The ancient Indian medicinal practice of Ayurvedic massage has been around for centuries, helping to expel the body’s toxins and relax the body.

In Western culture, it has transformed into a form of alternative medicine that can be easily learned through home study courses. By learning the benefits and techniques of Ayurvedic massage in the privacy of your home or office, massage therapists can easily implement these tools into their practice.

The massage techniques use a warm oil that helps recharge and rejuvenate a client’s mind and body. While the abhyanga, or Ayurvedic oil massage, is recommended daily, treatments of three or four times a week can suffice a client’s needs.

An Ayurvedic massage is performed using warmed sesame, herbal or aroma massage oils and applied by the therapist’s fingertips to the entire body. Some benefits of Ayurvedic massage include increased circulation to the body’s nerve endings, increased muscle tone, eased joints, increased mental alertness, calmed nerves, healthier skin, increased stamina and better sleep patterns, to name a few.

An Internet search resulted in numerous home study courses any massage therapist can take to fulfill his or her continuing education requirements. For Ayurvedic massage, home study courses include topics that cover the different techniques used in eight different massage treatments, proper oils, the Ayurvedic diet, products, herbal bath, identifying the biological principles, breathing techniques, the five elements or doshas, Marma Therapy, understanding the chakra system and recognizing imbalances within the body.

According to a study at the Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, the Panchakarma detoxification treatment used in Ayurvedic massage eliminated up to 50 percent of the toxins in clients’ blood, namely polychlorinated biphenyl.

The study, which measured 88 subjects 45 years old and older, was divided into two parts, a cross-sectional comparison that measured the level of toxins in the population and a pre- and post- treatment that measured the effectiveness of the Panchakarma treatment.

Make sure you check with your national and state licensing bodies to make sure the courses you select are acceptable for continuing education credits.

–Jeremy Maready