JUL 2019

DAYSPA is the business resource for spa & wellness professionals! Each issue covers the latest in skin care, spa treatments, wellness services and management strategies.

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Page 38 of 71

July 2019 • 37 © GETTY IMAGES UNDERSTANDING DOSHAS AND CHAKRAS Ayurveda considers the elements of life (earth, water, fi re, air and ether/space) and breaks them down into qualities, referred to as "doshas," that express an individual's physical, emotional and mental characteristics. "We all have these elements within us, but to varying degrees, which gives us our specifi c constitution, or dosha," says Megan Darwin, clinical Ayurvedic specialist at Spa Sophia in Venice, California. There are three doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Those characterized as Vata (air and ether) typically have dry skin, poor circulation and a lean body type. Pitta (fi re and water) is commonly described as prone to acne and infl ammation, with an average body type. And Kapha (earth and water) is the constitution believed to exhibit oily, soft skin and hair, with a slow- moving metabolism. Chakras—or energy systems—are also Ayurvedic aspects of wellness services. There are seven chakras: crown, third eye, throat, heart, solar plexus, sacral and root; they run from the top of the head to the tailbone, and each corresponds to targeted regions of physical, emotional or spiritual well-being. Ayurveda enthusiasts believe that blocked chakras can lead to illness, so people must work to keep the energy fl owing; this makes chakras the perfect target for enhancing the effi cacy of spa services. Although the clearing of chakras is incorporated into many offerings, it's not necessarily the focus of every Ayurveda practice. ANCIENT WELLNESS PRACTICES Because Ayurveda emphasizes self-care, it's very much at home in the spa and wellness setting. Implementing the ancient rituals, trusted herbs and spices, and special oils—staple ingredients used throughout the practice—can promote detoxifi cation, antiaging benefi ts and stress relief. "Ayurveda has various therapies appropriate for the spa, including Abhyanga, Nasya, Shirodhara and Ayurvedic facials," explains Trudy Collings, cofounder of Ayurvedic skincare and beauty manufacturer PAAVANI Ayurveda. Abhyanga is a specialized lymphatic massage performed by two therapists who work on each side of the body in unison. "This technique restores balance to the doshas, increases circulation, improves skin tone, increases stamina, calms the nerves and cultivates self-love. It's a unique style that allows clients to completely relax and let go," says Collings. Nasya is the application of warm, medicated oil to nasal passages in an effort to open sinuses and promote mental clarity, among other cleansing benefi ts. Facial and neck massage are usually incorporated into Nasya treatments, along with hot towels to dilate the sinus cavities. Meanwhile, Shirodhara involves pouring herbal oil over the third eye, followed by a head, neck and shoulder massage to release tension. "The steady, nourishing stream of oil induces a deeply calming state to help relieve insomnia, headaches, tension, anxiety, irritability and more," notes Collings.

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