After experimenting with an Ayurvedic diet I was very curious to try out Ayurvedic massage and skin care. Despite not being a massage therapist myself, I feel I’m practically an expert in massage therapy because of how often I have had therapeutic massage. In my experience therapeutic massage has been the most helpful tool for managing back pain and fibromyalgia symptoms. While I have seen well over a dozen different massage therapists and tried various types of massage, Ayurvedic massage was something that I had not previously come across. After doing some research on the different spa’s in my area that provided Ayurvedic treatments I picked out a place and booked myself a package of three different Ayurvedic treatments: Marma Abhyanga, Ayurvedic facial and Shirodhara.
…it felt like I had a sudden mental clarity, my mind was aware and focused.
First we started with the massage which was called “Marma Abhyanga”. This just might be the most interesting type of massage I have ever had. The massage therapist used a large amount of unrefined sesame oil all over which felt very luxurious. The oil was rich and warm. I am used to using various types of oils on my skin but have not used unrefined sesame oil before and now I want to add it to my daily skin care routine. Since the table was heated my whole body was warm which helped the oil absorb into my skin. The massage itself produced some very interesting sensations. The various mara points were stimulated with pressure and small circular strokes. The different points gave rise to different sensations. Most when massaged were very relaxing but some felt stimulating. Not the kind of stimulation you get from drinking coffee. It’s a hard sensation to describe but it felt like I had a sudden mental clarity, my mind was aware and focused. I was not expecting that reaction and to be honest I wasn’t expecting much reaction. I have had reflexology done before which sounded similar to mara massage but reflexology didn’t do anything for me. Along with stimulating the mara points the massage therapist used some longer strokes similar to Swedish massage but overall it was a very unique experience. The pressure she used varied based on the location. In the past I have not enjoyed massages where the therapist uses light pressure but this I actually found very relaxing. After working on a section of the body she placed a warm towel over the area and wiped off some of the oil. My skin was still a little oily going home but not to the point where it would ruin my clothes. But just to be safe don’t wear clothes you can’t wash in hot water to a treatment like this.
The facial treatment had a sort of rhythm to it.
Next was the facial. This as well was very different than any facial I have had before and also used a lot of oil. Like really, a lot! (Keep in mind the type of oil used depends on what dosha you need to balance. For my skin she used rich heavy oils.) Other than the sesame oil I am not sure what other products were put on my face. At the beginning I was told it was best to be silent and focus inward during the treatments, unless of course something was uncomfortable or I needed to use the restroom. By this point I was so relaxed I didn’t want to talk and was practically ready to fall asleep. The facial treatment had a sort of rhythm to it. She rubbed the oil onto my face in upward strokes (going from the chin to the forehead). After massaging it for awhile a warm towel was placed on my face to warm up my skin and remove excess oil. Then this process was repeated. One oil that was used was clearly an exfoliating oil that felt like a facial scrub. At the end a thick layer of oil was put all over my face and remained there as she massaged areas of my neck and shoulders. This was by far the most enjoyable facial I have ever had. The massaging felt great and my skin felt great. For someone with dry skin this was the perfect facial.
I felt so relaxed it was like I was melting into the table.
Then the last treatment, Shirodhara. This was the one I was most curious about. A contraption was set up that allowed oil to stream out of a hole in what I think was a copper container. I was positioned in a way that my head was tilted back slightly. Something soft was placed over my eyes to prevent getting oil in them. I could feel the warm stream of oil slowly moving from the top of my head to the third eye, the center just slightly above the eyebrows. I definitely have not had any treatment like this before. As I lay there with my eyes closed I focused on the sensation of the oil streaming down on me. I felt so relaxed it was like I was melting into the table. There really isn’t anything I can compare this to. I think the fact that I have been meditating a lot recently really added to the experience because this is a very meditative treatment. If I could do this at home I would every evening. I highly recommend giving this a try because not only is it very calming but it also soaks your hair in oils that once washed out leave your hair soft and shiny.
Unfortunately with the outbreak of covid-19 all business in CT are currently shut down with the exception of places providing medical care, selling food, and other necessary services. While I personally consider massage a necessity in my life I understand that this is a dangerous time for everyone and we need to be very careful to protect each other and ourselves. Hopefully things will get better soon and once regular business open up again I highly suggest giving Soma Spa a try.