Massage is known as Abhyanga. The word ‘abhyanga’ is composed of two Sanskrit words, Abhi and Anga. Abhi means ‘towards’ and anga, in one of its meanings, refers to ‘movement’.  It also means ‘oil massage’ or in sanskrit, ‘snehana’. Snehana means oil, but it also means love. So by receiving Abhyanga, we are oiling our bodies with love, comfort, and nourishment.

The experience of Abhyanga is deeply relaxing to your brain, nervous system and joints. It eases pain while feeling comforting warmth throughout the body – a super yummy way to nourish the body. It lovingly replaces your anxieties with a sense of calmness and contentment because the oils are warm, stable, and grounding.

The Abhyanga treatment can range from spa like a more clinical therapeutic procedure that uses herbalized oil to penetrate the skin and bind with toxins. It also provides joint lubrication, nourishment for your skin as well moisturizing it once bound together by this powerful natural substance! The medicated oil also helps your body achieve balance through mind and body.

Abhyanga is a sequence of massage that helps clear out toxins by encouraging quick removal from the body. The Lymphatic system has various pressure points which are targeted with varying degrees for each section being massaged, ensuring optimal circulation in order to remove metabolic wastes via this route as well! 

The lymphatic system is a very important part of our bodies because it helps to remove fluids from your organs and transport them around so that they can be excreted by other body systems. The manual massage therapists use their hands as pumps, which increases circulation in the area being treated; this leads us towards getting more nutrients through better blood flow- all while feeling totally blissful! It is an amazing experience when there is the option for treatment includes having two people work together using tandem massages where both sides are being touched at once. Either way, this is a highly recommended experience and very unique to Ayurvedic Massage.

The massage helps in tuning up the functioning of our internal organs and optimizes how well they work. It also revitalizes cell self-healing abilities, which can have physical effects on you mentally or emotionally while stimulating parasympathetic nerves with psychological benefits as well! The body, mind and skin is transformed by regular Abhyanga simply by infusing it with the loving herbal oils making it more resilient, hydrated and vibrant that can better withstand the aging process ~ so you can have that vibrant glow!

Generally, Ayurvedic massage should not be done in the following conditions according to Ayurveda.

  • Fever
  • In any acute illness (unless permitted by your doctor)
  • Blood clots (like deep vein thrombosis) or bleeding disorders
  • Hangover
  • Dehydration
  • During Chemotherapy
  • During Menstruation

Schedule a consultation or a treatment today!

Love & OM,

Michelle

Dandelion Tonic

Spring is here and my yard is full of the amazing dandelion. Dandelion is not a weed as its  health benefits are vast, they include relief from liver disorders, diabetes, urinary disorders, acne, jaundice, cancer, and anemia. It also helps in maintaining bone health, skin care, and weight loss.

It might be a weed to some people but its truly one of natures most beneficial plants!

common-dandelion-dandelion-flower-bud-56896

Dandelion, which literally translates into “lion’s tooth” in French, is rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium, and detoxifiers, which explains its common inclusion in medicines.

DANDELION LATTE

2 tbsp Dandy Blend
1 cup hot water
1/2 cup almond milk
1 tsp ghee
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch ground cardamom

Combine the Dandy Blend and piping hot water into your blender pitcher. Add the remaining ingredients. Blend for 30 seconds on high until well combined and frothy. Pour into a mug and enjoy hot!

Makes one serving

Dandelion Tea

This is a super spring tonic! Its simple and my toddler loves it!

8 dandelion tops

8 ounces of water

1 teaspoon of honey

Boil blessed water and pour over freshly picked dandelions, add a teaspoon of honey and enjoy!

Much Love and Many Blessings!

Michelle

Allergies and Ayurveda

Up to 50 million people in America struggle with allergies every year and it’s considered one of the leading causes for chronic illness.

The immune system is a complex and dynamic system that protects us from disease by identifying harmful substances in our environment that it doesn’t recognize as safe, then triggering an allergic reaction to get rid of these foreign substances. An allergy occurs when the body’s natural defense turns on and against itself!

Allergies can cause a wide range of symptoms, from mild to life-threatening. They’re often caused by plant pollens or animal dander which we are allergic too without even knowing it because our bodies consider those substances harmful! Allergies and stress can also give people asthma, hives, itchiness, runny nose and watery eyes, when they’ve never had any before in their lives!

The practice of Ayurveda recognizes that there are many causes for allergies, one of the main reasons being the accumulation due to ama (toxic buildup from improperly digested foods). This combined together in our body with low Ojas (immunity) ~ leads to allergic reactions when it becomes too much.  There can be several reasons why this happens: typically because someone has a genetic predisposition combined by unhealthy diet habits or chronic illness; sometimes mental stress will trigger an emotional trauma leading them down another path towards having more trouble breathing during seasonal changes. This is why following a seasonal diet and routine is so important, to build Ojas (immunity) and protect against seasonal and everyday allergens.

When the power of digestion (Agni) becomes weak due to an unhealthy diet and lifestyle, overtime this will cause an imbalance in our doshas. This causes ama – or undigested food particles-to accumulate within us which acts as allergies that trigger an auto immune response from tissue cells anywhere in the body, especially the respiratory system, digestive system, skin or any combination.

Ayurveda gives us the tools to live a healthy lifestyle through daily dinacharya, ritucharya (seasonal rituals), and our evening rituals, help strengthen our digestion, enhance our immune system, and clear out unwanted toxins. 

Seasonal Practices to Keep You Healthy and Allergies at Bay:

  • Do some spring cleaning
    • For your body: Practice a spring cleanse
    • For your environment: Deep clean your house
    • Get rid of cosmetics with fragrances and chemicals
    • Get rid of chemical cleaning supplies
  • Wake Early
  • Dry Brush
  • Daily Nasya
  • Exercise first thing in the morning: Sun Salutations, a brisk walk, a short jog, jumping jacks, anything that makes you feel good and revitalized.
  • Meditate
  • Pranayama
  • Keep warm during these cold, damp days
  • Get an invigorating massage or Abhyanga
  • Eat light, warm and cooked food
  • Add some stimulating music to your playlist
  • Dance
  • Laugh and spend time with loved ones

Ideas for Eating this Season to Create Balance:

  • Add foods that are pungent, astringent, and bitter to your diet:
    • Aloe, nettle, dandelion, quinoa, barley, mung beans, fiddleheads, arugula, mustard greens, chard, spinach, asparagus, spring onions, lemon, spiced broths, green tea, local honey
  • Add apple cider vinegar to your foods
  • Consume less meat
  • Avoid dairy
  • Drink CCF (Cumin, Coriander and Fennel) Tea
  • Take triphala, tulsi, guduchi
  • Add activating spices like cayenne, ginger, turmeric, black pepper and mustard
  • Drink water

In conclusion, allergies are very common and can be caused by a variety of factors. Allergies can often be difficult to detect. With knowing your constitution and understanding your daily habits and lifestyle an Ayurvedic Consultation can help you to find the root cause and ultimately help alleviate symptoms!

Looking forward to connecting with you soon!

Many Blessings,

Michelle

Spring Time ~ Kapha Season

In Ayurveda, the latter half of winter and spring are considered the Kapha season. It’s not the calendar year that defines the Kapha season, but the qualities of the atmosphere, the seasonal changes that take place in the world around us.

During this time, the weather is generally cool, damp, and muddy, with heavy fog or mist in some areas. These environmental factors influence the human system by increasing the same qualities in our minds and bodies. The damp, cold, dullness and heavy qualities manifest as accumulated toxins, clogging energetic channels and lowering our immunity. Maybe even having a foggy mind and grogginess in the morning. This time of year people are more susceptible to imbalances and this leads to seasonal allergies, colds, fatigue, and digestive sensitivities.

The good news is that there are many simple and natural ways to cleanse and take care of the system to stay balanced during this time of year. According to Ayurveda, the best way to counter the Kapha-aggravating effects of springtime is by following a Kapha-reducing diet and lifestyle.

Choose Light and Nourishing Foods

During the fall and winter, heavy foods help ground and nourish us, but during the spring these kinds of foods will overburden the system. Spring still is a cool season so we want to eat warm, light vegetables and soups, leafy greens, and warming spices like cinnamon, mustard seed, and chili.

Rise Early and Don’t Nap

Try rising at or before sunrise to beat the Kapha time of day. Sleep intrinsically possesses the Kapha Dosha, so when we sleep into the Kapha time of the morning, our Kapha levels automatically be higher from sunrise till about 10 am. This makes getting up and going more difficult – not just physically out of bed, but for all the body’s systems.

Amp Up Your Exercise

Regular exercise is key in maintaining balance during the spring season. As the weather begins to warm up it’s tempting to spend more time outside, but even if your daily routine doesn’t change you should try to get moving. A light jog, dancing, pilates, or a brisk walk are great exercises for springtime, anything that gets your heart rate pumping will help starve off the heaviness and stagnancy of the season.

Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of warm liquids, water, tea, golden sun milk. By the time you feel thirsty you are already in the early stages of dehydration, sip warm water throughout the day and stay on top of your body’s hydration needs, you will perform better, sleep more soundly and your body will feel more energized.

Perform a Spring Cleanse

Ayurveda believes in the principle of cleansing not just the body but the mind and spirit as well. The transition of the season to spring signals “cleansing time” in Ayurveda. Not only is a cleanse beneficial for eliminating excess Kapha, the season’s elements actually support the cleansing process. An Ayurvedic cleanse includes a combination of dietary guidelines, herbal formulation, and supplements to enhance digestion and support toxin removal, therapeutic purgation, and rejuvenation techniques.

You can perform an at-home cleanse or schedule a consultation with Michelle for a more comprehensive cleanse.

Enjoy this season of renewal!

With Love,

Michelle