Articles on massage

Foot Massage and Sleep!

Dr. Sita S Bhatt, Homeopath
Reflexology believes that the entire human body and its organs have representations on the soles of our feet! Regularly doing a nice foot massage relaxes, rejuvenates and recharges the body and the mind and helps in good health! A simple daily routine of do-it- yourself foot massage could help you to relax the body and get a really good nights sleep! First wash the feet after soaking them in Epsom salts (2tsp) or rock salt (4 tsp) and warm water in a tub for 10 minutes . See that you are in bed and all your chores done and it's the last thing before you sleep. Keep the lights dim and the surroundings peaceful for this one! No gadgets! Use a nice thick oil with some aroma essential oil ( I give lavender oil to help one relax ) Starting from the arch of the foot, using the thumb, rub the foot in circular motions. Do it from the arch and progress to the entire foot while slowly increasing the pressure. Do 15 repetitions on each sole. Wear a pair of cotton socks to keep the feet warm. A couple of minutes of this ensures that the night's sleep is deep and refreshing!Added benefits of regular and specific foot acupressure and reflexological massage: 1. Relieves aches and pains 2. Helps in digestion 3. Improves metabolism and stamina to exercise 4. Improves circulation 5. Helps in muscle stretches 6. Used in treatment of restless leg syndrome 7. Reduces lactic acid related muscle pain 8. In children, boosts growth and immunity !

Anti Aging – Ayurvedic Concept

Dr. Rajesh A. Shrotriya, Ayurveda
Ayurveda is one of the most ancient medical traditions practiced in India. Atharvaveda, Charak Samhita and Sushruta Samhita are its main classics, giving detailed descriptions for management of aging and related conditions. The use of Ayurvedic herbs was not only directed towards developing an attractive external appearance, but towards achieving longevity with good health. The Sanskrit terms of anti-aging activity described in Ayurveda are Vayasthapana (age defying), Varnya (brighten skin-glow), Sandhaniya (cell regeneration), Vranaropana (healing), Tvachya (nurturing), Shothahara (anti-inflammatory), Tvachagnivardhani (strengthening skin metabolism) and Tvagrasayana (retarding aging). Many of these practices strongly depend on the season (Rutus) as well as daily routine (Dinacharya) has an subtle importance of its own.Ayurveda considers Rasāyana as one of the foremost branches of Astānga Ayurveda. The word Rasāyana should not be mistaken as a therapy exclusively related to old age. It can be applied from pediatrics to geriatrics. Suśruta defies Rasāyana as a measure, which prolongs and provides positive health, improves mental faculties and provides resistance and immunity against diseases. Charaka states that the means of obtaining optimum nourishment to the Dhātus are called Rasāyanas. Hence Rasyanas are good to be adopted to stop as well as reverse the accelerating or triggering of an early onset of aging. Many rasayana plants such as Emblica officinalis (Amla) and Centella asiatica (Gotukola) are extensively used.According to Ayurveda Human body functions through various channel systems called “Srotas”, containing both microscopic and macroscopic structures such as the respiratory system, lymphatic/circulatory system, reproductive system and nervous systems, among others. These channels function as innumerable psycho-biological processes such as enzyme production, neuro-transmitter secretion, hormonal intelligence, respiratory capacity and digestive assimilation/elimination, immune power etc and responsible for wellness and beauty. These act rhythmically and in concert with one another to perform complex decision-making regarding the supply of nutrients, filtration of toxins, excretion of wastes and much more. If waste materials are insufficiently metabolized, toxins or incompletely processed foods and experiences can become deposited in weak areas of the body. If unaddressed, these can become a disease. Weak zones occur in the body due genetic factors or more commonly, lifestyle factors, such as unhealthy food choices, stress or environmental influences. These toxins or unprocessed metabolic deposits can cloud the normal psycho-biological cellular intelligence and loss body luster and beauty. Panchakarma therapy is both preventative for healthy people to maintain and improve excellent cellular function, and curative for those experiencing disease. The Ama (toxic materials inside our body) make a person ugly and diseased and Sodhana/panchakarma (Purification) is the best therapeutic intervention to eliminate body toxins. It is a highly complex and sophisticated science of purification of the body/mind.Water is a major component for keeping skin in good condition. Water originates in the deeper epidermal layers and moves upward to hydrate cells in the stratum corneum in the skin, eventually being lost to evaporation. Snehana and Swedana bring moisture to our skin. It gives our skin greater elasticity and rejuvenates skin tissues. As cells in our face make their way to the surface over their lifecycle, they die and become saturated with keratin, or skin debris. Keratin is important because it protects your skin from the elements but the shedding of that outer layer can unclog pores. Snehana and Swedan are believed to be inhibit trans-epidermal water loss, restoring the lipid barrier and restore the amino-lipid of the skin.According to Ayurveda, a number of factors determine skin health and youthfulness. These include:Proper moisture balance (Kapha in balance)Effective functioning of the metabolic mechanisms that coordinate all the various chemical and hormonal reactions of the skin (Pitta in balance)Efficient circulation of blood and nutrients to the different layers of the skin (Vata in balance)The health of the following three dhatus (types of body tissue) are especially reflected in the skin: nutritional fluid (Rasa), blood (Rakta) and muscle (Mamsa). Rasa supports all the body tissues, particularly keeping the skin healthy, Rakta, in association with liver function, helps detoxify the skin of toxins, while Mamsa provides firmness to the skin. An effective Ayurvedic anti-aging cosmeceutical should provide support to all these three areas.For vata skin to stay youthful, skin care products that can nourish and re-hydrate the skin should be used, otherwise it may be susceptible to wrinkles and premature aging. Warm oil self-massage and all natural moisturizers may help.For pitta skin, good sunscreens for protection from the sun, and good facial skin oils should be used daily. Tanning treatments and therapies that expose delicate sensitive skin for extended periods of time to steam/heat should be avoided.For kapha skin, a daily warm oil massage and cleansing of skin with gentle exfoliant should be performed.The aging process is a challenging human experience common to everyone, and the desire to look young prevails in the majority of us. The latest trends in beauty, health and wellness sectors are giving rise to new of possibilities by fusing anti-aging cosmeceuticals with traditional Indian medicine. Ayurveda offers vast amounts of information on principles of anti-aging activity, skin care and anti-aging herbs, helping in the exploration of possibilities of developing new anti-aging cosmeceuticals with natural ingredients for topical applications.

Joint Pain - All You Need to Know

Dr. Manaan Gandhi, Ayurveda
 The most comprehensive post on understanding and healing joint pain according to ayurveda by Dr. Manaan Gandhi.When movement is restricted, pain has increased, effectiveness and concentration on work and family suffers. You feel restricted and limited and opportunities go to waste because of this ever increasing problem. Treating such joint pain is very easy to do with ayurveda. The key is to understand which type of ayurvedic category that particular joint pain fits in. This categorization is the most crucial part of understanding and treating any joint pain and if this fails, then everything else will also fail. There are three major categories of joint pain according to ayurveda. The first of which is called "aamvata." In this category, the patient suffers from "shifting joint pain" or the pain which migrates from joint to joint. Sometimes it is the elbow, sometimes it is the knee, sometimes the shoulder. This condition will also show swelling and stiffness of the joints and relief on exercise or movement and massages. Oil application on the other hand will increase the pain and worsen the situation. The tongue of such a patient will be coated and even after scraping the tongue, the coating will persist. The pain and stiffness will reduce as the day goes on but be unbearably high in the morning hours. This sort of migrating pain has to be dealt with differently than the other types. The diet for such a pain has to be light and easily digestable. It should comprise of moong, rice, digestive soups, boiled vegetables. The person must avoid all dairy products, non veg food, bread, biscuits and other bakery products, raw foods like salads, sour, spicy or fermented food, fried food and must exercise daily either brisk walking for 2 to 3 kilometers or by practising yoga postures.The second type of joint pain is known as "vata-rakta" wherein the pain and swelling starts from a small joint like the interphalangeal joint in the hand or the toes, slowly all the joints in the body get involved. There may be an increase in the serum creatinine levels of the patients that suffer from this condition. There is a dushti of rakta here along with vata dosha and therefore skin problems and nervous problems are sometimes associated with this disease. The patient does not have a white coating on the tongue but feels as if air is moving when the joint is pressed. Anything hot and spicy becomes unbearable to the patient and he feels as if the pain is pricking and spasmatic. Also I have seen patients burp when any of these affected joints are pressed. This condition requires the patient to take diet that is easily digestable but not very hot in potency. Blood letting (Raktamokshan) is a process in ayurveda wherein the dushit or vitiated blood is sucked out of the body and is increasingly effective in this disease. The person should not eat anything dry, should avoid things like bhel, popcorn, khakra, khari biscuits etc, not have anything heavy to digest like wheat or wheat products including bread, biscuits, etc. The person should use a lot of cow's ghee and cow's milk and should compulsarily avoid cold food and drinks.The third type of joint pain is one of the most common types known as "Sandhigata Vata." The person suffering from this type will have swelling and pain in the joint. This pain may be a dull pain throughout the day or a sharp spasmatic pain. It is said in the ayurvedic scriptures that the swelling feels as if it is filled with air(vayu). This pain generally starts in one of the major joints like knee, sholder, lumbar, cervical, elbow or ankle joints. It then spreads to all joints eventually. The X-ray will show osteophytes and osteoarthritic or osteoporotic changes. This type of joint pain is divided into 2 categories:Upasthambhit sandhigatavata- In this type of sandhigatavata, the patient has a coating on the tongue, stiffness in the morning, relief on massage, relief on exercise and pain decreases as the day moves on. For this type of pain, the patient should take light diet like mentioned in "aamvata," also the patient should add dry ginger powder (sooth) to the normal drinking water in the ratio of 2 tbsp per litre. Exercise daily is a must for help in relieving pain. Avoid sleeping during day time and stay as active as possible. For such a patient, staying active and exercising despite the pain will give tremendous relief eventually. Nirupasthambit sandhigatavata- In this type of sandhigatavata, the patient has no coating on the tongue, no stiffness in the morning, pain increases on massage, there is more pain on exercising and the pain increases as the day moves on. For this type of pain, the patient should take more kadva or bitter food. Milk and milk products are extremely helpful with the exception of dahi. Smoking and drinking is extremely harmful to such a person, and cow's ghee is extremely beneficial to the same. Rest and day sleeping is beneficial to such a person. Ayurvedic medication is a must to improve the condition as it does not improve significantly on its own but is very easily cured compared to the other types of joint pain by ayurveda.There are other diseases and reasons of joint pain which may be mentioned or explained here, but according to my experience most joint pains can be classified in the above.Dr. Manaan Gandhi+91-9664024377

During Monsoon, Ayurveda Can Cure Your Stomach Upset

Dr. Satish Sawale, Ayurveda
Indigestion is very common in cloudy and humid climate of monsoon often give rise to issues likeHeartburn, Bloating, Diarrhea, Constipation and gas. If the issue not attended on time, it can lead to even torturing issues like GERD or gastroesophageal reflux and irritable bowel syndrome. Ayurveda shares a concept known as Ama, which can be termed Non-toxic metabolites and toxins created by faulty metabolism / indigestion. There are many ways to treat to indigestion in an ayurvedic way. Let us look at some tips for the same: Langhanam, swedanam, Hot water and  use of Dried Ginger i.e. Sunthi, cumin seeds, Ajwayan carom seeds some salts and  salty pickles is so common in Indian culture and being used since ancient times i.e. tradition.Aloe vera: An ounce of aloe vera a day will keep indigestion away. Break off, a leaf and scoop some gel into a smoothie for smooth digestion.Turmeric: Haldi or Turmeric helps in reducing bloating and is one of the most commonly used spices found in ayurveda. This spice is a staple in indian cooking as well, where pretty much all dishes are seasoned with cooked turmeric.Maintaining Biological clock and Traditional Healer fasting : For better digestion, one must take meals at the same time everyday. Also, do not sit down for the next meal before the previous meal has been digested properly, its seen over eating causes much more issues after certain age say 40+ so once in a week light food or skipping food or usually on full moon or on No moon there is fast that adds value.Choosing healthy food: one must avoid unhealthy food that are excessively fried, fatty, sweet or cold so as to aid the digestive fires in doing their job effectively.Triphala with Saindhav(Rock salt): This combination of three fruits (Avala,Behada and Hirada)with saidhav ensures that your digestive system remains in good working condition during monsoonWater: one must have clean filtered potable adequate of water a day(Excess water must be avoided), in order to flush the toxins out, keeping in mind Monsoon causes much more water born diseases so use of Crystal Allum, Nivali/ Nirmali/clearing nut Beej(seeds) to clean and to deodorize Ayurveda offers Mustha/chandan/ushir/Taruni/Jai/jui/chanpak and Bakul flowers.Rest and bed Room: sleep (1 of major pillar of health and fitness tripod like Diet and Celibacy) is a major factor that cures stress and creates a balance of sorts in one's routine, thus aiding proper digestion. Room must be clean as excess  humidity can cause Allergic skin and Respiratory issues in Kids and elderly population so fumigate space with sunthi / Gugulu / Tulasi / Jatamasi / Haldi / Ajawayan / peels of Garlis or Dehumidifier can be used.Exercise: Those who eager to stabilise at Health and Fitness and yeah Finances too must engage in  some form of movement and exercise (Actively) is imperative to keep the digestive system in prime working condition. Walk and yoga, especially are ideal to boost one's digestive health.Meditation: This is one of the best ways to give digestion a positive push with a good dose of mindfulness and awareness for better balance in the body.Massage: a good oil massage on a regular basis keeps the blood flow in order and ensures that all the organs function well.In ayurveda, the point is to heal and prevent, which is why the methods tend to get to the root of the problem.Basti Therapy and Rasayan Therapy: For details communicate with  Ayurveda college Hospital Or your Ayurveda dr in your city

Skin and Hair Care for Holi for Everyone

Dr. Jolly Shah Kapadia, Dermatologist
Holi, the festival of colourful fun is approaching. Children are eagerly waiting to play with their pichkaris and have fun.Here are a few tips to take care of your skin and your children's skin and hair during Holi.Skin Care Before Holi:Avoid bleaching, waxing, threading, peeling, laser treatments at least 2 days prior to playing Holi.Stop using retinoid, benzoyl peroxide or hydroquinone based creams for at least 2 days prior to playing Holi.Start moisturizing your skin especially if dry, until the skin texture returns to normal.Skin Care before going to play Holi:Moisturize your skin head to toe properly before you go out to play. This will protect your skin and also help to remove the colour more easily. You can either use coconut oil, or a good moisturizing lotion.Sun protection: Apply a good sunscreen lotion liberally on face, neck, arms; all exposed parts. Lips: Use a lip balm with SPF.Nails: Trim your nails short and cover them with a nail paint and then apply a coat of oil.Clothing: Wear dark coloured-full sleeved cotton clothes. Synthetics would be sticky and denims would be heavy once you have a bucket full of water splashed on you. The more you cover your body, the higher are the chances of saving your skin from colour damage.Hydrate yourself by drinking plenty of water, thandai, fresh fruit juicesSkin Care After playing Holi:Avoid excessive hot water (since your skin is already exposed to the chemicals in colours and also heavy sun, don’t irritate it more).Avoid loofa or scrubs, or rubbing with a harsh towel. Do not rub or scrub the skin a lot to remove the colours. The friction of rubbing would aid in penetration of colours and irritate the skin more.Apply little oil on the skin and then gently try to remove the colour.The colours of Holi, water, sun and finally overzealous cleaning leaves your skin dry. After bathing, pat dry your skin to leave it slightly damp. Apply a thick body lotion to trap the water on the surface of skin, hydrate it and keep it soft and supple.  Repeat moisturizer each time your skin feels dry.Hair care for Holi:Avoid Steam and sauna a couple of days before.Avoid applying hair colour a couple of days before Holi.If possible, pamper your hair to a good oil massage for a couple of days to make them more soft and supple.Hair Care On the day of Holi:Oil your hair heavily hair before you go out to play Holi. Oil will coat the hair shafts and act as a barrier and prevent colours from coming in direct contact with hair shafts and will lessen the damage.Avoid using styling gels or creams.Tie up your hair if possible while playing Holi. Open hair will become more tangled and tend to break easily. Use a fancy bandana to prevent the hair from getting messy.Hair Care Post Holi:Wash your hair with plain lukewarm water so that most of the colour comes off. Use a mild shampoo. The colour might not go off in just one wash. Do not panic and desperately shampoo more.The hair might be already dry, so don’t wash it twice on the same day.Avoid combing wet hair, avoid hair dryers. Dry your hair with a soft cotton cloth,avoid excessive rubbing.Once the hair are dry, massage hair liberally with oil again especially for children.What if there is itching or redness while playing Holi ?Inspite of taking proper precautions, colours can still cause a reaction especially for those with sensitive skin.If your skin starts to burn or you feel itchy, then immediately stop playing, get out of the sun to a cooler place.Splash plenty of cold water,  pat dry with a soft cloth. Don’t try desperately to remove the colour. Rubbing will only irritate the skin more.Avoid further sun exposure.Apply ice packs or cold compresses.Do not apply soap or hot water and try to remove the colour if it doesn’t come off.Apply little coconut oil to pacify the skin.Apply chilled Calamine lotion or medicated aloe vera gel if there is severe burning.See a Dermatologist at the earliest.