Rasayana, LLC

An Ayurvedic Treatment & Education Practice, where the Guru is You

Ayurvedic Bodywork

Abhyanga [Ah-bee-yanga] -  75 or 105 minutesThis traditional, detoxifying and restorative herbal oil massage uses a specific pressure, rhythm, and pattern to bring balance to the doshas.  Abhyanga is at the foundation of any Ayurvedic practice, safe for pregnancy, and a good place to begin with exploring Ayurvedic bodywork.  Treatment includes face, breast, and abdominal massage as well as Champi (classic Indian scalp massage), and concludes with 10-20 minutes of therapeutic sweating (Svedana) in an herbal steam tent.   Specific strokes and herbal oils may vary depending on the presenting signs and symptoms and are determined at the discretion of the practitioner.  It is recommended you eat lightly or (2) two hours prior to your session, have time later in the day to relax, and avoid scheduling during menses.  Watch Kris' video about Abhyanga here.  

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Benefits include: 

  • Feelings of calm and safety, relieving anxiety
  • Stiff achy joints become more pliable
  • Restorative sleep improves
  • Stimulation of antibody production, strengthening the immune system
  • Improved mental acuity and concentration
  • Improved skin conditions (psoriasis, eczema)
  • Increased stamina
  • Reduction in wrinkles and cellulite
Photo credit: Cara Brostrom

Shirodhara [shee-ro-dahra] 45 minutes.  This powerful treatment is restorative and stabilizes the activity of the mind, providing relief from mental and nervous disorders including anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress, and schizophrenia.  Using the traditional, hand-poured technique from copper vessels, Kris delivers a steady stream of medicated, herbal oils or decoctions to the brow space just above and between the eyes with occasional sweeping motions across the forehead.  The anatomic location of the treatment site stimulates the pineal gland and is said to balance the "chatter" between the left and right hemispheres of the brain, providing deep relaxation and balancing various endocrine processes.  It is recommended you bring a bandana or an old hat to wear afterward, and keep the scalp snuggly covered overnight before washing your hair.  Watch Kris' video about Shirodhara here

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Benefits include

  • Deep relaxation of the parasympathetic nervous system
  • Stimulates cognitive functions and memory
  • Balances the Ajna or 3rd eye chakra, sharpening sensory perception and increasing spiritual awareness 
  •  Cultivating a stronger intuition
  • Decrease in anxiety and emotions like fear, anger, hatred, or jealousy
  • Relief from chronic fatigue, headaches, stiff necks, and TMJ symptoms
    • Lowering high blood pressure
    • Sharpened mental acuity and sensory perception
    Photo credit: Cara Brostrom

    Netra/Kati/Hrid Basti - 30 minutes.  This safe and natural rejuvenative treatment involves creating an organic dough damn around the treatment sight (Netra = eye, Kati = back, Hrid = heart) and filling the reservoir with warmed ghee or medicated, herbal oils.  The treatment site is submerged for approximately half an hour and in the case of netra basti, various eye exercises are also performed.  Some mild stinging and/or therapeutic tearing is normal. You will remove contact lenses prior to the treatment and should be prepared to wear glasses for the remainder of the day (and sunglasses when outdoors).   It is recommended you rest with eyes closed as much as possible for the remainder of the day.  Do not focus on finishing that knitting project, looking at a screen, or reading a novel.    (2) two treatments scheduled (7) seven days apart give optimal results. Read Kris' article about Netra Basti here.

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    Benefits include:

  • Reduces tension and migraine headaches
    • Soothes dry, itchy, eyes
    • Provides relief from allergies
    • Improved vision
    • Combats eye strain from TV, computers, and smartphones
    • Relieves eye socket tension, twitches, and squinting
    • Eases wrinkles and dark circles around the eyes
    • Slows the natural degeneration of the eyes
    • In the case of Hrid Basti: nourishes and strengthens the cardiac muscles, thus rejuvenating  the heart; regulates cardiac functions; relieves deep seated or repressed  stress, anger and grief; improves  blood circulation and breathing; gives a sense of peace and happiness
    • In the case of Kati Basti:  Pacifies a main site of Vata, easing stiffness and soreness, while nourishing bone tissue and degenerative discs.
    Photo credit: Cara Brostrom

    Udvartana [Ood-var-tana] - 75 minutes.  This deeply penetrating, circulatory and detoxification treatment is for the skin and lymphatic system, often used to support seasonal cleansing and to encourage weight and cellulite loss.  The entire body is vigorously scrubbed with a homemade, herbal paste and percussive and squeezing techniques press deeply buried stagnant lymphatic toxins out of the body.  You are thoroughly wiped down afterward with moist, warm towels and you'll rinse off the remaining paste at home in the shower.  It is recommended you bring comfortable clothes you don't mind getting a little dirty, to change into after the treatment.  Pajamas work great!

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    Benefits include:

    • Removing foul odors from the body
    • Removing cellulite
    • Cures feelings of heaviness or drowsiness; itchy skin; or excessive sweating
    • Opens the channels of circulation
    • Produces stability in the limbs

    Body Balancing using Marma [mahr-ma] Therapy - 60 minutes.  This gentle, specific treatment protocol was developed by Dr. John Douillard and focuses on opening and balancing energy flow (prana) according to the Indian energy system.  Vital energy points called marma's are stimulated with herbal oils using small circular motions and static pressure.  There are  108 marma points in the body said to be "windows to the soul" or the body's "natural pharmacies" where concentrated life force energy is located.  Anatomically, they are where flesh, s, arteries, tendons, bones and joints meet up.  This protocol is good for those who respond to a subtle, energetic approach to bodywork or for those with compromised or deficient auto-immune systems.  It is recommended especially for those undergoing chemo or radiation therapy as a means for the body to revitalize when it's particularly weak or fragile.

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    Benefits include:

    • Providing an over all balancing of the energetic pathways in the body, optimizing the healing process.
    • Provides a grounding, stabilizing, and clearing effect on the mind-body
    • Gentle approach is appropriate for more fragile states of health
    Photo credit: Cara Brostrom

    Nasya [Nah-sya] - 30 minutes.  According to Ayurveda, the nose is the doorway to the brain and to consciousness.  Great attention is placed on the proper functioning of nasal pathways,  whose function is to govern mental/intellectual activities, memory and concentration.  In this potent treatment, marma energy points on the scalp, face, neck, and shoulders are activated with massage for 5-10 minutes before the inhalation of aromatic steam and self-application of fresh, home-made herbal nose drops.  It is contraindicated for pregnancy, high blood pressure, or during an acute infection.  It is especially recommended for those with a history of chronic sinus infections, asthma, allergies, or migraine headaches.

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    Benefits include:

    •  Cleans, lubricates, and strengthens mucous membranes
    • Opens and clears breathing passages

    Svedana [svay-da-na] - 15-30 minutes.  Traditionally used in conclusion to an abhyanga, this wonderfully grounding treatment can be dove-tailed as an add-on service with any kind of therapeutic massage or it can stand alone on its own.  Svedana is a fomentation therapy producing a very detoxifying and therapeutic sweat.  There are several different types of svedana therapies in Ayurveda and at Rasayana, we use a mylar/nylon full-body herbal steam tent outfitted for a massage table.  You won't even have to get up!  It is contraindicated for pregnancy, high blood pressure, or cardiovascular disease and discouraged during menses or IVF treatments.  It is recommended you hydrate the day before (tip: try drinking enough water to equal half of your body weight in ounces).

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    Benefits include:

    • Expanding the body's tissues and blood/lymph vessels, allowing for better transport and delivery of herbal medicines
    • Improved elimination of toxins

    Champi - 10 minutes.  This Indian scalp massage uses herbal oils and stimulates several marma energy points inducing a physical sensation characterized by a pleasurable tingling that typically begins in the head and scalp, and can move down the spine and through the limbs.  Slow deliberate movements are relaxing while steady but vigorous movement help enhance energy and circulation.  The specific herbal extracts used are known for their beneficial impact on hair health and growth.  It is recommended you bring a bandana or an old hat to wear afterward, and keep the scalp snuggly covered overnight before washing your hair.  Tip: Applying shampoo directly to the scalp before getting it wet, can cut down on the number of times you need to apply it.  Typically, the oil should wash out in 1-2 applications.  Available as an add-on service.

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    Benefits include:

    • Enhancing mental focus, clarity, and memory
    • Promotes a better quality of sleep
    • Relieves mental fatigue
    • Stimulates hair follicles and enhances general hair health and growth
    • Lustrous hair

    175 Elm St. Suite B2 | Somerville, MA 02144 | 617-331-6303

    (Between Davis and Porter Squares)