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Herbal oil Massage & Its Techniques


Massage Historical Review

Historical Review of Massage

Historical review of the massage

Massage is perhaps the most popular form of health activity, since the time immemorial. India, China Greece, and Roman civilization were in the practice of massage for the restorative powers and for therapeutic use also. Ancient Greeks had set up massage schools for in their gymnasiums.

Indian culture and their epics like Ramayana & Mahabharata have described massage for health maintenance. Bhavishya Puraana also has mentioned different techniques of massage. Similarly in Vatasyayana Kamasutra, massage has been explained for the purpose of enhancing sexual power. Contd. . . .

Later on during the period of bhuddha, this therapy has spread to the neighbouring countries like Indonesia, Burma, Tibet & China. In some societies, message has been used as an act of hospitality in Hawaii. Along with Vrihtrai, the techniques of massage have been explained in detail in texts Yoga Ratnakar & Bhava Prakaasha. In 18th century massage was regularly given to sportsmen. Massage became popular in Europe due to the work of Per Henrik Ling. Later on in 19th century, two separate branches of physiotherapy and occupational therapy came into existance.

Ayurvedic Massage
1 Massage is said in ayurveda under the chapter of snehana, as a part of poorvakarma of panchakarma. 2 Ayurveda is based on the principles of primordial elements, biological humors or tridoshas, concept of agni and pitta, as well as the formation of the toxins or ama. 3 The aim of ayurvedic massage is to achieve the balance of energies inside the body and for this, the study of fundamental concept of prakruti is essential.

Massage for Vata Constitution:

Vata type people are dry, cool by nature so, oily massage should be given daily in the early morning or before a warm bath in the evening. Sesame oil is the best oleation. Other medicated oils like dashmool taila, added with jeevneeya or brnhneeya gana herbs are best for vata.

Massage for Pitta Constitution

They are the people with rapid metabolism, and have tendency for fever and inflammatory disease. Their skin is sensitive and easily get rashes, so cooling massage oil should be used, i. e., coconut and sandalwood oil. Medicated oils can be prepared fromEla, jatamansi, mustak, chandan, naagkeshar and karpur

Massage for Kapha constitution

They have thin and oily skin. If possible oil should not be used. The best massage for Kapha people is with the help of dry and hot potency powders of herbs with the use of hot potency oil in little quantity, i.e., mustard oil or sesame oil. The preffered powders of the herbs are vacha, shunthi, dashmool etc. Medicated oil can be prepared with bilwa, devadaaru and tagar.

Massage for Dual Constitution

1. Vata-Pitta should be used less oil, in comparison to pure vata disorders. 2. Pitta-Kapha Coconut oil / sunflower oil. 3. Vata-Kapha should be used dry powders of hot herbs like vacha, with slight mustard oil.

Action of massage
For massage the word used in many ayurvedic texts is Samvahana. The word Mardana has also been used as synonym to this. The term Mardana means massage including pressing, rubbing and also other procedures like manipulation of muscles hairs and joints.

Basic strokes of massage.

Gharshan (Friction) Peedana (Kneading) Ghoornan (Rounding / Whirling) Udveshtana (Wringing or twisting) Trasana (Stroking) Prahaara (Percussion / Tapotment) Kampa/Harshana (Vibrations) Sandhi chalan (Joint movements) Sparshana (Touch) Mardana (Rubbing with force)



This is also called connective tissue massage. This can be done by thumb or palm of the hand to improve the blood circulation of the body, it is very useful. Subtypes(5): a) towards the heart (pratiloma) d) Zig-Zag (Tiryak) b) away from the heart (anuloma) e) round (kendrit) c) circular (ghurnan)

Rules applied for friction:Direction Pressure Frequency per minute Material used

Vata anuloma
Pitta anuloma Kapha pratiloma

Gentle Deep

30 to 60 (slow)


60 to 90 Coconut or (moderate) sunflower 90 to 120 (fast) Mustard or olive oil

Deep Tissue Strokes

Percussion : Prahaara

Percussion : Prahaara

Circling (Ghoornan) :

mainly for the big muscles of hands and legs. Holding hand or leg in one hand and giving circular pressure by other hand.

Feathering (Anguli-dveshtan ):

lightly brush the patients skin with your finger tips. Using your hands alternately. Keep your arms and hands relaxed.

Pinching (Avpeedana):By

using thumb and index finger skin is lifted and pinching is given. Useful for improving peripheral or capillary circulation. Useful in the skin disorders.

Rounding: this is very fast movement using both

hands. Objective is to move muscles in round direction.

Tapotment (Prahaaran):

Stroking by using the fingers or the palms of both hands. Useful for improving metabolism and local temp. of the body part. In vata-pitta type, it is useful to remove obstruction to doshas and make the channel free.

Pounding: (Mushti / Hast Prahar)

There are 4 types of percussion: 1. Digital (vadana) 2. Using the palm of the hand (Tadana) 3. By hand cupping (samputaka) 4. Pounding- by using fists (useful for strong muscles)

Cupping & Tapotement: Samput Evam Hast Prahar (This is a type of


Vibrations (Kampan or Harshan)

The vibrations produced by massage, are useful for activating superficial and deep movement of the part. Useful in tingling sensation, numbness, heaviness of the part, partial loss of the muscles and muscular atrophy is treated by it.

Joint Movement (Sandhi Chaalan)

Joints are moved and massaged also. It gradual increasethe joint movements, improves flexibility, remove congestion, and helps free movement of joints. It should be noted that in case of frozen shoulder and tennis elbow, this massage is associated with medicated fomentation.

Mardan (rubbing with force)

It is usually done after the abhyang. Inthis method, gentle and suitable use of fingers, thumbs and palms are used for massage. For Vata disorders and Vata constitution- mardan should applied with anuloma direction (away from heart) For pitta disorder and constitution, anuloma and pratiloma both can be applied. For kapha disorder and constitution, it should be pratiloma.

Self Massage: It shoud be done by every

person to maintain health.



The should be lying on the table or on the floor. masseur should stand or sit at the side of the patient. Apply plenty of the oil on the sole of the foot then make brisk friction (Gharshan). Stretch the fingers of the foot and massage them also.

Abdomen Massage
The movement of the massage on abdomen be circular and light. Proper attention should be paid to the important marmas like hridaya, nabhi and basti.

Hand Massage





For pregnant women massage should be given carefully. Patient should be in the lying position with plenty of support such like cushion under the neck or back or according to need and comfort. Apply oil gently and use light strokes. Female masseur should do breast massage to provide proper circulation to stanya-vaha srotas. For back ache problem, massage should be given in sitting position. For the leg massage, patient should be in the lying position with support on the back.after the delievery massage helps the system to re-organize and to put it again in the normal; status.

Baby Massage

Keraliya Massage
Chavitti the meaning of chavitti in Malayalam is the feet. This type is used for giving deep massage. Therefore it is very useful for Kapha type constitution people as well as for dancer s and athletes.

First the patient is given whole body Abhyanga with suitable oils and asked to lie on the floor or on carpet. A transverse rope is hanged for the support at the height of 6-7 feet. Masseur takes hold of rings attached to the ceiling and carry out the massage.


This massage called in the ayurveda Shashtishali Pind Sveda. The meaning of navara is said for shali rice. The same procedure of shashti-shali pind sveda is accepted in Keraliya massage

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