Garshana or dry brushing is an Ayurvedic practice done to promote lymphatic cleansing, and support the removal of ama (waste-toxins) from the body.
Springtime is an ideal time to incorporate garshana in ones daily routine so that you can support your body’s natural detoxification process.
Benefits of garshana:
- supports Kapha dosha to release excess mucous from the body
- release winter stagnation
- slough away dry skin
- promote cell renewal and blood flow
- support lymphatic system to release toxins
- feel invigorated, less sluggish
- improve mental clarity
Choose the material that is best for your dosha. Traditionally garshana is done using raw silk or linen gloves,but you can use a natural bristle body brush.
- Vata dosha: If you are predominaantly Vata dosha and have sensitive skin, try using raw silk or linen glove, 2-4 times per week. Use light pressure when massaging.
- Pitta dosha: If you are predominantly Pitta dosha, try using raw silk and natural bristle body brush, 4-5 times per week. Use medium pressure when massaging.
- Kapha dosha: If you are predominantly Kapha dosha, try using a dry bristle body brush. Use medium to stronger pressure when massaging.
- Practice in the morning before bathing, with dry skin -free from lotion or oil
- Stand in the tub/shower or on a towel
- Using gloves or a brush, massage vigorously keeping the strokes moving towards the heart
- Use circular strokes on the stomach moving clock wise, and circular strokes on the joints; use long sweeping strokes on the arms and legs
- Start massage from the feet moving upward, then to the torso and on to the neck
- Next massage from the hands to the shoulders
- Then massage the stomach and buttocks in circular clockwise motions
- Use light pressuer on sensitve skin and thin areas, and apply stronger pressure on areas with thicker skin such as feet
- Afterwards, apply doshic supportive oils: Vata (heavy and warming) -sesame, Pitta (cooling) -sunflower, Kapha (light and warming) -safflower (Kapha may not need oil)
When NOT to practice garshana:
- If you have very fragile and very sensitive skin that bruises or tears easily
- inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema
- skin has an open wound, sunburnt, reddened due to allergic reaction or an injury
- when you are ill
All information presented here is for educational purposes. Consult your medical practitioner before starting new health care activities.