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How an Ayurvedic Udwarthanam massage links me to good + good family


OneAs I lay on the table at VLCC Wellness Center in Hua Hin, Thailand, a massage therapist applied a mixture of massage oils and herbal powders to my skin. She massaged my back with upward movements, running her hands against my hair. As she worked her magic, I inhaled familiar smells — amla, black pepper, and Bibhitaki — all of which were staples raised in my South Asian family. After my whole body was covered with the paste, I sat in the steam room and left my pores open as the combination of herbal oils and powders helped my body get rid of excess water and cells. dead skin.

The seasoned therapist is treating me Udwarthanam Massage (Urdhwa means upward and Varthanam means move in Sanskrit). This Ayurvedic deep tissue massage has a ton of claimed benefits, including treating lymphatic congestion, controlling weight, and exfoliating the skin to leave it soft and radiant.

The irony hasn’t forgotten for me: I’m in Thailand, and instead of getting one of the traditional Thai massages for which the country is so revered, I opted for Ayurvedic treatment. As I grew older, I learned to use Ayurvedic methods and medicine as part of my daily routine—my mother would prepare a potion of turmeric, almonds, saffron, and hot water (or milk or milk). ) to treat severe coughs and sore throats, or puree. Cardamom seeds with ginger cure colic. As Ayurvedic medicine continues to become mainstream, I have struggled with the thin line between what I know as “genuine” and modern adaptations. So, given the full range of treatment options at this Thai healthcare facility, I was inclined to try something that was most familiar to me.

As it turned out, the treatment was even more familiar to me than I thought—and despite being thousands of miles away from home, it connected me to my family and roots. After returning from the trip, I learned that my late grandmother received Udwarthanam massage many times to control her weight oneand support her pregnancy complications related to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition I also have.

In India, PCOS was once considered taboo and discussions around it were limited, if not non-existent. My grandmother was so embarrassed and ashamed of her PCOS that she hid it from my grandfather because she was worried her suitability for marriage, in the age of arranged marriage, would diminish if he knew. truth. Instead, she secretly started a weekly Udwarthanam massage, which she says helps relieve pain and clears up congestion.

“According to Ayurveda, a condition like PCOS occurs when small channels in the body are blocked by toxins or undigested waste,” explains Nidhi Pandya, an Ayurvedic practitioner in NYC. tissue. When the internal environment is affected, reproductive tissues are damaged and PCOS can arise. Udwarthanam works to mobilize blockages, open channels and get things moving so the body can restore its function.”

When I was back in New York, I thought about getting a massage as a way to ease some of the PCOS symptoms and pain my grandmother used to feel. Along with a diet that avoided overly acidic foods and dairy products, but included ghee, rice, and high-fiber fruits and vegetables, she was able to manage her symptoms over time. I realized how massage could help me deal with my own PCOS, or at the very least, provide symptom relief for a condition I struggled with. Later, my grandmother continued to receive Udwarthanam massage after my mother and uncle, because it helps to tone the abdomen and other muscles after childbirth. This method of prevention even allayed my own fears regarding future childbirth; If she can get through it, so can I.

I’m lucky that in my world PCOS doesn’t bring the same stigma to me as it did to my grandmother, and now people have a deeper understanding of how to treat the condition with hormonal changes. factors and lifestyle compared to before. . Even so, my 60 minutes of Udwarthanam massage taught me about being open to holistic solutions, something I might have overlooked before. Not only did my massage make me feel connected to my grandmother and our Ayurvedic heritage, but it also reminded me that I am not alone—there is a whole community of women in the same situation and no one else. in us suffer Silence.

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