The River of Hope – My Ayurveda Massage Journey

4 minutes reading time

Looking back to the start of my Ayurvedic massage training, I remember the day I arrived at my destination. The day I was pleasantly surprised to find the training would be held in a quaint lodge in the beautiful Snowdonia National Park.

The lodge was set next to a stream in the middle of woodlands. What an idyllic place to spend the next few days.

I parked the car, got my backpack and bags of towels, locked the car door and walked to the lodge. As I knocked on the sturdy wooden door, a brief moment of uncertainty swept over me, quickly to fade away as I was greeted by a lovely team of people eager to meet the new student of Ayurveda.

On entering the lodge, I took off my shoes leaving them with the muddy wellingtons and walkers’ boots that were neatly lined up in the cloakroom. I was then shown to my shared room, a room with two single pines beds, meticulously made up with pristine white linen.

The place was perfect, with big windows providing a panoramic view.  Two of the windows were looking out to the a babbling stream, the stream echoed around the room, bringing the outside world inside.

Now to meet my roommate, Mary. What a remarkable woman – what a lucky girl I was to be able to share this experience with lovely Mary. I smiled as I looked out of the window over the stream, thinking, this is my home for the next few days.

Being At One With Nature

​Sometimes, in my day to day life, my mind wanders back to that stream in Snowdonia, the stream babbling through the rocks, the water making its way to its eventual union with the river.

Rivers, they continually flow. If the flow is blocked, or the water goes backwards, it becomes stagnant. In just the same way, people, if we block our energy – we too can become stagnant.

When you have an Ayurvedic massage, you will hear me talking about blocked energy at Marma points.

Marma points are vital energy points.

Ayurveda massage helps to release blocked energy, encouraging a free flow. If energy remains blocked it encourages disease.

Ayurveda massage is the holistic balance which is necessary to maintain good health and well-being.

The doshas, (which are biological energies found through the human body and mind), need to retain their organic doshic make-up of prakruti (the doshic constitution you are born with) through life as much as possible.

Ayurveda aims to loosen ama. Ama is a toxic residue which accumulates in the body. The accumulation of ama can be the result of the stresses of everyday living, our diet and lifestyle and any of a number of factors which can be detrimental to our health.  Ama can get stuck in the tissues, muscles, connective tissues, organs and fluids.

Through the application of Ayurvedic massage and with the use of warm Ayurvedic oils, dirt from the skin is removed, whilst the massage cleanses the pores, helping with the functioning of the lungs, large intestine and kidneys.

Ayurvedic massage may help to encourage good blood circulation. It also exfoliates superficial dead skin cells, tones the skin and encourages the rejuvenation process.

​Ayurveda – Holistic Treatment

I have already mentioned that Ayurveda is a holistic system of medicine that deals with the body, mind and spirit of a person.

The Sanskrit term, ‘Ayurveda,’ has two components: ‘Ayur’ and ‘Veda’.

‘Ayur’ means life/longevity. ‘Veda’ means wisdom/science. Hence Ayurveda means ‘science of life’ or ‘wisdom for longevity’.

For many thousands of years, Ayurveda has been a successful primary health-care modality for millions of people in India.  Its age-old recommendations and advice for healthy living are as relevant today as they ever were in the millenia since their conception.

The western world is increasingly recognising the merits of Ayurveda. Ayurveda helps to rejuvenate the body, fight stress, and provides relief in life-style related diseases.  It has no significant side-effects while offering comfort – and this is one of the primary attributes of Ayurveda.

The science of Ayurveda treats an individual as a whole – the wonderfully complex body, mind and the spirit. Ayurveda ensures an individual’s well-being by addressing many factors that influence the quality of life.  Ayurveda is a profound understanding of ‘life’ and how it flows through the entire structure of an organism.

Back to the River

Question: Is our body like a river?

Indeed, it is. It is full of channels, big and small ones that carry our bodily fluids to our many organs. The water we drink, the food we eat, everything travels through the body in these channels, nurturing our life force.

If we put bad liquids into our system, like alcohol or too much caffeine, these toxins have a negative impact on our health. Suitable fluids such as clean warm water, herbal teas, are good for our river system.

So, the next time you find yourself at the bank of the river, embrace the moment. The river can cleanse itself every 10 miles, but what if our river becomes so full of stresses of everyday life – how many miles would our body have to flow to cleanse itself of all the built up ama?

Ayurvedic massage and good living helps to keep your river flowing. As is always the case, prevention is better than cure.

Also by Janet Mantle

Professional Spotlight

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