Spa treatments — say, a facial or a pedicure — can certainly help you maintain a healthy look. But certain treatments take their benefits a step further, restoring more than just what’s on the outside. Ayurvedic bodywork is a classic example.
In Ayurveda — a holistic approach to health based on the belief that wellness and beauty depend on finding a balance between mind, body and spirit — bodywork therapies combine reflexology massage, steam therapy and other modalities to engage your senses, promote a relaxed, peaceful state and improve how you look and feel overall. Practitioners use carefully selected oils that combine various herbs, like holy basil and turmeric, to address numerous issues, from dull skin to dry scalp (and some that go beyond beauty, like sinus or joint pain) while calming your thoughts and allowing you to connect internally.
Choose from these seven popular Ayurvedic bodywork treatments for a deeper experience that fulfills your beauty needs and more.
FOR A RADIANT COMPLEXION AND HEALTHY HAIR AND SCALP, TRY…
This relaxing, healing treatment includes a powerful combination of herbs and oils that cleanses, detoxifies and nourishes the skin. It begins with a short, anterior Abhyanga to calm and ground the body. After this, your practitioner applies warm oil in a gentle, steady stream over your “third-eye point,” located in the middle of your forehead; according to Ayurveda, this synchronizes brain waves, creating a calming effect that can last for days. Shirodhara concludes with a light massage of the scalp and face, which enhances blood circulation, helping hair grow longer and healthier. This soothing treatment is also a powerful way to boost the immune system and reduce stress.
FOR CLEARER SKIN, TRY…
At the start of this treatment, your practitioner dry-brushes your skin using 100% raw silk gloves, which increases circulation, as well as exfoliates and cleanses your skin. This preps your skin for herbal oil application, which deeply nourishes the skin, removes impurities and stimulates both arterial and lymphatic circulation. The combination of these two steps enhances the ability of nutrients to reach starved cells, promoting healthier, blemish-free skin.
While this is mostly known as an Ayurvedic sinus treatment that helps to clear head impurities and congestion, Nasya can also promote a clearer complexion. It involves the application of oil to the face and neck, followed by gentle massage, which stimulates marma points, lymphatic flow and the proper flow of air and energy. Warm towels are then placed on your face, opening your pores and allowing them to breathe while the heat helps eliminate bacteria. Herbalized nose drops (nasya) are also used to lubricate your nasal passages.
FOR SMOOTHER-LOOKING SKIN, TRY…
Also referred to as Ayurvedic steam therapy, Swedana nourishes the skin and helps remove impurities from your body by stimulating lymphatic circulation and drainage. At the start of this treatment, your practitioner applies a dosha-specific herbal oil all over your body (except your face). After the oil has been applied, a light tent is placed over your body while you lay on a massage table. Steam is infused into the tent. Swedana allows toxins to be removed from the body through the sweat while simultaneously absorbing the healing oils. At the end of the treatment, you’ll be given some time to rest while your body returns to a normal temperature.
This deeply penetrating treatment is particularly effective in prompting lymphatic drainage, which helps rid the body of impurities. Your practitioner scrubs your body with a blend of oils and herbs, exfoliating and cleansing the skin. This process helps clear stored, stagnant lymphatic toxins. Some of the blend will absorb into your skin, and though your practitioner will use a hot towel to wipe off any excess, you may want to shower when you get home for a full rinse. (This gives the herbs more time to be effective.) Udvartana tones and tightens the skin, reduces inflammation, wrinkles and cellulite.
TO LOOK AND FEEL RELAXED, TRY…
Known as one of the most rejuvenating Ayurvedic body treatments, Pindasveda involves your practitioner massaging herbs and rice that’s cooked with almond milk. The rice is placed inside cotton clothe and this into into balls that are used to massage your skin. This treatment is particularly useful if you suffer from sore joints and tight muscles, helping you not only loosen up physically but also feel calm, content and refreshed.
- Marma Balancing
In Ayurveda, marma points are similar to acupressure points: They are areas of vital energy that, when blocked, prevent you from feeling your best. Marma Balancing is a full-body treatment that focuses on opening the marma points to ensure proper energy flow in your muscles, joints, organs and mind. As you calm your thoughts and your body, including the muscles in your face and neck, tension is released, helping you feel and look more relaxed. Your practitioner stimulates your marma points through massage using circular motions and herbal oils specific to your dosha.
Ayurbeauty specializes in honoring the tradition of these therapies in a relaxing, tranquil spa setting.
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