What is Ayurvedic Massage?

Welcome to the world of Ayurvedic massage! If you’ve been searching for a holistic approach to relaxation and healing, you’ve come to the right place.

Ayurvedic massage, a practice steeped in ancient Indian tradition, is more than just a spa treatment—it’s a journey towards balance and wellness.

Key Facts:

  • Ayurvedic massage is a key part of Ayurveda, a holistic healing system that originated in India over 5,000 years ago.
  • It combines Ayurvedic principles and pressure points to create balance among the mind, body, and spirit.
  • The process involves the use of warm oil, applied from the scalp to the soles of your feet—a technique known as Abhyanga.
  • The benefits of Ayurvedic massage extend beyond physical relaxation, offering stress relief and emotional release .
  • It’s a practice that anyone can benefit from, promoting overall wellness and self-healing.

Now, let’s dive deeper into the world of Ayurvedic massage.

We’ll explore its roots in the ancient science of Ayurveda, understand its unique techniques, and discover how it could be the key to unlocking a healthier, more balanced you.

Whether you’re a wellness enthusiast or a curious newcomer, this guide is designed to enlighten and inspire.

So, sit back, relax, and let’s embark on this journey together.

The History and Principles of Ayurveda

Ayurveda, a term that translates to “the science of life,” is a treasure from ancient India.

This holistic healing system has been nurturing the wellness of humanity for over 5,000 years. But what makes Ayurveda so unique and enduring?

A Journey Back in Time

Ayurveda’s origins can be traced back to the Vedic period in India, around 5,000 years ago. This was a time of profound spiritual and philosophical insight, with the Vedas—ancient Indian scriptures—serving as the bedrock of knowledge. Among these texts, the Atharva Veda and the Rig Veda contain the earliest references to Ayurveda, highlighting its deep-rooted history.

The Three Pillars of Life

Ayurveda is built on the belief that life is a combination of the mind (Mana), body (Sharira), and spirit (Atma).

It emphasizes the interconnectedness of these elements and the importance of maintaining their balance for optimal health. This holistic view of health sets Ayurveda apart from many other medical systems.

The Concept of Doshas

Central to Ayurveda is the concept of Doshas—Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.

These are bio-energetic forces derived from the five fundamental elements of nature—space, air, fire, water, and earth.

Each individual has a unique combination of these Doshas, which influences their physical, mental, and emotional characteristics.

Ayurvedic practices, including massage, are often tailored to balance these Doshas.

Ayurveda Through the Ages

Despite the passage of time, the principles of Ayurveda have remained relevant. From ancient royal courts where it was practiced by royal physicians, to modern-day wellness centers around the globe,

Ayurveda’s holistic approach to health continues to resonate. Its practices, including Ayurvedic massage, have been adapted and integrated into various health and wellness modalities, attesting to their enduring value.

Holistic Approach

At the heart of Ayurveda lies a profound respect for the interconnectedness of all life. It views health not merely as the absence of disease, but as a radiant state of vigor and vitality.

Here are some key principles:

  • Balance: Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of balance in all areas of life, from diet and sleep to mental and emotional health.
  • Individuality: It recognizes that each person is unique, with their own specific health needs and wellness goals.
  • Prevention: Ayurveda is proactive, focusing on preventing health issues before they arise, rather than just treating symptoms.

Ayurveda and Massage

So, where does massage fit into this ancient science? In Ayurveda, massage is more than a luxury—it’s a vital tool for maintaining balance and health.

It’s a way to nourish the body, calm the mind, and soothe the spirit.

Ayurvedic massage is tailored to the individual’s needs, using specific oils, techniques, and pressure points to restore balance and promote healing.

In the next section, we’ll delve deeper into the specifics of Ayurvedic massage, exploring how this ancient practice can bring harmony to your mind, body, and spirit.

Understanding Ayurvedic Massage

Now that we’ve explored the roots of Ayurveda, let’s delve into the specifics of Ayurvedic massage.

This practice is a unique blend of traditional massage techniques, Ayurvedic principles, and the art of healing touch.

The Essence of Ayurvedic Massage

Ayurvedic massage, also known as ‘Abhyanga‘, is a rhythmic dance of touch on the body.

It’s a journey that takes you deep within, helping to harmonize the flow of energy in your body and awaken your inner healing power

Here’s what sets it apart:

  • Holistic Healing: Ayurvedic massage is not just about physical relaxation. It aims to harmonize the mind, body, and spirit, creating a sense of deep inner peace and wellness.
  • Pressure Points: The massage focuses on ‘Marma’ points, the vital energy points in your body. Stimulating these points can help release blocked energy, promoting healing and relaxation.
  • Tailored Techniques: The techniques used in Ayurvedic massage are tailored to the individual’s needs. This personalized approach ensures that the massage serves your unique health and wellness goals.

Choosing the Right Ayurvedic Massage for You

If you’re wondering where to get an Ayurvedic massage, it’s important to find a certified massage therapist who specializes in this kind of massage. An Ayurvedic massage may be different from a regular massage like a Swedish massage, but it offers unique benefits that make it worth exploring.

Abhyanga: The Classic Ayurvedic Massage

One of the most popular types of Ayurvedic massage treatment is the Abhyanga massage.

 Often referred to as an “oil massage,” Abhyanga involves a stream of warm oil that’s gently poured and massaged into your skin. This isn’t just any oil—it’s a medicated herbal oil, chosen specifically to balance your Dosha.

The Vata Dosha and Ayurvedic Massage

If you’re a Vata Dosha, your Ayurvedic massage may involve slow, gentle massage strokes and a generous amount of warm oil.

This kind of Ayurvedic massage can be deeply soothing and nourishing, helping to balance the Vata’s tendency towards dryness and cold.

The Kapha Dosha and Ayurvedic Massage

For the Kapha Dosha, a more vigorous massage may be beneficial.

The massage involves stimulating techniques that help to eliminate toxins and excess Kapha from the body. The oils used are typically warming and invigorating, promoting circulation and energy flow.

Everything You Need to Know

So, how is Ayurvedic massage different from a regular massage? While a regular massage focuses primarily on physical relaxation, an Ayurvedic massage treatment goes a step further.

It’s a holistic practice that aims to balance the mind, body, and spirit. It uses warm medicated oils, tailored massage techniques, and a deep understanding of Ayurvedic medicine to promote overall wellness.

Whether you’re new to Ayurveda or a seasoned practitioner, an Ayurvedic massage can be a valuable addition to your wellness routine. 

The Role of Oils

In Ayurvedic massage, oils play a crucial role.

These aren’t just any oils, but medicated oils, carefully chosen based on your ‘Dosha‘ or body type.

Essential oils

The warm oil is applied from the scalp to the soles of your feet, nourishing your skin and penetrating deep into your tissues to exert a healing effect.

In the next section, we’ll walk you through the process of Ayurvedic massage, giving you a glimpse into this rejuvenating experience. 

The Process of Ayurvedic Massage

Stepping into an Ayurvedic massage session is like embarking on a journey of self-discovery and healing.

It’s a unique experience that engages all your senses, leaving you feeling rejuvenated and balanced. Let’s explore what this process entails.


Before the massage begins, a consultation takes place. This involves understanding your unique ‘Dosha’ or body type, health history, and wellness goals.

Based on this, the therapist selects the most suitable medicated oil and massage techniques for you.

The Massage

The Ayurvedic massage session typically starts with you lying on a specially designed wooden table.

The therapist then begins the massage, applying warm medicated oil all over your body. 

Here’s what makes it special:

  • Full Body Massage: Unlike many other types of massage, Ayurvedic massage often involves the entire body—from the scalp to the soles of your feet.
  • Rhythmic Strokes: The therapist uses a variety of rhythmic strokes to stimulate your ‘Marma’ points—vital energy points in your body.
  • Warm Oil: The use of warm medicated oil not only nourishes your skin but also helps to balance your ‘Dosha’ and promote deep relaxation.

Post-Massage Care

After the massage, you may be advised to rest for a while to let the body absorb the oil’s healing properties.

You might also receive dietary and lifestyle advice to help maintain the balance achieved during the massage.

In the next section, we’ll delve into the myriad benefits of Ayurvedic massage, revealing why this ancient practice is still relevant and cherished today.

Benefits of Ayurvedic Massage

The journey of Ayurvedic massage is not just about the process—it’s about the transformative benefits that unfold along the way.

This ancient practice offers a wealth of benefits that extend beyond the massage table, impacting your overall health and wellbeing. Let’s explore some of these benefits.

Physical Relaxation

Ayurvedic massage is a powerful tool for physical relaxation. The rhythmic strokes and warm oil help to:

  1. Release muscle tension
  2. Improve circulation
  3. Enhance joint mobility
  4. Promote better sleep

Emotional Wellness

Beyond the physical realm, Ayurvedic massage also nurtures your emotional wellbeing. It can help to:

  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Release emotional blockages
  • Enhance mood and promote a sense of tranquillity

Holistic Health

At its core, Ayurvedic massage is about promoting holistic health.

It can contribute to:

  • Improved digestion
  • Enhanced detoxification
  • Boosted immunity
  • Greater energy levels

Mind-Body Connection

Lastly, Ayurvedic massage fosters a deeper connection between your mind and body, encouraging you to tune into your body’s signals and nurture your health proactively.

In the next section, we’ll discuss who can benefit from Ayurvedic massage and any considerations to keep in mind. 

Who Should Consider Ayurvedic Massage

Ayurvedic massage is a versatile practice that can be beneficial for just about anyone.

Whether you’re seeking physical relaxation, emotional release, or a deeper sense of balance, this ancient practice has something to offer. 

Let’s delve into who can benefit from Ayurvedic massage and any considerations to keep in mind.

A Practice for All

One of the beautiful aspects of Ayurvedic massage is its inclusivity. It’s suitable for:

  • Wellness Enthusiasts: If you’re passionate about holistic health and wellness, Ayurvedic massage can be a valuable addition to your self-care routine.
  • Stress Warriors: For those battling stress, anxiety, or emotional blockages, this massage can offer much-needed relief and tranquility.
  • Health Seekers: If you’re dealing with specific health issues, like poor digestion or low immunity, Ayurvedic massage can support your healing journey.


While Ayurvedic massage is generally safe, it’s always wise to consult with a healthcare provider or a certified Ayurvedic practitioner before starting any new wellness practice, especially if you:

  • Have any chronic or acute health conditions
  • Are pregnant or trying to conceive
  • Are currently on any medication

Remember, Ayurvedic massage is not a substitute for medical treatment but can be a powerful complement to it.

In the next section, we’ll wrap up our exploration of Ayurvedic massage, summarizing its key points and leaving you with some final thoughts.


As we wrap up our exploration of Ayurvedic massage, it’s clear that this ancient practice offers more than just a soothing experience—it’s a pathway to holistic health and wellness.

From its roots in the 5,000-year-old science of Ayurveda to its modern-day applications, Ayurvedic massage is a testament to the enduring wisdom of ancient healing traditions.


Let’s take a moment to revisit the key points we’ve covered:

  • Ayurvedic massage is a holistic practice that aims to balance the mind, body, and spirit.
  • It involves the use of warm medicated oil and specific techniques tailored to the individual’s needs.
  • The benefits of Ayurvedic massage extend beyond physical relaxation, offering emotional release and promoting overall health.
  • It’s a practice that’s inclusive and beneficial for just about anyone, with certain considerations for those with health conditions or specific circumstances.

Final Thoughts

In a world where stress and imbalance are all too common, Ayurvedic massage offers a beacon of balance and tranquility.

It invites us to slow down, tune in, and nurture our health in a holistic way.

Whether you’re considering trying Ayurvedic massage or simply curious about it, we hope this guide has offered valuable insights and sparked a deeper interest in this ancient practice.

Remember, the journey to wellness is a personal one, and Ayurvedic massage could be a beautiful part of your path. Here’s to your health and wellbeing!


  1. Chopra: An article on Ayurvedic massage techniques and types from Chopra, a leading wellness platform founded by Deepak Chopra.
  2. PureWow: An article discussing the principles of Ayurvedic massage and its benefits from PureWow, a digital lifestyle platform.
  3. Verywell Health: An article providing an overview of Ayurveda, its benefits, and side effects from Verywell Health, a trusted and reliable source of health information.
  4. WebMD: An article discussing Ayurvedic treatments, including massage, from WebMD, a leading source of trustworthy health information.
  5. Healthline: An article about Abhyanga, a popular Ayurvedic massage technique, from Healthline, a well-respected source of health and wellness information.

Frequently asked Questions:

Q: What can I expect when I get an ayurvedic massage?

A: An ayurvedic massage usually begins with the practitioner applying warm oil on your body, typically sesame. Traditionally, this massage should be slow and rhythmic, and could be performed by two massage therapists.

According to Ayurveda, this process helps open the channels in the body, soothes the nervous system, and balances the doshas – the essential principles of fire and water, air and space in the body.

You may also experience specific massage techniques like vishesh or shirodhara head massage.

Q: What is meant by ‘abhyanga’ in ayurvedic massage tradition?

A: Abhyanga is referred to as an “oil massage” in the traditional Ayurvedic massage system. Warm, often herb-infused oil is applied to the body, usually sesame, which aids impurities exit from the skin.

The application of the oil is soothing for the nervous system, and generally important for maintaining healthy skin and calming the mind.

Q: How is ayurveda massage different from a regular massage?

A: Ayurvedic massages differ in a few ways from regular massages. Firstly, they involve the use of warm essential oils selected according to your body type or dosha.

Secondly, the strokes are usually rhythmic and may be performed by two massage therapists.

Thirdly, they are often part of larger treatment plans designed by a licensed Ayurvedic practitioner, which encompass diet, yoga and herbal remedies.

Q: What kind of dosha is suited for a specific kind of massage in ayurveda?

A: Different types of Ayurvedic massages are suited for different doshas. For example, a vishesh massage can help balance a Pitta dosha, characterized by qualities of fire and water. A shirodhara head massage, another rhythmic massage technique, is often beneficial for Vata dosha, characterized by air and space.

Always consult with an Ayurvedic therapist to determine the specifics of your treatment plan.

Q: What is the benefit of using oil on your body during an ayurvedic massage?

A: According to Ayurvedic tradition, warm oil massage, known as abhyanga, has multiple benefits. The oil nourishes the skin, deep tissues and helps to open the channels in the body.

This allows impurities to be released, soothes the nervous system and can aid in balancing the doshas. Furthermore, oils used are usually infused with Ayurvedic herbs for additional therapeutic benefits.

Q: Does the body type matter in determining the kind of Ayurvedic massage one should get?

A: Yes, body type, termed ‘dosha’ in Ayurveda, is a vital element in determining the kind of Ayurvedic massage that will yield the most therapeutic effects for an individual. Ayurveda identifies three doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha, which have distinct characteristics and needs.

An Ayurvedic therapist will assess your dosha before planning your massage and the type of oils to be used in it.

Q: How is an Ayurvedic massage different for each dosha?

A: Each dosha has different needs and thus, Ayurvedic massage varies accordingly. Vata types benefit from slow, gentle massages using warm oils.

Pitta types are best suited to cool oils and a medium-paced massage. 

Kapha types can handle a more vigorous massage with warm, stimulating oils.

Bear in mind, a licensed Ayurvedic practitioner who could incorporate massage into a broader wellness approach will guide these distinctions.

Q: How do I know which Ayurvedic massage is best for me?

A: The best Ayurvedic massage for you is dependent on your dominant dosha or body type, your current state of health, as well as your individual needs and preferences.

This is why it is vital to seek guidance from a trained and licensed Ayurvedic practitioner who can assess your overall health condition and recommend the most beneficial treatment for you.

Q: What’s the role of lymphatic system in Ayurvedic massage?

A: The lymphatic system plays a crucial role in Ayurvedic massage as it is integral to detoxification which is a key aim of Ayurvedic therapy. Through the rhythmic strokes of the massage, the lymphatic system is stimulated to expel toxins from the body, improving overall health and wellness.

Q: How often should one get an Ayurvedic massage therapy?

A: According to Ayurveda, regular massage is beneficial for maintaining good health. Some practitioners recommend a daily self-massage or a professional massage every week.

However, the frequency can vary depending on one’s health status and lifestyle. A licensed Ayurvedic practitioner can provide the most accurate advice suited to individual needs.