Many in ayurvedic medicine consider the “mother of all therapies” to be ayurvedic reflexology or padabhyanga.
“Pada” in Sanskrit means “foot” and “abhyanga” means “massage using oils”. This Ayurvedic therapy considers our feet as the focal point of all energies that connect the body to the earth; just the way the roots of a tree connect its branches, trunk, and leaves to the mother earth.
This therapy involves lying comfortably fully clothed on a massage table with a relaxing lavender eye pillow. Your provider will apply a warm aromatic herbalized oil or ghee to the feet, including soles, heels, ankle joints, and ankles. It concludes with essential oil infused warm towels and a special tonic mist.
Ayurveda illustrates that different parts of the feet correspond to different organs in the body. The feet have pressure points called “marma”. These are the energy centers that run throughout the body. When pressed, it triggers the circulatory energies in the liver, kidneys, stomach, neck, heart, head, and other organs. In Ayurveda, five vital marma points are located in each foot, which require support through touch point, oleation, and detoxification. Many organs in the body have nerves that anchor in the feet; therefore supporting whole body wellness.
There are multiple health benefits of this therapy:
- Relieves stiffness, dryness, and numbness of the leg and foot
- Prevents/cures sciatica through enhanced blood circulation and improved peripheral circulation
- Wonderful for pregnancy
- Relaxes and revitalizes the central nervous system
- Excellent for neuropathy and other food conditions
- Activates metabolism, alleviates headaches, and prevents onset of degeneration
- Supports anxiety and depression symptoms and balances vata dosha in particular (but is a tridoshic support)
- Provides overall immunity to the body