What is Udvartana?
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 creates heat in the body to help decrease lethargy, release toxins, reduce fluid retention and increase circulation.
There are two types of Udvartana Powder, and the ingredients used vary according to the health condition.
- SNIGADH or SNEHA (Unctuous or Oily)
- RUKSHA (Dry)
Snigdha Udvartana – Ayurvedic Paste Massage
Snigadh Udvartana is powder massage done with herbal paste prepared mixing herbs’ powder with medicated oils. This herbal paste is rubbed over the skin. This type of Udvartana helps improving skin texture, complexion, glow and tone. The main purpose of Snigadh Udvartana is to exfoliate and rejuvenate the skin and to prevent skin diseases.
According to Charaka Samhita, Snigadh Udvartana is useful in weak people. It also includes people with sensitive skin who cannot tolerate rubbing of the dry herbal powders.
Ruksha Udvartana – Ayurvedic Powder Massage
In Ruksha Udvartana, dry powders of herbs are used for rubbing. Herbal ingredients are rough and dry in nature and used to reduce excess KAPHA. Ruksha Udvartana is beneficial for reducing excess cellulite and fat under the skin. It is also beneficial for diabetic people with insulin resistance. According to Charaka Samhita, Ruksha Udvartana is useful in obese people.
According to Sushruta Samhita
Sushruta Samhita classifies the powder massage into three major categories
Utsadana and Snigadh Udvartana is a same thing. In this, medicated oils are used for preparing herbal paste. It has same benefits as described in Snigadh Udvartana.
Udgharshana and Ruksha Udvartana is a same thing. However, Sushruta Samhita has specially described the ingredients of Udgharshana, which includes brick powder, Reetha (Soap nut) powder etc. This procedure may not be suitable for people with sensitive skin. The common side effect of using brick powder is rashes and fine cuts on the skin, which may cause pain and burning sensation. Using Reetha powder or Triphala powder is more likely to safe and useful instead of brick powder.
According to Sushruta Samhita, herbs used in this type have both actions of strengthening the body as well as reducing the fat. Its mixture is also prepared from powder of herbs mixing with medicated oils like Utsadana or Snigadh Udvartana. Actually, it is a sub-type of Snigadh Udvartana with unique herbs having strengthening and fat reducing properties.
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Udvartana Technique & Procedure
An ayurvedic expert is a master in some Udvartana techniques that help to break down cellulite under the skin. The ayurvedic powder massage is done in seven body positions by rubbing and massaging with pressure for a specific period. It reduces cellulite and excess fat accumulation under the subcutaneous tissues of the skin. Powder Massage is done with wet or dry medicated herbal powders by a massage therapist for about 15 to 45 minutes.
Snigadh Udvartana Technique
- In Snigadh Udvartana, oil massage with recommended oil is done beginning from head, face, back, chest, abdomen, arms, thighs, legs and feet.
- Herbal paste is prepared mixing medicated oil and applied over the skin.
- Herbal paste is rubbed from hands to shoulders, lower back to neck, feet to thighs and thighs to buttocks. On buttocks left to right and right to lefts strokes are also performed.
- Upward strokes with pressure are also used during rubbing the herbal paste.
- For abdomen, rubbing starts from left to right and then right to left. Herbal paste is also rubbed in clockwise movements making small circles initially then large circles covering the whole abdomen around the umbilicus.
Ruksha Udvartana Technique
- In Ruksha Udvartana, a fine powder of herbal mix is used for rubbing.
- Other steps from 3 to 5 are same as described in Snigadh Udvartana Technique.
(How to Do Powder Massage at Home)
However, the maximum benefits can be achieved when ayurvedic massage therapist does Udvartana. Here is a self-massage technique:
- Do full body massage with warm sesame oil or olive oil.
- Rub herbal powder with maximum tolerable pressure and movements. If your skin is sensitive, you can mix the oil with warm sesame oil or olive oil for making its paste. Then rub this paste on skin with cellulite underneath.
- You need to move your hands from the feet to thigh, hands to shoulders.
- Do this massage on fatty areas of the body by rubbing powder thoroughly.
- The movements of your hands should be opposite direction as compared to regular oil massage.
- For abdomen, it should be pubis bone to chest. For hips, movements should be from thigh to lower back.
Steam bath after this massage is always needed. If you cannot go for steam bath, you can take a warm water bath after this massage or you can also use hot pads over the fatty areas.