Udhwarthanam (Herbal Powder Massage Therapy)

It is a well established fact that Ayurveda helps the body achieve its natural state of well-being by balancing the body doshas. Combinations of various organic elements – space, air, fire, water, and earth make up three distinctive biological forces – vata, pitta and kapha. Every human body has these “doshas” in varying levels and any imbalance throws the entire well-being out of place.

To restore harmony, Ayurveda provides tangible solutions through various therapies and treatments suited for every kind of dosha or body type.

What is Udhwarthanam?

Ayurveda is a complete solution and has effective remedies for almost every ailment or disease. For people specifically seeking weight loss, treatment of skin or cholesterol problems, Udhwarthanam is an effective therapy.

Udhwarthanam means to promote or elevate a state of well-being. It is comprised of an herbal powder dry massage focusing on deep tissue treatment. Although Udhwarthanam is commonly known for its dry use, it can be performed with wet powder as well.

The Process of Udhwarthanam

Udhwarthanam is generally a 45-60 minute deep tissue massage.

There are two ways to prepare the medication – mixing the herbal medicated powder with water, milk, or oils to form a paste – or by drying the selected medicated powder completely by using heat.

Dry herbal powders are also known as churnams. These are usually warmed in a mud pot right before the massage begins.

The rhythmic movements are performed in and against the directions of the hair follicles with upward stroking and by rubbing the powder on the body. The massage stimulates the hair follicles and the subcutaneous fat tissue to break down into subcutaneous fat storage. Applying the right pressure allows the fat to break down.

Usually performed by one or two therapists, this massage is followed by a 30 minute rest period so that the body can benefit entirely from the procedure. The patient then receives a steam bath, concluded by a warm water shower.

Benefits of Udhwarthanam

  • Helps in calming the Kapha Dosha
  • Fights body odor
  • Reduces cellulite and helps in weight reduction
  • Reduces blood cholesterol
  • Rejuvenates the body
  • Enhances blood circulation and aids in detoxification
  • Helps strengthen muscles and the mobility of joints
  • Exfoliates dead skin cells and removes blemishes
  • Increases moisture retention on the skin and reduces wrinkles thus improving skin quality
  • Helps the mind and body achieve alertness

Conditions Treated Using Udhwarthanam

  • Skin problems
  • Obesity
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Motor-neuron disorders
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Hemiplegia
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Sciatica
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Cerebral palsy

Contraindications

In conditions such as pregnancy, Udhwarthanam is not recommended as the body may not be able to bear pressure or heat. In cases of wounds, cuts, or eczema, it can sometimes be exacerbated by this process. This is why a careful consultation from an Ayurvedic expert is necessary before opting for Udhwarthanam.

A complete solution for weight loss is only achieved by lifestyle changes and diet regulations. Although Udhwarthanam helps in accomplishing the desired results, a balanced diet along with an active routine goes a long way in maintaining good health.

The results from Udhwarthanam are excellent but may vary from person to person. For a holistic solution, one should be analyzed by a seasoned Ayurvedic practitioner who will choose the right combination of herbs and oils or supplementary therapies alongside Udhwarthanam.