Review: Ayuma

Wellness and Ayurveda Massage Centre in Prague Staff

Written by Staff Published on 25.04.2008 15:50:02 (updated on 25.04.2008) Reading time: 5 minutes

Written by Mark Wiedorn

What a treat to be able to sample a massage and other treatments at Prague´s only Ayurvedic treatment center, Ayuma. I do admit to some ignorance about what the Ayurvedic health system is about, but any mild trepidation was minimized as I arrived and began the treatments. (Ayuma is located in Prague 1 near Náměstí Republiky.)

Ayurvedic massage and treatments are an ancient form of health treatments that originated in the Indian state of Kerala 2500 years ago.  It is still widely practiced and accepted as a viable health and spiritual system in India and Sri Lanka. The emphasis at Ayuma is from Sri Lanka as the masseuses and attendants were all trained in Sri Lanka.  All of the masseuses at Ayuma have training as “Ayurvedic Health Care Assistant” and in “Panchakarma Therapy”. Panchakarma is a branch of Aryuveda specializing in detoxification of the body.

The two main approaches of the Ayurvedic approach are an emphasis on relaxation (reducing stress) and cleansing (detoxification).

Most of my previous massage experiences have been with Thai massage, which I have to say can sometimes border on the painful. (The end result of any good massage is worth it of course.) Thai massage developed out of the Ayurvedic approach and was formulated to help people who were not able to do some of the more difficult yoga positions. Hence the emphasis in Thai massage on pulling and stretching.

The Ayurvedic approach is a much kinder and gentler form of massage. There is much less stretching and pulling in the Ayurvedic massage than in Thai massage. Warm aromatic oils are used throughout the massage. The Ayurvedic approach involves vigorous rubbing and some mild stretching and pulling of limbs.

My treatment regime at Ayuma was to include the Full Body Massage, Steam Bath/Skin Cleansing, and then the Inner Eye oil treatment & Head Massage. Yes, you read correctly, they offer an inner or third eye massage.  This typifies the more spiritual side of the Ayurvedic approach.

The Facility:

Walking in, it is readily apparent that the place is clean and it has the right vibe for relaxation and cleansing. It is quiet, with soft warm lighting and a friendly staff. The waiting area fits the mood with soft Indian music.

I was introduced to Walimuni Dewage Anusha Shamali Ranasingha, or just „Shamali“, who would be administering the massage and the other treatments. She had a warm, welcoming smile and a gentle manner about her. The massage room I had was nicely appointed with draped fabrics, and was quiet and clean. The massage table is wide and firm.  After disrobing the massage began.

Full Body Massage:

She started slowly with the application of the warm scented oil. The massage involved vigorous rubbing, light chopping and then a soft smoothing finish with her hands. The same technique was used throughout the massage. One aspect that was interesting was when on my back, she massaged my stomach and internal organs, something I have never had done before. It felt wonderful.

After covering all areas of the body, she moved to the head massage. She helped me sit down on a stool and sit with back straight. (I needed a guiding hand because at this point I had entered massage nirvana and was feeling spacey but great.)  This head massage was truly a complete head massage. She rubbed facial areas and then a very robust scalp massage, all with warm scented oil. 

This was a great massage. It was 60 minutes long and just the right balance of rubbing, chopping and stretching.  Throughout the massage Shalima was attentive to how much pressure she was applying and asked me several times if it was too much. It was always just right, again softer and gentler than a Thai massage

Steam Bath/Skin Cleansing:

In the room there is a wooden Sri Lankan “steam box”.  The steam bath/cleansing involves lying in the box while the top is closed over you leaving your head exposed. After the initial tinge of claustrophobia, the experience becomes quite pleasurable. Throughout the steam, Shalima occasionally massages the forehead with a soft touch.

In the bottom of the steam box, there are pots of water infused with various herbs that are slowly heated creating the steamy cleansing and detoxification effect. It takes a few minutes to begin sweating but once it begins it feels great. It is the perfect thing after a massage. The concept is that the toxins released during the massage are sweated out, cleansing the body immediately after the massage.

The combination of the oils used in the massage and the herbs in the steam create a calming aromatic effect.

Throughout the steam bath Shalima was attentive to the temperature and she dabbed the sweat from my face several times. I did feel a bit like dim sum steaming away in those little bamboo baskets, but I could have stayed in here longer than the hour or so I was “steamed”. At this point I was feeling very relaxed, calm and cleansed.

Inner eye oil treatment & head massage:

This is the treatment that really intrigued me. What on earth could an “inner eye massage” be? 

We went into the next room where I laid down on another table. There was an oil dripping apparatus next to the table. Towels were placed over my eyes and then a rubber tube was placed above the eyes to prevent the oil from spilling over my face.
Then the process begins.

Warm, fragrant oil is gently cascaded over the forehead causing gentle waves of oil to fall on the forehead. This process continues during the 45 minutes of the treatment. This “inner eye” treatment is both a physical and spiritual epiphany. It leaves you feeling calm and centered. It is truly something to be experienced, rather than written about.

The Ayuma experience was finished with a shower and then a cup of Ayurvedic tea in the waiting area. I left feeling relaxed and energized.  If you are looking for a massage/health experience that focuses on relaxation and cleansing the Full Body massage followed by the Steam Bath is highly recommended. And, if you are feeling a little spiritually and physically adventurous, try the “Inner Eye” massage, it is memorable.

Ayuma gets 3 out 3 “inner eyes”, highly recommended.

Ayuma: Wellness and Ayurveda Massage Centre in Prague
address: Kaprova 11/15, Praha 1
tel: +420 222 328 747

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