I had the same question when I first started to hear about this healing modality a few years ago. Is it energy work? Is it a strange head massage? What do they plan to do with my sacrum? Everyone kept telling me, “It’s hard to explain. You’ve just gotta try it.” Curiosity got the better of me and I scheduled my first treatment while I was on yoga teaching vacation in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Shortly before my session, I had found out my maternal grandpa had died and I couldn’t afford to fly home to be with my family. He was the first of all my grandparents to die, so the grief I was experiencing was new. I wasn’t sure if I should be getting any bodywork done while I was feeling so tender and raw, but I was assured this is one of the best things I could have been doing. They were not wrong.
I love a good massage. Who doesn’t? A great massage allows for a chance to unwind, reset, and heal. As a practicing massage therapist for the past 14 years, I’ve been working to give my patients what their body and mind craves during each and every bodywork session. And I have to admit, it’s been hard work, both physically and emotionally.
So I was intrigued when one of my Ayurvedic teachers shared with me that, “Many massage practitioners tire themselves out instead of letting the oil do the work.” At first I was confused. Let the oil do the work? What does this mean? Aren’t I the one doing the work? How would the oil know what to do?
Well, my recent study of Ayurvedic bodywork has brought me some answers.
Ayurvedic bodywork is different from a “normal” massage. And a lot of that has to do with the oils being used.