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Alternate Systems Of Healing


MASSAGE AND ITS REMEDIAL EFFECTS

Massage reduces muscle-tension and relieves pain, opens the pores of the skin, thus eliminating poisons from the body through sweat. It also speeds up blood circulation. 

The literal meaning of 'massage' is manipulation of the soft tissues of the body using the hands. In naturopathy, massage occupies a very important place in the treatment of diseases of all kinds. For centuries, massage has been used as a remedy in India, Greece, Rome, China, Egypt and a host of other countries.

Procedure

According to the modern system of physiotherapy, the process begins with massaging upper limbs (arms) and lower limbs (legs) followed by the chest, abdomen, back and hips, and ending with the face and the head. As far as possible, massage with the hands to derive complete benefit.
According to modern therapy, the massage strokes are directed towards the heart. According to Ayurdeva, massage is known as snehan (oleation) and should be given to a patient before panchkarma treatment. Panchkarmas are the five basic principles to clean and detoxify or purify the body. They are:
  • Vamana (emesis)

  • Virechana (puragation)

  • Nruha (medicated anema)

  • Anuvasana (unctuous anema - preparation with oil or other unctuous substance)

  • Nasya (inhalation therapy)

Massage should always be followed by svedana (fermentation). Snehana and svedana are the two purvakarmas that should be given before panchkarma treatment.

Benefits

1.  Massage is used to improve blood circulation, to reduce oedema,adhesions in tissues after injury, reduce muscular spasm and improve muscle tone.

2.  Massage reduces muscle-tension and relieves pain, opens the pores of the skin, thus eliminating poisons from the body through sweat.

3.  It also speeds up blood circulation, hence reducing swelling (oedema), relieving tension of the nerves and soothing them.

4.  It stimulates the digestive system and activates the urinary system.

Rules on massage oil

1.   For patients with pains, use Narayan Taila, or Mahanarayan Taila.

2.   For weakness, use Narayan Taila, Chandan Bala Lakshdi Taila.

3.   For patients with joint pains (rheumatism), use Saindhavadi Taila.

4.   For patients with burning sensation problems and sleeplessness, use Bhringraj Taila and Brahmi Taila.

5.   For patients with skin diseases, use Kushthararakshas Taila, Nimba Taila and Bakuchi Taila.

Massage produces heat. After half an hour of getting a massage done, a hot water bath or shower can be taken. The head should be bathed with lukewarm water.

Contraindications

1.   Massage is not recommended in any type of fevers.

2.   Massage is not recommended during pregnancy.

3.   Abdominal massage should be avoided in case of  diarrhoea, ulcers, appendicities and tumours in the abdomen.

Excessive oil after massage should be removed with gram flour (besan) and not with soap. Peeli mitti (Indian yellow clay) is also excellent for washing the body. It has a cooling effect on the skin and nerves.