Udvartanam (Dry massage) in Ayurveda

“Swasthasya swasthya rakshanam, aaturasya vikara prashamanam”

Ayurveda is a science that aims at preserving the health of an otherwise healthy individual and also curing the disease of a patient and bringing him back to a healthy state. One such procedure /therapy is Udvartana which plays a dual role. Acharya vagbhata has mentioned Udvartanam as a part of dinacharya or daily regimen.

“Udvartanam” literally means to elevate or promote. The name might be attributed to the upward stroke practise during this particular therapy or due to its property to improve body condition. In Udvartana the whole body, excluding face and neck, is massaged with powders (or paste) of herbs (dry massage) in upward direction.

Indications

Obesity
Diabetic neuropathy
Sclerosis of blood vessels
Conditions arising due to improper blood supply
Sciatica

Therapeutic Effects and Mode of Action

It results in stimulation of energy flow in the body.
Regular Udvartanam increases the basal metabolic rate thereby helping in weight reduction.
It opens the circulatory channels to increase blood circulation.
Alters and improves skin texture by cleaning and refining it, giving it a soft, silky lustrous glow.
Removes cellulite, and tones skin and muscles.

Massaging the body with soft fragrant powders

  • mitigates kapha
  • liquefies the fat
  • produces stability/compactness of the body parts and excellence of the skin
  • prevents foul body odour
  • cures itching sensation

The Procedure of Udvaratana is done by making the person to lie down on a droni or panchakarma table in a calm /quiet room. The herbal powder is selected according to the body constitution /prakruthi of the patient. The powder is then heated in a pan. The warm powder (tolerable by the patient) is rubbed forcibly on the body by expert therapists and massaged in upward direction, opposite to the orientation of body hair, for a duration of 30-45 minutes. After this therapy, swedana (sudation) is recommended followed by bath to remove the powder or paste. This is practised for 7-14 days for beneficial result.

Powders used include Triphala churna, Kolakulathadi churna and Horsegram powder and Mustard powder. The last two are hot in nature and hence act as good nerve stimulators.

Benefits of Udvartana

  1. Helps in detoxification and nourishment of body tissues.
  2. Activates the skin’s natural metabolism
  3. Effectively reduces the fat collected around the abdomen and inner thighs of women due to nutritional disorders.
  4. Also helps in toning the skin after child birth.

Udvartana is a health preserving massage as the massage promotes active blood flow, revitalises and reconditions the body thus preserving its strength, skin texture and natural elasticity. Udvartana is definitely a boon provided by Ayurveda to the mankind.

5 thoughts on “Udvartanam (Dry massage) in Ayurveda

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