What Is Ayurvedic Massage?

Ayurveda is an ancient Indian holistic medicine application that aims to harmonize the body, mind and spirit. Considered an alternative and complementary form of medicine in the United States, multiple Ayurvedic treatments are available, including massage. If you're interested in alternative forms of massage therapy, read on to learn about Ayurvedic massage. Schools offering Holistic Health Practitioner degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Ayurveda Defined

Ayurveda, a Sanskrit word meaning 'the science of life', utilizes holistic techniques to provide relaxation, improve circulation and eliminate toxins from the body. With ancient Indian traditions dating back more than 4,000 years, daily Ayurvedic treatment aims to rejuvenate the body, prevent disease, reduce harmful symptoms and encourage a healthy lifestyle.

The main principles of Ayurveda include the human interconnection to the universe, the human body's constitution and health (known as prakriti) and the balance of life forces (called doshas). One form of Ayurvedic treatment is massage therapy.

Important Facts About This Area of Study

Median Salary (May 2014) $17.88/hour or $37,180/year (for massage therapists)
Entry-Level Education Post-secondary non-degree award
Job Outlook 23% - much faster than average (for massage therapists)
Key Skills Empathy, communication skills, physical stamina, physical strength, dexterity, and decision making skills

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Ayurvedic Massage Treatments

As an Ayurvedic massage practitioner, you focus on relaxing the body's energy channels by using a variety of herbal remedies and oils. Through relaxing massage methods, mental and physical improvements, such as improved circulation, are possible. Examples of Ayurvedic massage treatments include abhyanga, which is a traditional massage therapy that uses sesame oil for skin and hair conditioning, and Ayurvedic shirodhara, a hair and scalp treatment.

Ayurvedic head massage is used to stimulate the scalp, nourish hair roots and relieve mental fatigue. As a patient sits upright in a chair, you massage the neck, shoulders, scalp and face areas to provide relaxation and reduce stresses, like headaches and eyestrain.

Training and Career Opportunities

You can find Ayurvedic massage programs and courses through colleges, universities and massage therapy schools. Training can be offered within a massage therapy degree or certificate program, or you can receive training through individual continuing education courses.

Ayurvedic techniques can be applied to many professions. You could become a massage therapist specializing in Ayurvedic treatment, or you could offer Ayurvedic massage in addition to other massage types. Healthcare professionals, such as yoga instructors, chiropractors, acupuncturists and holistic wellness professionals can incorporate Ayurvedic treatments in their practices as well.

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