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Padabhyanga: the Ayurvedic reflexology

Padabhyanga is a massage of the feet and lower legs using warm herbal oils and a small bowl (or wand) made of a combination of three metals (copper, zinc, and tin).

“Diseases do not go near those who massage the feet before sleeping, just as snakes do not approach eagles.” — ancient Indian saying

Our feet are the body’s foundation, providing support for its weight and stability on varied surfaces. Foot problems can lead to muscle tension around the whole body, including the back, neck, and shoulders. Ayurveda is deeply connected to the laws of Nature and uses herbs, vegetable oils, essential oils, minerals, and gemstones to support healing. Many different cultures have used foot massage to relieve pain, treat disease, and promote overall health. Caring for our feet is crucial as the mobility of our bodies depends on their health.

“The doors to the body’s inner pharmacy, are under the bottoms of your feet.” — Dr. Vasant Lad

Benefits of Ayurvedic Reflexology

  • reduces stress and is wonderfully relaxing for the whole body

  • can alleviate fatigue or exhaustion due to Vata dosha aggravation (with sesame or Bhringaraj oil)

  • can support treatment of headaches, migraines, or a burning sensation in the eyes due to Pitta dosha imbalances (using coconut and castor oils combined)

  • can reduce imbalanced Kapha dosha symptoms like cough or congestion from a cold (rubbing mustard oil to the soles at the root of the toes)

  • encourages sound sleep (rub nutmeg oil on the soles of the feet at night or Jatamansi essential oil diluted in sesame oil)

  • balances the three doshas activating the body’s natural immune response

  • according to Dr. Vasant Lad, massaging the feet can alleviate psychological imbalances—including anxiety, nervousness, and depression

As with traditional reflexology, Ayurveda recognizes our anatomy as comprising a set of vital energy points (marma) that correspond to internal organs and systems of the body. There are 107 marma points throughout the body, where different bodily tissues and structures merge, forming vital energy channels. Some of these points are located on the legs and feet and worked during Padabhyanga sessions.


What to expect of our Padabhyanga session


The treatment begins by a cleansing of the feet with warm towels infused with herbs and essential oils. The feet and lower legs are then gently massaged with the warmed herbal oils using gliding, kneading, compression, and friction strokes to provide relaxation and to activate circulation.

The treatment continues with incorporating the Kansa bowl or wand. This tool, known in Ayurveda as the healing metal, is thought to help in reducing pain and inflammation, support the immune system, and reduce headaches and insomnia. The session concludes with a gentle massage applied to some marma (ayurvedic pressure points) points, restoring the energy flow to the whole body.


Meet Carol Jamault for your massage sessions at LiftVida Pilates and Gyrotonic® Studio in Coral Gables (Florida, USA), or for online wellness coaching or consultations.


 

Carol Jamault is a Certified Health & Life Coach, Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), and Registered Yoga Instructor (RYT-200). She supports her clients in stress management and self-care through an integrative approach to wellness by providing bodywork services, consultations, and curated information and products to restore balance, improve individual wellness, and to boost vitality. Carol has been studying alternative healing, ethnobotany, circadian medicine, and Ayurveda since 2001. She is the founder of Hridayam Bodywork & Apothecary and works in partnership with LiftVida Pilates in Coral Gables, Florida.

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