Ayurvedic medicine is an ancient practice that remains relevant today. The basic principles of Ayurveda are comprised of the universal elements and the spiritual forces of the body.
One of the most prevalent aspects of Ayurveda still being practiced today is the Abhyanga massage—or, as you may understand it, a Lymphatic massage.
Keep reading to learn more about Ayurvedic massage benefits and why your lymphatic system is so important.
The lymphatic system is a network of tissues and organs whose main function is to carry the lymph fluid throughout the body. The lymph fluid is primarily made up of infection-fighting white blood cells and lymphocytes, which are the cells that attack bacteria in the blood.
The lymphatic system is often referred to as our body’s sewage system. It maintains the fluid levels throughout our tissues as it collects and carries any fluids that have leaked from the blood vessels.
The lymph nodes, spleen, and thymus monitor the lymph as it flows through each organ. They are responsible for the detection of any pathogens and malignant cells as well as producing cells and antibodies that fight off infections.
Additionally, the lymphatic system aids in the absorption of fat from the intestines.
When the lymphatic system isn’t functioning properly, e.g., fluids are not being drained from the tissues properly, a few things may occur. Those things include swelling—oedema or lymphoedema—and other common issues related to infection, disease, and damage to the lymph nodes.
If your lymphatic system fails, you’ll be more prone to becoming sick from things that wouldn’t normally affect you. You’ll also be more prone to becoming sick from more serious diseases and conditions such as cancer.
The Ayurvedic perspective of rasa dhatu has to do with the waters of the body. The word rasa is Sanskrit for sap, juice, or liquid. It more or less refers to the plasma and the lymph and interstitial fluids. Dhatu simply refers to the tissues of the body, and together, the words mean “river of life”.
When the rasa is healthy, your immune system and stamina are strong and your skin will appear radiant and clear. It will also feel soft to the touch. Additionally, so will your hair.
Aside from the physical benefits of healthy rasa, there are emotional benefits too, such as love, compassion, and deep faith.
If the rasa is unhealthy or depleted, you may experience dry skin and hair, constipation, dehydration, and diminished tissue, i.e., wrinkles. You also may experience fear, anxiety, and other strong and impulsive emotions.
The cause of unhealthy rasa can be from a variety of things, including too much sun exposure, poor diet and exercise habits, too much caffeine, and a lack of overall self-care.
If there is excess rasa, you may experience lethargy, bloating, congestion, oedema, high blood pressure, depression, and other repressed emotions. The cause of excess rasa is usually overeating, excessive salt, sugar, and alcohol.
In Ayurveda, the lymphatic system is the river of life and the lymph fluid is the traveling water in that river. The mind, body, and consciousness all work together to maintain a balance, and different energies act as the driving forces behind our emotions and physical well being.
Lymphatic congestion is the result of stagnant lymph flow. In other words, poor waste removal. The causes of lymphatic congestion include:
The symptoms of lymphatic congestion include:
If you’re experiencing one or more of these symptoms on a daily basis, it may be time for a lymphatic detox.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of lymphatic congestion, then to rebalance your body you’ll need to perform one or more of the following Ayurvedic detox methods:
A rejuvenating detox referred to as the five actions that promote mental and physical hygiene and balance. It’s meant to rid the body of toxins through highly individualized therapy that sometimes includes an Abhyanga massage.
A dry oil massage that nourishes the tissues and promotes joint health, circulation, mental alertness, relaxation, muscle tone, and healthy skin and hair. In essence, it restores balance to the body.
A therapy focused on accessing prana (energy) via the Marma points throughout the body. Marma helps with total body detoxing of the mind and spirit; tissue regeneration, aging, releasing deep tension, improving circulation, and clearing psychological blockages.
A unique detoxification treatment using dry herbal powders. It supports lymphatic cleansing by the removal of cellular waste. It also minimizes cellulite, reduces brain fog, and exfoliates.
Pranayama is the practice of controlling the breath through a variety of techniques and exercises. Yoga asanas are postures for meditation. Both directly work with the nervous system and improve the respiratory system, promote mindfulness, and balance energy and mood.
Lymph fluid is up to 95% water, therefore proper hydration is essential to keep it flowing freely. It’s highly recommended to sip warm water first thing in the morning as well as throughout the day to rid the body of any built-up toxins.
A healthy gut is fundamental to proper lymphatic function. Poor cut health only contributes to congestion, and so it’s important to keep up with a nutrient-dense and anti-inflammatory diet that will make your digestive tract more resilient to the negative impacts of stress.
Following a healthy, nutrient-dense diet, there are plenty of herbs that aid in a lymphatic detox:
All of the above aid in purifying the blood and promoting lymph flow.
Your body isn’t just a temple—it’s an extraordinary machine. If you take care of it, it will take care of you. An Abhyanga massage is only one small step towards self-love and wellness.
If you’re interested in learning more about Abhyanga massages or other Ayurvedic therapies, contact us today. We offer total-body wellness treatments and more, and we’d be delighted to get you started on your wellness journey.