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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 170-171

Angamardhana: A treatise on massage techniques of ancient India

Department of Postgraduate Studies in Panchakarma, Alvas Ayurveda Medical College, Moodabidri, Dakshina Kannada - 574 227, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication8-Aug-2017

Correspondence Address:
B S Praveen
Department of Postgraduate Studies in Panchakarma, Alvas Ayurveda Medical College, Moodabidri, Dakshina Kannada - 574 227, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/asl.ASL_162_16

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How to cite this article:
Praveen B S. Angamardhana: A treatise on massage techniques of ancient India. Ancient Sci Life 2017;36:170-1

How to cite this URL:
Praveen B S. Angamardhana: A treatise on massage techniques of ancient India. Ancient Sci Life [serial online] 2017 [cited 2022 Nov 30];36:170-1. Available from: https://www.ancientscienceoflife.org/text.asp?2017/36/3/170/212564

Editor : Tiruka (Sri Malladihalli Raghavendra Swami)
Year of Publication : 1974
Edition : Third edition: 1983
Pages : 100
Price : INR 50/-
Binding : Paperback
Published by : Anatha Sevashrama Vishvastha Samiti, Malladi Halli, Karnataka

  Introduction Top

Massage is considered as one of the oldest therapy used to treat various ailments. It was not only used as a preventive measure but also as a measure to cure disease. Ayurveda being a holistic system of medicine has emphasized the utility of Massage in various conditions. Ayurveda explained Massage as Abhyanga which infers anointing the body. Abhyanga not only prevents and delays normal ageing process but also cure tiredness, musculoskeletal and neurological disorders. Special concentrations are given to Head, Foot and ear massage during process of Abhyanga. Various terminologies are used in Ayurveda to rationalize massage techniques viz Samvahana, Mardhana, Unmardhana and Padaghata. Samvahana is a variety of superficial massage without applying the oil. Mardhana is a varietiy of Massage with oil, applying pressure on a particular part of body. On the contrary, Unmardhana is pressure massage done in direction against to the hair root. Padaghata is a unique variety of massage done using foot. But Ayurveda hardly explains techniques of massage in any context. India has a rich heritage of culture and traditional knowledge in various fields, massage technique is one of them. Traditional massage performed in south India and north India varies a lot via techniques. One of the rare books on traditional massage techniques written by Tiruka has put light on this rich heritage of massage in ancient India.

  About the Author Top

“Angamardhana”, a Kannada book was written by Sri Sri Malladihalli Raghavendra Swami in the name of Tiruka. He was the founder president of Anatha Sevashrama, Malladihalli, Holalkere Taluk Karnataka State. This book was published in 1974 for the first time by Anatha Sevashrama Vishvastha Samiti, Malladi Halli. Second edition came in the year 1983 and it costed Rs 12 for each copy. Later it was out of print for many years and third edition came in year 2003. Book was dedicated to Rajaratna Professor Manik raya whom the author considered as Guru. Author confesses about suffering from epilepsy and cardiac disorder in childhood and treats himself with Yoga Pranayama and massage techniques which he learnt from Guru. Later he gets training from two of Guru by name Mr Palaniswamy, a specialist in Yoga Pranayama and Mr Manikya Raya, an expert bone setter. Author has explained in detail about his illness, learning and intention of writing this book for general public. He claims that this book will propagate the benefits of massage and increase awareness about massage.

  About the Book Top

This book comprises of seven chapters namely introduction, view of Ayurveda texts on massage therapy, opinion of western tradition on massage, Introduction to Angamardhana and massage, Different Hasta used in Angamardhana, Different methodology of Angamardhana and a chapter on useful oils. Book “Angamardhana” explains all relevant and well known facts and opinions about Massage which are explained in Ayurveda treatise like Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita, Ashthanga Hrudaya and Yoga Ratnakara. Other relevant opinions about Massage in textbooks of Yoga like Yoga Pradeepika are also explained aptly. Different varieties of massage techniques and their local names used in south india as well as north india are specialties of this book.

  Salient Features of the Book Top

Different varieties of massages which are practiced traditionally viz Shushkanga mardhana (dry massage), Ksheeranga Mardhana (massage using milk), Tailanga Mardhana (Massage using oil), Svayamanga Mardhana (self massage), Yamalanga Mardhana (mutual massage) and Massage to diseased person are explained in this book. These explanations widen the possibility of utilizing massage using different methodologies. Chapter on different Hasta and their utility in massage are a great contribution of this book to the existing knowledge. The word “Hasta” is explained as technique of massage. Different techniques of massage are illustrated in detail stepwise in a chapter dedicated to this. Twenty six different Hasta (massage techniques) like Taranga Hasta, Anguli Kreeda Hasta, Mridvangulee Taadana, Dvihasta Taadana, Garshana Hasta, Ghatita Hasta, Vijayamala Hasta, Vipareeta Vijayamala Hasta, Shaila Hasta, Dheera Hasta, Chakra Hasta, Vipareeta Chakra Hasta, Achala Hasta, Viruddha Hasta Chalana, Dvihasta Chalana, Pradakshina Hasta, Apradakshina Hasta, Dhara Hasta, Mrudu Mushthi Tadana, Bhadra Hasta, Meru Hasta, Sudarshana Hasta, Vipareeta Sudarshana Hasta, Danda Hasta, Trikona Hasta, Pallava Hasta and their methodologies are explained in detail. Photos of different massage techniques depicted in book clarify it.

Methodologies of massage performed over different parts of the body are also been highlighted in this book viz Garshana Hasta, Taranga Hasta, Dvihasta Tadana, Anguli Kreeda Hasta and Anguli Taadana Hasta techniques are adapted in head massage. Bhadra Hasta, Taranga Hasta, Dvi Hasta Chalana and Ekahasta are utilized when massage on low back is considered. Certain disease conditions and different massage techniques utilized to treat it are enumerated in this book which is well appreciated. Some of the important health issues like Pakshaghata (Hemiplagia) which is commonly confronted in Ayurveda clinical practice and massage techniques used are highlighted viz Chakra Hasta, Taranga Hasta and Dhara Hasta on hand; Vipareeta Chakara Hasta and Dhara Hasta on fore hand; Sudarshana Chakra, Taranga Hasta, Dhara Hasta, Eka Hasta Chalana and Dvihasta Chalana on thighs; Vipareeta Sudarshana Chakra Hasta, Taranga Hasta and Danda Hasta on fore leg; Pallava Hasta and Garshana Hasta on foot and Trikona Hasta on back. In the last section of the book some of the useful oils used for massage are highlighted. Though many are reciprocation of Ayurveda texts, some of the oils specially used traditionally viz Amrutottara Taila, Lakvadi Taila, apara Lakvadi Taila are noteworthy.

“Angamardhana” is well written comprehensive Kannada book on massage techniques used in traditional practice. The author has effectively put forth his views and the techniques of massage which he learnt from many traditional practitioners. As the author wished the techniques of massage would have been very popular amongst common man had wide publicity was given to this book. Undoubtedly this book contributes a lot to the existing knowledge on massage among practitioners of ancient science of life including Ayurveda. This book enlightens and encourages incorporating techniques of massage in to practice to cure many diseases.


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