What is Ayurvedic Massage?
Ayurvedic massage is a part of Ayurvedic medicine which has its roots in India. It’s a holistic approach to medicine that makes use of plant based treatments derived from roots, leaves, fruits, bark, or seeds like cardamom. Although many organisations have dismissed it as a pseudoscience, 80% of Indians still make use of it. One of the most common Ayurvedic practices is massage which is believed to stimulate the lymphatic system to expel the toxins out from the body. Ayurvedic Massage is believed to lead to better immunity, help in body de-toxification, pain relief, reduction of fatigue, prevention of ageing and bestowing longevity. The guy that dragged us into his shop had his 106 year old father sat there as an example.
What can I expect from a massage?
First of all if you’re not comfortable getting a massage in a Western country where we’re downright prudish and cover you with a towel to protect your modesty etc etc do NOT go for a massage in India. Many Ayurvedic massage shops will have a rule that men massage men and women massage women, but check in case you’re uncomfortable with someone of the opposite sex touching you.
You will usually just have to get naked in front of your masseur. My lovely lady masseur didn’t find it embarrassing at all to just stare at me while I got undressed but there we go, they’re really not as prudish as us Brits. At least she let me keep my pants on!
Once I was undressed she sat me down and massages my hair, then lay me down and basically poured more oil on my body than I ever thought possible. I almost felt like I would slip off the massage table I was that oily.
The massage itself was really good. She was very thorough and I don’t think there was a part of my body she didn’t cover. She also asked me a lot of personal questions. The most interesting was when she asked if I was on the “No baby pill”. I was told to eat less omelettes for breakfast. Well sorry lady, that’s the only type of vaguely continental the Indian hotels seem to make!
Did you feel any different?
To be honest apart from the fact that it was a nice massage it was just a massage. I also had issues getting the oil out of my hair with the tiny bar of soap that she gave me to shower. This meant I had to walk around for the rest of the day with super greaseball hair. I also had a really bad breakout of spots on my chest which I think was due to all the oil that she used.
How much will it cost?
My all over body massage cost 2,500/- for just over an hour. In fact there are loads of different massages to suit every budget and body part. There are Ayurvedic massage shops everywhere in Kerala. Wherever you are, you can shop around to find one that suits you. I suggest you go to the shop itself and talk to the owner if you’re not sure whether you’ll be comfortable.
If you’re in the South and fancy some pampering I recommend an Ayurvedic massage. You can also take a tour of an Ayurvedic Spice Garden.
Read more about our trip to Kerala: