Monsoon in India is welcomed by one and all, as they bring relief after a scorching summer. And though the monsoons are associated with many common health problems, like colds and coughs, viral fever, infections etc. most people welcome the soothing rains. But there is one more attraction for the monsoons. According to ancient texts, this season is the best for any kind of rejuvenation programme.
Dr Rishi Mahajan, general Manager, alternate therapies, VLCC, says that according to Ayurveda, the human body is at its weakest during this season. It therefore needs to be rejuvenated with massages that help strengthen the body.
During the rainy season the atmospheres is cool and relatively dust free. It helps the skin pores to open and facilitate maximum absorption of herbal and medicinal oils. Moreover, some people tend to retain more water during the rainy season. Massage helps to increase the circulation of blood and lymph, thereby enabling the body to get rid of the excess water. Massage therapy also increases immunity, decreases muscular tension and pain and gives relief from acute stress.
According to some Ayurveda practitioners, these rejuvenation therapies do more than just reduce stress. They promote longevity, restore youthfulness, revitalise the body and mind and increase resistance.
According to Dr Vahab, an ayurvedic doctor at Therapy Ayurveda, New Delhi, one of the best massage therapies for the monsoon is ‘Abhyanga’ or oil massage. Though Abhyanga is a major process by itself, it is also done as a pre-process of ‘Panchakarma’, which is a purification process. Abhyanga helps improve concentration and confidence, and soothes the eyes, ensures sound sleep and tones the body. Apparently it is the most ancient method used to remove muscular fatigue and pain.
One other form of massage in Ayurveda is ‘Shirodhara’.For this massage, certain herbal oils, medicated milk, medicated buttermilk etc. are poured onto the forehead in a steady stream for forty five minutes. This treatment is very effective for insomnia, stress, fatigue and lack of vitality as it stimulates the nervous system.
Having the body taken care of, one other thing that would benefit from a massage during the monsoon is the hair. The bane of this season is the monsoon mane, with its associated problems of hair fall, extreme fizz and dry, unmanageable hair.
To infuse moisture back to parched tresses, an oil massage is called for. Equal quantities of castor oil and coconut oil, massaged into the scalp, left on for half an hour and then washed and conditioned the normal way, will make hair soft and silky.
At the other extreme of the body, the feet also need some special care during the monsoon. As wet feet are the breeding ground for all kinds of infections, some extra measures taken during this season will result in healthy, happy feet. Feet should be soaked in warm water,lemon juice and body wash once a week. Scrub with a pumice stone for exfoliation. Dry thoroughly and massage with a foot cream containing lemongrass or tea tree oil.
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