Chavutti Thirumal literally means “foot pressure” in the Malayalam language (spoken in the state of Kerala) and is also known as Keralite Barefoot Massage or Indian Rope Massage, among other names.
It’s a traditional Indian Ayurvedic full-body massage, thought to be about two thousand years old, and it has a strong connection with the Kalari Martial Arts (Kalaripayattu or Kalarippayatt). The Kalaripayattu warriors not only trained for battle, but they also developed a range of healing modalities, which were needed to take care after wounded fighters.
Chavutti is done on a firm mat on the floor and the therapist solely uses the feet to give the massage, while executing long, sweeping motions and patterns with his or her feet on the (oiled) body of the recipient, using Ayurvedic herbal oils and a rope for support and balance.
The massage is done with an aim of healing, treating pain and swellings, detoxification, emotional release, and restoring flexibility and vital energies. It’s applied mainly with the instep of the foot, but at times the toes and heels may be used also.