In a dim-lit room, heavy with the smell of herbs and oil, a man was chanting ‘Om Namo Bhagavate Maha Sudarshan Vasudevaya Dhanvantaraye’ — a prayer for lord Dhanvantary, the God of Ayurveda. The preparations for a ‘panchakarma’ and ‘shirodhara’ that he had elaborately made already, was part of a traditional Ayurvedic treatment.
For next one hour his hand movements were a meticulously synchronized effort to relax and refresh body. ‘Abhyangam’- the therapeutic massage that he performed, keeping strokes and pressure according to a patient’s body condition, was not only aimed at relieving joints and muscles off stiffness. But he kept on stimulating blood circulation, removing metabolic wastes and balancing ‘doshas’ through the rhythmic and vigorous movements, reports The Times of India.
Over past few years Kolkata has started waking up to words like Abhyangam and Patra Pinda Swedana—a traditional Ayurvedic therapy practiced at select wellness centres. “It took time to make people aware about the wellness through alternative methods like Ayurveda. But now it has been accepted not only as a mode of treatment, but a part of regular wellness,” said Suparna Sarkar, general manager of Vedic Village Spa Resort-eastern India’s first NABH accreditated medical spa.
The secret of Abhyangam and Shirodhara lies in identifying therapeutically active oils and herbs, which is absorbed fast by the body and get directly into the blood stream. Unlike the Thai or Ballinese massage, Abhyangam, performed on Droni (a wooden table), is aimed at detoxifying the body and mind.