An Ayurvedic Spa: Glossary

What you need to know about an Ayurvedic Spa

| November/December 1999

 Abhyanga is a rejuvenating massage conducted by two therapists; the medicated oil they use is geared to one’s constitutional type.

Chyavanprash is a complex herbal paste that is the main general tonic and restorative used in Ayurvedic medicine. The formula includes the amalaki fruit (Emblica officinalis), which is high in vitamin C, as well as up to fifty herbs and other ingredients.

Pizzichili is a gentle, full-body massage with warm herbal oil.

Rasayanas are formulas made from many herbs prepared over several days, created specifically to match a person’s constitution. The word comes from rasa, meaning “in the essence,” and ayana, meaning “what enters,” for their ability to penetrate and revitalize the mind and body.

Shirodara is an herbal oil that is poured gently and slowly across the forehead to relax the nervous system and restore mind/body balance.

Swedana is an herbal steam treatment for reducing tension and releasing impurities through the skin.

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