Ayurveda, in Sanskrit means the science of life or the art of longevity and vitality. It is one of the oldest and most comprehensive systems of wellness because of its synergistic relationship with nature, the seasons, and the cosmic elements that exist in all living beings. Ayurveda emerged in India over 5,000 years ago and is considered the mother of all healing, even influencing Tibetan and Chinese medicinal systems.
This ancient system of healing is based on the tanmatras (5 elements): space, air, fire, water, and earth. When we look at the nature around us, we find that five elements provide the foundation for the entire physical world. Ayurveda recognizes these elements as the building block of all things. Ayurveda also observes the five elements within the human body. We nourish ourselves with foods grown from the Earth. Water is our life-sustaining nectar, making up more than 70 percent of our total body mass. Fire provides the body with heat and radiant energy. It is the catalyst for metabolic and chemical functions. Air flows freely throughout the body, giving movement to biological functions and feeding every cell with oxygen. Space is ever- present, humbly residing in the background, holding all other elements together so they can interact with each other. The five elements explain why substances of the natural world are harmonious with the human body. We easily utilize plants, herbs, minerals, and water, because these substances are the same in composition and character to our own underlying make-up.
In Ayurveda, the five elements are combined to make up the three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Each element has certain qualities or attributes that characterize them. One's own individual nature is made up of a unique combination of the three doshas. A person's dosha determines his/her reactions to foods, aromas, lifestyle, seasons, etc. The key to longevity, is to balance these elements in the body, so one does not accumulate too much fire (i.e. anger, inflammation, etc.), too much earth (i.e. depression, weight gain, etc.), too much air (i.e. anxiety, heart issues), too much ether (i.e. ungrounded, fragile), or water (i.e. over-attachment, edema, etc.)
Body therapies, like Ayurvedic Facials, Abhyanga, & 5 Sense Therapy (tanmatra chikitsa) are important in maintaining good health and longevity. Body therapies can eliminate toxins by carrying ama (toxic build-up) efficiently through the tissues and out of the body. The treatments are nourishing in quality and enhance one's vital life force by infusing plant and elemental energy into the body.
This gentle, but effective skincare treatment catered to your specific Dosha begins with Pranayama (breathing exercises) & aromatherapy. Golden oil & an herbal Paavani Ayurveda cleanser wash away impurities, leaving the skin soft & hydrated. Massage with a focus on the tender Marma Points of the face comes next, making up a majority of this service, followed by a luxurious floral water & herb mask. A partial Abhyanga is performed after the mask application. Lastly, a toner & oil serum are applied to give the skin a lustrous finish.
Marmas are part of a greater sacred physiology that maps out the body according to subtle energy current and power points. The face and body have its own sacred sites, where subtle deep healing can occur by aiding the channels and points to flow energy through it easily.
Prana is the energy that flows through the channels through the intricate system of Marma points along the body. Prana is electromagnetic energy of nature which keeps one alive and supports the vital life force in each one of us. We continually get recharged by the flow of Prana, so Marma therapy is considered an important aspect of Ayurvedic bodywork.
The Pranic channels are called Nadis and the points or pearls of energy on the Nadis are called Marmas. This junction point, connects Prana, the 5 elements, and all the doshas. Many Marmas are located on the limbs of the body or close to the surface of the skin so we are able to nourish these Marmas through therapeutic touch.
The skin is a very intelligent layer between the outer world and our bodies. Herbs and oils can be applied to the Marmas and enter the body without having to pass through the liver system.
Ayurveda considers treating the facial Marma points to be the natural face lift and allows the face to remain young and supple because it aids Pranic flow through the Nadis and Marmas on the head and face. Ayurvedic Facials are also considered to be one of the most relaxing treatments in Ayurvedic bodywork.
"Vitally linked to the profound harmony of the earth, the ancients knew every movement in the cosmos to be filled with universal abhyanga. The leaves and the bark of the trees are continually massaged by the wind, the rock, and pebbles are rubbed by streams and rivers, the animals, brushed by space, wind, and the forest, are forever toned by abhyanga" -Maya Tiwari
Abhyanga is an Ayurvedic oil treatment where the entire body, including the scalp and head is lightly massaged with herbal, medicated oil.
The word Abhyanga, in Sanskrit, has a few different meanings. Ang means "movement" and the prefix abhy meaning "into" or "toward". Thus, the translation literally means moving into the body. Sneha in Sanskrit means "oil" and "love" so Abhyanga means moving energy, prana, and love into the body. Another translation is to "rub oil onto the limbs". In fact, the ancient classic text, Charaka Samhita says, "the body of one who performs oil massage regularly, even if they are subjected to strenuous work, or physical stress, is not much affected. his physique is strong, soft, and charming and the onslaught of aging is slackened."
Abhyanga is not only an integral part of the daily routine but also the basis and foundation for Ayurvedic bodywork because of its beautiful balance of nourishing and detoxing the tissues at the same time. Abhyanga opens the srotas (channels) of the body by allowing the channels to be cleansed and nourished. Ayurvedic massage is considered the most sattvic (sacred or holy) and comprehensive structure of touch therapy in the world because it is powerful enough to heal as well as promote longevity. Abhyanga works immediately on the central nervous system which is governed by Vata and a huge part of this practice is delving deeper into understanding the role of prana (the breath of life). Without good prana, one cannot achieve good health. The subtle spiritual aspects of Abhyanga combined with physical touch makes this type of bodywork a truly healing experience.
The Benefits of Abhyanga:
Abhyanga is beneficial for everyone as it pacifies Vata dosha, thus calming the central nervous system as well as calming the mind that controls all movement in the body. It pacifies Pitta by calming and lubricating tissues that can be burned by the fire element. It pacifies Kapha by increasing circulation, stimulating the lymph system to move as well as breaking up stubborn areas of the body holding stagnant earth energy.
The Four Main Benefits of Abhyanga:
1. Eliminates excess toxins: Abhyanga works on a deep cellular level and can lift of ama (cellular waste) that lies beneath the skin.
2. Purifies the body: Abhyanga acts as a filtering system for the blood, organs, and lymph system.
3. Rasayana chikitsa: Abhyanga rejuvenates the body. It stimulates the glands to produce hormones, including serotonin which calms the mind and emotions.
4. Maintains longevity: All of the above helps prevent genetic breakdown and eventual buildup of disease and free radical activity.
Additional Benefits of Abhyanga:
Tanmatra Chikitsa is a full body Ayurvedic treatment that cleanses, detoxifies, and rejuvenates using Abhyanga, Nasya, Netra Tarpana, Karana Purana, Shamana Kavala, Swedhana, & Garshana.
Nasya (nasal oil) is the application of oil in the nostrils. It helps protect us from the dryness of indoor heat, and creates a protective barrier so that allergens, pollutants, and viruses do not contact the nasal mucosa directly. It moisturizes and conditions the nasal tissues and
K provides lubrication for better sinus drainage and hygiene. Nasya oil can improve memory, relax stiffness in the neck, relieve congestion, and aid in sleep.
The nose is the direct route to the brain and the doorway to consciousness. it is the entrance for Prana, the life force, which comes into the body through the breath. Healthy, uncongested breathing is important to ensure proper flow of Prana throughout the head and body. Cleansing and lubricating the nasal passages and sinuses will maximize absorption of Prana and is also beneficial to relieve sinus congestion and headaches, improve quality of voice and promote mental clarity.
Netra Tarpana is the cleansing of the eyes. This process keeps fluids and/or unctuous material in the eyes. This therapy improves the sight, heals stiffness, pain, and roughness around the eyes. Strengthens eyesight and protects against the sun's rays. Also beneficial for serious eye disorders, such as conjunctivitis, glaucoma, and inflamed lesions.
Karana Purana is the process in which warm oil is poured into the ears. This treatment can be used as a daily or weekly sadhana or used during Tanmatra Chikitsa. This treatment is good for excess ear wax, earaches, headaches, neck pain, and jaw pain. Karana Purana can be administered any season and is very beneficial during Vata season when issues like dry ears, loss of hearing, tinnitus, or ear pain can arise.
Kavala means rinsing the mouth or gargling. Shamana Kavala is an anti-inflammatory mouthwash of warm water, salt and turmeric used for pitta disorders, such as gingivitis, bleeding gums, oral thrush, ulcers, and canker sores.
Swedhana in Sanskrit generally means sweat and refers to an herbalized steam treatment. These treatments found in Ayurveda date back thousands of years. The use of heat and steam to encourage sweating has long been recognized as a natural and effective way to encourage the process of detoxification. A variety of herbs and essential oils are used to help stimulate oxygen flow throughout the body, while the steam activates the natural sweating process, which is essential for releasing accumulated toxins. Your skin will carry the gentle aroma of the herbs for about 24 hours, which will continue the detox process for your pores and skin. This therapy helps to restore unbalanced doshas back to their natural state.
Garshana is a traditional Ayurvedic dry massage using dry brushes that refreshes and stimulates the skin and lymphatic system, enhancing blood circulation and the release of accumulated toxins.
"The Ayurvedic Facial with Terri was soothing and relaxing. I enjoyed the dry brushing the most. Clean product ingredients is something that I always look for and as a bonus they smelled wonderful! My skin felt silky smooth after and a few days later I was receiving compliments on my glowing complexion."
"The Ayurvedic Facial with Terri is fantastic! The products smell great and are very healing. They left my skin feeling super soft and hydrated. The whole experience was super relaxing."
"The facial and massage I received was a 10/10! It was the most relaxing experience. Terri did such an amazing job making a calm and relaxing environment for my mind and body to fully enjoy the treatment I received. My facial was so rejuvenating; my skin felt so soft and completely brand new along with my neck, chest, and arms. The massage was incredibly soothing and made the experience that much more enjoyable!"