back view of Uzhichil massage

Ever since receiving Kalari Marma Uzhichil about a year ago, I became addicted. Unlike the other Ayurvedic massages I have given and received, Kalari Marma Uzhichil, or Uzhichil for short, is a complete treatment in itself. You can receive it as a one-off treatment, or it can be given over several days.

This is what Randol Oberton, an experienced Maharishi AyurVeda trainer, explained when he came to our clinic in Lancashire, England, to teach me this therapy. He told me that it comes from the Kalari or “battlefield” tradition of Kerala, India, and is used by martial arts experts as a healing technique on those who receive injuries.

In practice, Uzhichil has a broad range of benefits and is not just confined to the treating of muscle, joint and back injuries and pain. Randol explained how it stimulates the Prana, or life-force, within the body and that this Prana goes on to heal any imbalance the may be found.

The healing flow of Prana

The full expression of the flow of Prana can be likened to a river in full flood. When the flow of a river becomes meagre, pools of muddy water start to appear along its banks and these stagnant pools can become sources of disease. If we have a way of increasing the flow of the river, this strengthened flow simply washes away these pools of stagnancy.

From the Ayurvedic perspective, the source of disease is due to localised weaknesses or imbalances, such as the accumulation of toxins or Ama in particular parts of the body. These imbalances themselves are gathered when the body’s life-force or Prana is low. Increase the flow of Prana and these disease sources will automatically be swept away.

Uzhichil massage aims to promote the full and well-balanced flow of Prana. Both patient and the practitioner feel increased energy and vitality after its practice.

Highly invigorating for giver and receiver

The massage is vigorous and the strokes are applied firmly and energetically, in a relatively quick rhythm. Practitioners can sometimes sweat heavily during the massage. In fact, in Kerala the saying goes that if you don’t need a shower after performing Uzhichil massage, you aren’t doing it right.

So before learning Uzhichil massage, I did wonder about my own energy and stamina levels. Though I am reasonably fit, my 64th birthday was not far off.

The first few days of the course were hard work. Randol taught and supervised me while I practised firm and athletic stokes for three hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoon. In contrast, the last days of the course were somewhat easier, as I was learning to give a synchronised version of the massage with another person – and hence shared the effort.

What really surprised me was how great I felt at the end of each day. I would be dripping with sweat – Uzhichil is normally given in a warm room – but I felt on top of the world and highly invigorated. My thought was that if I could give this massage every morning and afternoon, I would soon become the fittest I have been.

Full attention on every stroke

Randol is a great trainer. He notices everything and does not let you get away with any sloppiness. Any massage requires your full attention on every stroke and this is even more the case with Uzhichil, which requires firm and full pressure. Randol would notice any slight inattention on my part and would immediately point out where I went wrong. He would then make me repeat the stroke again and again until he was satisfied. The wonder of it all is that he never, ever gets annoyed and corrects with humour rather than irritability. His powers of concentration and patience are phenomenal.

The volunteers who allowed us to practice on them were delighted to receive this massage and wanted to come back again and again. One said, “At one point I felt my body become a single connected unit. It then seemed to become smaller and smaller and at the same time my awareness kept expanding.” The same volunteer had severe knee problems and reported a marked improvement after receiving Uzhichil.

Find our more

Kalari Marma Uzhichil is now available at the Maharishi AyurVeda Health Centre in Skelmersdale – email or call +44 1695 735351 to book your appointment. Alternatively, if you are part of a group of 10 or more and would like to receive the massage in your locality, please contact us by email or telephone.

Peter Brown also offers Maharishi AyurVeda cooking courses. Please contact him on or call +44 1695 735351.