We recently had our Ayurveda Massage Training. It was very successful, the participants learned a lot and we enjoyed passing on the knowledge and most of all experience that we have made with Ayurveda massages and treatments over the course of years. There was however one point with which we did not feel very comfortable: the participants asked about the energetic aspects of such massages.
Ayurveda literally translates to the science of life. What we do in an Ayurveda retreat is to focus on your physical as well as mental issues, trying to soothe them and maybe even heal them. The massages relax the body and you are able to relax the mind with that as well. There are treatments for pain in back, shoulders, knees and other body parts. There are also treatments to relieve stress, depression and insomnia.
We don’t however work with energy.
No, we actually don’t even believe in energy! I know that there have been many people who have connected this science that has a measurable, real effect on the body with ‘energy’, something that is not touchable, measurable or explainable. Something that may as well not exist. I also know that many massage therapists, due to their religious belief, start a massage in a way that seems to me superstitious: they light a candle at a small altar, they touch their hands to the table and their head and make a prayer – for support, healing or whatever. We don’t do any such thing.
Through such actions of religious therapists and probably also lectures by religious Ayurvedic professors, a person not related to Ayurveda can very well get the impression that this all is a part of Ayurveda, that Ayurveda has something to do with energy. It is however, basically, a science with effects that can be proven.
It is you who presses acupressure points, who moves the hands over tensed muscles and who knows the techniques how to move the hand over a hurting joint! Of course you help the other one, of course there is a certain relaxing atmosphere and a sense of inner calmness that helps you do your job well. We think this all is related to you, your inner situation and your work, not anything from the outside. Apart from the psychological effect that it could have, we don’t believe any of those religious or superstitious actions is beneficial to you or the person in front of you.
Obviously, if you expect such a thing to be taught in our training, you will be disappointed. We cannot give you an instruction for a ceremony, ritual or prayer to do before you start a massage or treatment. If you would like to ask God, the universe or anybody else for support and request healing energy for the person lying in front of you, you are free to do that yourself. We won’t be able to teach you such a thing. Simply because we don’t believe in it.
Our participants left the Ashram happy and satisfied with the knowledge and practice they received. They may have missed that point of energy but we could explain them our point of view. What we have learned however is that we may have to make a note on our website, telling clearly that there will be no energy work involved. At all. It will help us getting the right people to our training and help them saving themselves from disappointment.