Ayurveda, the traditional Indian holistic health management system, offers a range of traditional Kerala therapies and herbal medicines to balance the bodily principles and to integrate body, mind and spirit. These therapies can be used, both to cure various ailments (Curative), as well as to improve general health (Rejuvenation). The effect of Kerala therapies differs with the oil, herbs and other ingredients used.
There are two inputs in a massage – The Medication and The Pattern. Primarily the type of medication used can be oil, powder or paste and the pattern and pressure of the strokes employed while giving the massage. For example, in a rejuvenating massage the oils selected shall be with properties of tissue nourishing, toning up the muscles, stimulating the nerve endings and the pattern of strokes will be in the direction of hair follicles and from the origin of muscles to the insertion. Whereas in a therapeutic powder massage, the purpose is to cleanse and burn out the excess adipose fat and hence the strokes will be in the direction opposite to the hair follicles. Having identified the body constitution (Prakruti) and type of ailment (Vikruti), a suitable type of massage can be carried out from the following: