Rejunevate your body with Udwarthanam

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Everyone, even if they are slim, wants to lose weight. In Ayurveda, we have an excellent therapy which will help you too, says Dr. V. C. Ajith Kumar, Director and Principal Consultant of Ayush Ayurveda, Singapore, Little India Branch. It is a therapeutic deep tissue massage that melts the excess fat in your body, says the doctor. It is said that in ancient times, it was a therapy that used to be followed as a daily routine. It is highly beneficial to improve your immunity and lymphatic flow in the body explains the doctor.”

Types of Udwarthanam

Dr. V. C. Ajith Kumar says this deep massage is performed by rubbing oil and herbal powder on the body. What is important about this therapeutic massage is that only upward strokes are used. To get a better or best outcome, this massage is combined with treatments like Shirodhara or Takradhara, he adds.

Throwing more light on the treatment, the doctor of Ayurveda says that Udwarthanam is classified into two types based on the action of the powder massage. One is Snigadh or Sneha Udwarthanam. This therapy uses a herbal paste prepared with a mixture of powdered herbs and medicated oils. In the other type of Udwarthanam called Ruksha Udwarthanam, dry powers herbs are rubbed on the body. In both these treatments different kinds of ayurvedic herbs are used and the herbs are selected based on the kind of treatment that an individual needs, explains Dr. Aith Kumar. 

Delving deeper into the subject, the doctor of Ayurveda explains that, in the Sneha Udwarthanam, the herbal paste (mix of powdered herbs and medicated oils) is vigorously rubbed over the skin to exfoliate it. It rejuvenates the skin and gives it a glow. Texture, tone and complexion improve and in turn prevent skin disorders. The Snigadh Udwarthanam, therefore, suits those with sensitive skin, says the doctor.

Ruksha Udwarthanam: This massage uses dry powders of herbs, says Dr. Ajith Kumar of Ayush Ayurveda. The dry nature of the herbs brings down excess kapha in the body. This massage reduces the excess cellulite and fat under the skin. It suits obese people and those suffering from insulin resistance, opines the doctor.

Udwarthanam Massage Composition

Dr. Ajit Kumar gives us a gist of the herbs used in this therapy: Common herbs such as deodar, senna, horse gram, cestus, gooseberry, mustard, Billerica, myrobalan and Phyllanthus are used in the Udwarthanam treatment. He explains that these herbs are mixed along with milk, herbal oils and dry herbal powders or choornams to prepare a paste called Lepam. It is this Lepam that is used to massage the body.

Dr Ajith Kumar elucidates that the herbs that are used in the Lepam depend on the patient’s constitution. If a Kapha-dominant person wants to lose weight, then Triphala’s herbal powder is used. Triphala is a mixture of Emblica Officinalis (Amalaki), Terminalia bellirica (Bibhitaki), and Terminalia Chebula (Haritaki).  In bodies where Pitta is dominant, ingredients like Cyperus Rotundus or Nutgrass, Barley or Yava churna, Indian Valerian or Tagara, Mandukaparni or Gotu Kola, Amalaki and Haritaki are used.

“While oils like Triphala, Kottamchukkadi Thailam, Lavana Oil, Dhanwantharam Thailam, and Karpasasthyadi Thailam are used on people who want to lose weight. Oils like Chandanadi, Kumkumadi and Sandalwood are used in the massage for beautiful and glowing skin,” points out the Ayurvedic doctor.

Udwarthanam Massage Procedure

Dr. V. C. Ajith Kumar of Ayush Singapore elaborates on the procedure:

A: Whether it is a powder or paste that is used in the massage it is warmed before application.

B: It is performed by two therapists who ensure that the massage strokes are done in a direction opposite to the growth of hair follicles.

C: The individual receiving the therapy needs to be in seven postures during the massage.

D: After completion of the procedure, the patient is advised to rest for about 30 minutes and then have a warm water bath. The entire procedure takes around 45 minutes to 1.5 hours.

Dr. Ajith Kumar, explains the breakdown of the procedure

1: Initially the Ayurvedic practitioner rubs the herbal Udwarthanam paste on the body. The patient must be aware of his allergies or the nature of his skin. If at all, there is an issue he must inform the therapist or practitioner without fail. Herbs should be mixed with sesame or olive oil, in case of sensitive skin.

The herbal paste that is applied is specific to the individual’s dosha type or body constitution. When the procedure begins the masseur applies warm oil all over the body, using long strokes to help relax the muscles and prepare the body for the powder massage. The powder is then applied in a synchronized manner. It targets the energy channels in the body.

Masseurs focus more on the legs, back and abdomen and the massage is continued in a firm, circular motion to stimulate the lymphatic system and increase blood flow to the skin.

2: The patient is asked to rest for some time after the application of the powder or paste on the body.

3: Aimed at breaking down the fat in the body, the masseuse uses different kinds of techniques. To release toxins they apply pressure at appropriate points on the body.

4: After a massage of 45 or 75 minutes, the patient is asked to bathe in lukewarm water.

Benefits of Udwarthanam

Dr. V. C. Ajith Kumar, Ayush Ayurveda, Singapore details some of the benefits of the Udwarthanam powder massage:

  • The treatment soothes nerve endings and improves blood circulation. It is very apt for patients suffering from sciatica, muscle stiffness, paralysis and obesity.
  • For those suffering from skin-related disorders, it regenerates skin cells and restores the natural elasticity of the skin.
  • It promotes strength and helps prevent drowsiness during the day. It promotes mobility in the joints and tones up the muscles after weight loss or childbirth.
  • The Udwarthanam massage coupled with herbal steam therapy later helps reduce cellulite and the subcutaneous fats in the body.
  • It is beneficial in bringing down the Kapha toxins and detoxifying the body.
  • It helps to prevent cholesterol-related issues.
  • It eliminates bad body odour.
  • It can be used to cure oedema, a condition characterised by the presence of excessive watery fluid in the cavities or tissues of the body.
  • The therapy has also been known to treat diseases like hemiplegia, rheumatoid arthritis, muscular dystrophy, Parkinson’s disease, motor neuron disorders, etc.

The doctor of Ayurveda explains that Udwarthanam or powder massage therapy greatly helps improve skin texture. It reduces fine lines and wrinkles and makes the skin smoother and softer.

Dr. Ajith Kumar points out that the treatment exfoliates the skin. (removes dead cells and impurities),  unclogs skin pores and prevents acne and gives radiant skin. On a lighter note, the Ayurveda doctor reveals that it gives the patient a youthful appearance as it increases blood flow in the skin. What more do you want? he asks.

The best part of this treatment is that the lymphatic system begins to work well with the massage. As a result, toxins are removed systematically with the massage technique and promote healthy and radiant skin, explains Dr. Aith Kumar.  

“The herbal powders improve skin hydration by attracting more moisture to it. Therefore prevents flakiness and promotes a smooth skin texture,” adds the doctor of Ayurveda.

Post-Treatment Care

It is absolutely essential that after Udwarthanam, the patient must follow the following tips, says Dr. Ajith Kumar:

  • Have a light meal after the treatment.
  • Follow the home recommendations of the therapist.
  • Stay hydrated with plenty of warm water.
  • Drink herbal tea.
  • Avoiding stimulants is important.

Udwarthanam is one of the best and most beneficial treatments for a patient in our ancient medicine system. However, it is very important for the doctor must assess the patient’s body type and condition before taking it up. My team of doctors at Ayush Ayurveda, Singapore are very adept at diagnosis. The treatments and herbs used are customized to the needs, dosha condition and health condition of the patient,” says Dr. V. C. Ajith Kumar with confidence and a smile.


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