Kairali Health Centre Featured in an article on therapeutic Kerala Massages in Hindustan Times

abhyangam massage

abhyangam massage

Image: abhyangam massage

Kairali Health Centre Featured in an article on therapeutic Kerala Massages in Hindustan Times

In a nice and informative article about the various  ayurvedic massages with high therapeutic value in Hindustan Times, Kairali Ayurvedic Health centres and the various massages offered by the centre was featured.


Massage : Kerala Style

Massage has been a part of our lives. Whether it be back-ache or post natal, in India, we resort to massage as though it were the most natural thing to do. The encyclopedia describes massage as ‘’a systematic and scientific  manipulation of body tissues performed with the hands for therapeutic effect on the nervous and muscular system and on systematic circulation.’’ Massages relive pain and reduce swelling  and speed the healing process following strain and sprain injuries.

Hand manipulation which includes light or hard stroking, is said to increase the flow of blood to the heart. Another form is compression that includes kneading and squeezing – useful in stretching scar tissue, muscles and tendons, so that movement is easier. While in percussion, the sides of the hand are used to strike the surface of the skin in rapid succession to improve circulation.

According to Gita Ramesh of  Kairali Ayurvedic Health Centre, ‘’massage with Ayurvedic medicated oils is also preventive medicine. It helps in toning up circulatory system and in rejuvenating the body.’’ This special treatment of oil massage prescribed in ancient Indian medical lore has been practiced in Kerala for centuries in accordance with the works of Charakha and Sushruta. Interestingly, these massages, ae done on wooden beds craved to match body contours.

Abhyangam or the general massage from Kerala is done by two masseurs who apply herbal oil on head, neck, shoulder , ears, chest and  back.  It is then continued to the rest body. This massage has been found to be good for rheumatism, eyesight, sound sleep and of course a glowing skin.
 Dhara popularized in the Capital by Shahnaz Husain’s ‘Panchakarma Clinic’ and Kairali near Qutub, has the patient receiving a continuous stream of herbal decoctions in a clay pot over the head that drop gently on the forehead. Said to awaken the third eye , it is great for relieving stress and tension.

For paralysis , hemiplegia and muscular dystrophy , Gita recommends Navarkizhi. Small linen bags     of cooked navara rice in cow’s milk along with Ayurvedic medicines are applied in the body. The bags are neither hot nor cold. After wiping the body dry, oils are applied again. The course lasts for 14 to 21 days.

Those suffering from sinus, migraine , chronic cold, arthritis, abscesses etc are sure to find relief in Kerala’s Sirovasti. Medicated oil is kept  on the head  bearable at a temperature on the head by fitting a leather cap around it.

Many may find Nasyam uncomfortable but the effect it has for those suffering from chest congestion and chronic cold, is miraculous.  The upper body is massages and made to perspire. The medicine is poured into the nostrils , while the areas around the neck shoulder palm and feet are rubbed simultaneously. Herbal poultices of medicated powder warmed in oil are then used to massage the body. This form of massage in Kerala is known as Elakizhi. By promoting perspiration, it helps the skin to release its wastes and toxins. In addition, it tones the skin and can be relaxing.

Those suffering from diabetes , blood pressure and painful joints have oil applied on the head and pieces of linen dipped in warm medicated oil and squeezed on the body and massaged , find themselves building immunity to the problem. Pizhichil is a slow and light massage without the exertion of much pressure.

Herbal oils and treatments are selected to suit individual needs. Little wonder , then, that the kairali massage is renowned for its therapeutic values. When combined with Panchakarma, literally meaning five actions that flush and eliminate the toxins , in the body, it is ideal for those aiming for a perfect state of health.


Published on: 21 August 1996