Massage and Medicine

Massage Therapy and Ayurvedic Medicine

Dr. Matheus, how was your encounter with integrative medicine?

Since I was little I said I wanted to help people. As I became an adult, I didn’t know if I would do this as a physician or a diplomat. When I was 21, I decided to quit Law school in search of alternative medicine. I went to Beijing, China, where I studied Mandarin while I tried to find out what was the first cure system ever.

Was this how you came to Ayurveda medicine?

Yes. In the pursuit of finding the root of everything, I went to Tibet in 2005, to study the traditional Tibetan medicine, known as one of the first systems in mankind. There, I learned that the monk Bodhidharma had left the Himalayas and taught medicine to the Chinese. Then, I went to Nepal, where I discovered that my pursuit was actually for the Ayurveda system and that there was a university in India specialized in this theme.

Were you the first Brazilian to study Ayurveda medicine in India?

Yes, I was. After returning to Brazil, graduating at the Law school and doing many other things, I realized I was not happy. Eight years later, I decided to return to my life’s major goal. I closed the company I owned and moved to India, to the city of Jamnagar, state of Gujarate, where I lived for nearly seven years.

What is the main focus of Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is a public health system in India focused on preventing and treating diseases. It teaches how to preserve health, but also treats people when they get sick. Getting sick is not optional. People will get sick, but, when this happens, they are treated with this medicine.

What are the pillars of this medicine?

There are three pillars: food, sleep and brahmacharya. For people to understand more easily the Ayurveda knowledge, I reinterpreted it and turned the third element into two pillars: movement and silence. This way, the three pillars of Ayurveda have become the Four Pillars of Health. In the pillar of silence, I emphasize self-knowledge, so that people can really learn how to observe themselves and understand who they are in the context of life.

Massage is an ancient practice, and there are records of it dating to 5,000 years. Can we say that it was born from the Ayurveda thinking?

The touch is pre-Ayurvedic. When we are touched by another person, we release endorphin, get happier. There are several technologies in Ayurveda, and massage is one of them, targeted at treating specific human health issues. There are massages given with the feet, hands, elbows, oils, with more or less pressure, among others.

Are you an adept of massaging?

I am, I receive it and think it is essential. Every morning I look at myself, move my body, understand what I need to receive on that day, and once a week I need to put myself in the hands of a massage therapist.