Ayurvedic Wellness Clinic & Spa In The Heart Of Orchard, Singapore

Holiday Inn Orchard City Centre 11 Cavenagh Road
B1-01 Singapore 229616

Udvartana: Dry Powder Massage

Udvartana is a treatment in Ayurveda that uses herbal pastes or dry herbal powders during the body massage. Of particular note is, during this massage the rubbing is performed in the direction opposite from hair follicles (unlike conventional massages).

Meaning of Udvartana

Udvartana is a Sanskrit word – it’s also known as Urdhwarthanam – and is a combination of Urdhwa (“upward”) and Varthanam (“to move”). Udvartana therefore means to move in an upward movement.

A preparatory procedure before oil therapies during a Panchakarma procedure, Udvartana is a common Ayurvedic treatment for obesity. It is a part of a health regimen known as Dinacharya, which recommends Udvartana to be done in the early morning before your bath. It is usually performed for 30-45 minutes.

Types of Udvartana

Snigdha (Oily). Herbal powders are mixed with medicated oils or ghee to form a paste, which is then rubbed all over the body in the reverse direction (from bottom upwards). It uses powder from herbs with oily properties such as sesame. This therapy is also known as Utsadana.

Ruksha (Dry). As its name indicates, no oil is used. Herbal powders are directly rubbed or stroked (without mixing or frying them with oil or ghee) over the body in an upward direction after Abhyanga massage. It uses powder from herbs with dry properties like lodhra. This therapy is also called Udgharshana.

What Happens During Udvartana?

Herbal oil is massaged into the body for 15-20 minutes to prep the patient for Udvartana.

The herbal powder or paste (depending on whether it is Snigdha or Ruksha) is rubbed all over the body in the direction opposite that of body hair growth.

Generally, deep stroking is used.

The Ayurvedic powder massage is done in 7 body positions by rubbing and massaging with pressure for a specific period.

After the massage, the body is cleansed with a sterile cloth to remove the powder and paste from the skin.

After wiping off the medications, a thin coat of medicated oil is applied over the patient’s body.

A steam bath after this massage is always advised. Other alternatives can be a warm water bath or hot pads over the fatty areas.

The patient is allowed to relax for 5-10 minutes. After relaxation, a hot water bath is usually recommended.

How Udvartana Works

  • Rubbing stimulates both motor and sensory nerve endings at various parts of the body.
  • Udvartana opens the circulating channels.
  • Deep pressure massage helps the interchange of tissue fluids by increasing blood and lymphatic circulation.
  • The pressure enables the delivery of nutrients in blood vessels to the heart, and provides nourishment to tissues.
  • During Udvartana, the heat in the skin stimulates. This leads to absorption and digestion of the herb and further causes the liquefaction of subcutaneous fat.

Benefits & Indications of Udvartana

The effects of Udvartana are multi-fold. It keeps the body healthy as well as fights diseases.

Snigdha Udvartana

  • Helps improve skin texture and restores glow by removing dead cells.
  • Strengthens the body and inhibits fatigue.

Ruksha Udvartana

  • Reduces excess Kapha dosha and joint inflammation hence especially benefits management of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Rubbing herbal powder hastens cellulite and fat breakdown.