Little ABC for your spa-break questions ...
In their treatment discriptions, wellness hotels often use technical terms, which are hard to understand for potential guests. We have therefore collected and defined the most relevant terms in our small wellness ABC. A tip: Our wellness dictionary also supports word requests. You don't need to know the exact wording.
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What is a Padabhyanga?
The Padabhyanga is a traditional Ayurvedic foot massage. Here the individual toes, the soles of the feet, the back of the foot, the joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons as well as the lower legs and knees are the focus of the application. The Padabhyanga is supposed to have a similar effect on the whole body as the foot reflexology massage, which is better known in German-speaking Europe.
The ayurvedic teaching assumes that on and along the feet there are so-called 'Marma points', which should be closely connected to the whole body. If these energy points are stimulated, this should have an effect on the whole organism. Therefore, the masseur also takes into account the characteristics of the three 'Doshas' of his client. Depending on the client's constitution, the massage can have a calming, revitalising or constructive effect. Traditionally, ghee (a kind of clarified butter) was used, but nowadays oils such as sesame oil are often used.
How does a Padabhyanga work?
The Padabhyanga starts with a cleansing footbath. Afterwards you lie down flat on a couch. The masseur starts with stroking and then pressing movements on the areas described above. In addition, the masseur dwells on the 'Marma points' and gives them special attention. According to Ayurvedic teachings, the 'marma points' should be connected to the organs and nerves. For example, the so-called 'Tala Hridaya' in the middle of the sole of the foot is associated with heart-lung function. In the middle of the lower leg is the marma point 'Indra Vasti', which is said to have an effect on the digestive organs.
A Padabhyanga lasts about 40 minutes. After the application, the patient should rest for at least 30 minutes lying down.
Vaidya Upula Samarakoon (born 1964) comes from Sri Lanka and is a traditionally trained Ayurveda specialist. In parallel to her five-year study of Ayurvedic medicine, she completed a two-year training in acupuncture.