In Sanskrit, the word Udvartana means “to move something in an upward direction”. This refers to the upward direction of the strokes used during the massage. The brisk massage techniques combined with the penetrating herbs create heat in the body to help liquefy toxins, reduce fluid retention, and increase circulation.
There are two types of Udvartana, and the ingredients used vary according to the condition:
SnigdhaUdvartana – Ayurvedic Paste Massage This treatment begins by massaging warm herbalist oils into the body to prepare the skin for the herbal paste application. The heated herbal paste is then applied to the body with fast upward massage strokes.
RukshaUdvartana – Ayurvedic Powder Massage The heated herbal powder is applied to the body with fast upward massage strokes. As this is a dry massage, herbal oil isn’t applied during the treatment. Depending on the purpose of the Udvartana treatment it can be followed with herbal steam to increase the detoxification benefits. Ayurvedic herbal medicine and diet modifications may also be prescribed.
1)People on a weight loss or detoxification program
2)People who are physically inactive
3)Sluggish circulation and digestion
4)Musculoskeletal and neuromuscular pain
5)Conditions of stagnation, coldness, and stiffness
1)Aids the body’s elimination of wastes and toxins
2)Helps with weight loss
3)Stimulates the circulatory and lymphatic systems.
4)Exfoliates and conditions the skin and enhances skin tone.
5)Increases the tone and strength of muscles
6)Improves mobility of the joints and limbs
7)Reduces Vata and Kapha.
Ingredients in Udvartana
Udvartana powder contains nerve stimulating and nourishing agents such as harad, bibhitaki, amla, deodar, senna, kulthi, and others.
How is Udvartanadone
In Udvartana (any of the three procedures), the powder or paste is briskly rubbed into the entire body for a period of 30-45 minutes. The absorptive properties of the powder act to pull excess fat deposits from the body. After the massage, swedana, a herbal sauna is recommended, followed by a shower to remove the powder/paste.
How Udvartana works
In udvartana, herbal powders that are dry in nature and hot in potency are used. Mostly sesame oil is used for the paste, which is again hot in potency. All the herbs and oils help to create lightness and remove blockages and stiffness. It acts on the fat tissues with a liquefying action. When the herbal powders and oils or rubbed on the skin with a specific action it opens the pores, remove blockages in the vessels, increases heat in the tissues, and stimulates fat metabolism.
Once the paste is rubbed on the body and the massage is over, the client is asked to sit in an herbal steam chamber where the head of the guest remains outside the steam chamber. During this treatment, the body loses lots of excess water (Kapha) and the pores start to open. Also, as the pores open, the herbal oil mixed with the paste percolates deeper into the skin and begins to liquefy the fat.
Udvartana should always be done under the supervision of a Panchakarma expert. People with high blood pressure and skin infections should avoid going for udvartana.