Skip to main content

3 Kinds of Touch in Ayurvedic Body Massage

Learn about the three kinds of touch used in an Ayurvedic body massage from massage therapist Lara Narayani Golland in this Howcast massage video.


In Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massage, we are offering our clients types that is very specific for them. Unlike Swedish massage or deep tissue massage that actually treats specific ailments, we are looking at the whole person as a person.

So in this video, I'm going to be demonstrating three types of touch that we do in Ayurvedic massage. First Sattvic touch is like a straight, smooth, effleurage. I'm not going too deep. I'm doing something very smooth and relaxing. I'm doing a flow, I'm breathing, and I'm encouraging my client to breath. Take a nice deep breath. Ah. It's not designed to work out any intense kinks, it's designed just to support calming and harmonizing of the nervous system.

A Rajasic touch is going to be a little deeper. So if my client has some pain in his shoulders, I am going to do a little bit more of a deeper action in order to work out some adhesions that might be in the shoulders, AKA "knots", and to support that release of tension, Ayurvedic massage offers a more Rajasic touch to stimulate letting go of any holding patterns in the body.

The third type of touch is Tamasic touch. Tamasic touch is deeper, and it's a little bit slower, and it's meant to move any stagnation. But unlike a Rajasic touch, Tamasic touch is going to be slow and steady. Tamasic touch right now I'm using as an example alongside the vertebrae of my client here, in order to move energy deeply, but also peacefully.

Tamas in Ayurveda is more lethargic, dull, inert energy. We can use that quality in a positive way to do deep and slow work to release stagnation, and to support positive flow of energy. Those are three types of touch that we use in Ayurvedic massage.

Popular Categories