Course of Ayurvedic Massage for Newborn and Pregnant Ladies
General IntroductionAyurveda is one of the oldest known medical sciences. The theoretical basics of this ancient discipline come from Indian traditional religion and philosophy; Ayurveda is a wide life system dealing not only with human health, but also with the relation with a higher dimension. As a therapeutic holistic method, Ayurveda aims to care and to keep good health. It includes both effective preventive measures and therapeutic interventions. A deep diagnostic procedure identifies these interventions, through the information collection on the current patient conditions and his/her constitution. As a therapeutic method that one can practice alone, Ayurveda helps to improve the sense of general wellbeing, as it teaches to pay attention to the natural body needs and to live in harmony with oneself. The essence of ayurvedic science is that just when body, mind and psyche are balanced, the perfect health is possible. The ultimate purpose of Ayurveda is a long life with no sickness and no pain, but it is also the full use of spiritual potentialities, reachable through the awareness development and a spiritual vision of the world.
"Ayurveda deals with life as a whole: therefore, both pain and joy are important aspects of this science. This means that Ayurveda teaches some methods helping to free people from pains, and, on the other hand, it also teaches the different ways to increase life joy". Vinod Verma
In the Ayurveda tradition, a key role is played by massage, as a prevention and healing therapy; from this point of view, this old discipline considers primarily important the pregnant woman wellbeing and the mother’s touch to her child, as a love, protection, health and welcome to life message.
Ayurvedic tradition and pregnant womanAyurveda identifies four stages in the life flow, just as in nature there are four seasons. Each of them has its own characteristics. The same is true for a woman, who, in her life path, experiences four important stages: 1. Girlhood 2. Maturity 3. Pregnancy 4. Menopause. Every stage, characterized by particular factors, is always dominated by Dosha energies, the three basic principles, called Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Their prevalence, besides identifying the different constitution types, creates the dynamic game in the life flow and its changes. Ayurveda tells us to follow the natural changes, moving with the events flow, respecting the right lifestyle, in order to be ready to face any problems coming naturally from each stage, without opposing. During pregnancy, women experience the greatest and most important change. Every aspect in her life is very involved: physical, mental and emotional. Her body, gradually, fits to welcome a new life; opposite emotions like courage and fear, deep joy and anxiety go together with this wonderful growth path both for the mother and for the baby, in a unique experience. The contact between mother and child, during pregnancy, is inseparable, both at the physical level and at the emotional one; everything the mother is feeling and living will impact on her baby. Because of this fact, a good lifestyle, a proper diet and ayurvedic treatments like massage become very important. Massage with essential oils plays a key role for the emotional and physical conditions. According to the specific mother constitution, different diseases may occur which can be alleviated through a proper massage and a proper choice among essential oils. A pregnancy, lived with full awareness since the beginning, is the best care a mother can give to her child.
Ayurvedic Tradition and New-bornNew-born massage belongs to a very old Indian tradition, looking at the relation between mother and child as an energetic continuum between uterine and external life. There are two stages for the baby: in the womb and in the six months after birth.
- "In the womb" stage
The womb is a protected environment. It is warm and safe, it is the first environment where the baby becomes aware and starts to experience senses use. Taste is active since the thirteenth week in the womb, smell also is developed before birth (about at the seventeenth week) and the same one can say for hearing, which, in the twenty-fourth week of gestation, provokes the first reactions to sounds coming from outside. Actually, the very first sensorial experience of the foetus is movement. Since its origin, since the moment when the spermatozoon meets the ovum, movement dominates every transformation. The sensory organ linked to movement is skin, with its many receptors, the first to form and to produce stimuli; skin and nervous system are therefore in a strong connection.
- Six months after birth
The first six months of life after birth represent the first physical and emotional approach with the external world. Of course, every sense will be strongly stimulated especially touch: touch experiences are basic. In the womb, the baby feels wrapped by the uterus, lulled by the rhythmic pressure of the amniotic fluid. Therefore, when the new-born, at birth, comes suddenly in contact with air, he/she experience a shock. This shock is natural, but it is also natural to alleviate this strong and sudden change. Touch, with hands soaked in warm oil, on the baby skin is a nourishment for the baby as it was in the womb before birth. It helps him/her to become aware of new limits. In addition, massage stimulates and rules the muscular, circulatory, immune and gastrointestinal system, (preventing discomfort of colic). It proves to be a good regulator of the sleep-wake cycle. Tactile stimulation of the skin nerve endings, sending stimuli to the brain, gives a feeling of wellbeing and facilitates the psychophysical growth of the baby. It is not a technique, but it is a way to communicate with one’s baby, promoting a balanced relation between parent and child. “Our children do not belong to us, even if they come through us. We just need to accompany them for a part of their journey and try to let them grow happy".
Lessons PlanThe plan includes practice and theory.
- Ayurveda overview: old medicine for self-awareness and prevention
- Pregnant woman and ayurveda
- Importance of massage at the physical and psychological level for a pregnant woman (according to her constitution)
- Oils choice (according to different constitutions and diseases), cautions and times
- Practical demo of the massage
- Guided exercise of the massage
- Massage importance at the psychological and physical level
- Importance of mother and child contact
- Oils choice, cautions and times
- Different treatments choice according to age (first 7 days, after 7 days, after one month)
- Practical demo of a massage
- Guided exercise of massage
Published in Ayurveda