Updated 16 March 2015

Ayurvedic massage

The word 'Ayurvedic' may be a tongue twister, but it's worth remembering if you want a magic massage. Health24's Carine Visagie explains why.


The word "Ayurvedic" may be a tongue twister, but it's worth remembering if you want a magic massage. Health24's Carine van Rooyen explains why:

"Ayurveda" (meaning "knowledge of life") is an ancient healthcare system that has its roots in India, where it's still practiced widely today.

The form of massage that relates to this system is aimed at the treatment of disease. According to some of the proposed benefits include relief from:

  • pain;
  • stiff muscles; and
  • arthritis-associated swelling.

Practitioners believe that massaging helps to drain toxins from the body's lymph system for elimination via the urine. For this reason, drinking enough water after the massage session is highly recommended.

What it felt like
On the first day of a much-anticipated December break, I booked myself in for an Ayurvedic wellness massage at the Ubuntu Wellness Centre in Cape Town.

I settled down in a dark, cool room and slowly started to relax to the rhythm of soft, African music that played in the background. I was introduced to the therapist: a friendly Xhosa woman called Nosi.

The massage differed from the full-body massages I had before in that the therapist started with my back (and not my feet), gliding sweet almond oil over my body with warm, confident hands, gradually working her way down to the tips of my toes.

I can honestly say that my back has never received such good treatment during any other massage session. The stroking action was not only wonderfully relaxing, but seemed to be really powerful in ridding my body of built-up tension.

Following two vertical lines along my spine, Nosi worked on every single knot, spending quite a few minutes on the tighter ones. She then spread her hands over my shoulder blades and sides, working her magic there as well.

I soon drifted off, but was vaguely aware of the fact that she also massaged my head, upper arms, thighs, calves and feet. Still only half-awake, I was turned on my back for a gentler massage of the chest, hands and legs.

It was with great reluctance that I eventually sat up again as the session drew to a close. This truly was time well spent.

The verdict
I'd recommend this massage to anyone, whether you're stressed out or not. It's a wonderful form of touch therapy and the healing effects are almost instant. Just check that your therapist is aptly qualified. I was fortunate enough to be treated by someone who had years of experience, particularly in performing Ayurvedic massage.

For a one-hour session, expect to pay R330.

For more information, contact:
Ubuntu Wellness Centre
Cape Town Medi-Spa
99 Kloof Street
Cape Town
Tel: 021 426 1156


Read more:
Swedish massage


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Exercise benefits for seniors »

Working out in the concrete jungle Even a little exercise may help prevent dementia Here’s an unexpected way to boost your memory: running

Seniors who exercise recover more quickly from injury or illness

When sedentary older adults got into an exercise routine, it curbed their risk of suffering a disabling injury or illness and helped them recover if anything did happen to them.