The benefits of Udwarthanam
The word Udvartana is largely used for the most famous body treatment in Ayurveda to address and reduce weight. However, if we refer to the classics of Ayurveda we have different types of Udvartana mentioned, which are classified according to their action on the body and the result the Ayurveda physician would like to achieve.
Also there is a large misbelief that Udvartana is only used as a treatment to lose weight, whereas Sushruta (Father of Ayurvedic Surgery), divides the Ayurvedic powder massages into three parts: Utsadana, Udgharshana and Udvartana.
Utsadana – Here different oils and powders are mixed together to form a paste and rubbed over the body. These herbal powders and oils exfoliate and enhance the glow and health of the skin. In addition, they are highly rejuvenating.
Udgharshana – This is a treatment where only powders are used. Dry and rough in texture, the powders are rubbed over the entire body to induce the same qualities and remove the excess water and earth element (KAPHA). This form of therapy is generally used in obesity and diabetic cases.
Udvartana – Udvartana according to Sushrata is a body toning program, with application of a combination of prescribed herbal powders and oil to the body.
It is used to reduce fat and toxins and strengthen the body. At the same time it takes care to ensure that the skin does not become too rough and dry in the process.
So as you see, according to Sushruta – Udvartana and Utsadana are the same treatments where herbal pastes made of different oils and powders are applied to achieve a specific result.
Whereas Charaka (Father of Ayurvedic Medicine) gives only the term, Udvartana for the above. Thus as we see above, Udvartana can be used to address weight loss, improve the condition of the skin, de-stress and relax, in the same way as a natural full body exfoliation.
Our detoxifying dry body massage, called Udwarthanam uses a customised herbal mixture to reduce fluid retention and draw out toxins from the body. In addition to stimulating the lymphatic system, it also tones muscles, exfoliates the skin enhancing its lustre and smoothness.
Everyone can benefit from the technique for improved lymphatic health and circulation, oxygenation of the blood, helping to rid the body of toxins and fatigue, improving muscle tone and enhancing skin texture.
The Ayurvedic herbs are specifically chosen and used for their unique properties helping to increase circulation, remove impurities and aid in moving vital fluids to help balance and purify the body. These include Pandanus Odoratissimus (known commonly as Kewra), an aromatic herb that acts as a stimulant and anti-spasmodic ~ Himalayan Cedar, that aids in increasing circulation and treating skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis ~ Nut Grass, an astringent that also stimulates metabolism, Rubia Crodifolia (Manjishta) an anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial and Vetiver which helps to remove excess heat and anti-bacterial.
The Powder is sprinkled onto the body and firmly massaged in using circular motions to help increase heat, stimulate circulation and break down congestion in areas where the lymph flow has become sluggish and where toxins have collected.
It increases heat in the body and is best suited as a dry powder exfoliation to Kapha body types. Kapha body types tend to have a sluggish circulation in an imbalance, and benefit from stimulation and sweating. It can also be used by Vata types who also need heat, however due to their dry body type (dry skin); it is generally used in conjunction with a herbal oil, for example the OmVeda Raksha or Pinda Taili Oils.
During the Udwarthanam treatment, the combined action of massage and herbs aids in improving surface circulation, keeping pores open and encouraging elimination of metabolic wastes. This increases nutrients and oxygen to the skin for improved blood flow, promoting perspiration and thereby aiding the overall cleansing process.
This type of traditional body brushing has a remarkable effect on the appearance of the skin. Dead and dry surface cells are removed and the oil glands beneath the skin begin to lubricate the skin naturally so the skin becomes smoother and more lustrous.
The Udwarthanam Powder can also be used at home. After showering, an application of the appropriate body oil is used and then sparingly, the body is dusted with Udwarthanam Powder and worked in vigorous circular motions. The Oil will be absorbed by the Powder. Use a dry rolled hand towel to brush off excess. Follow with a body lotion such as the OmVeda Rehydrating Body Lotion or Rehydrating Body Lotion for a smooth, healthy glow to the skin. The OmVeda Udwarthanam Powder is available in shaker form for ease of application.