Dry brushing–known as garshana in Ayurveda–is a highly beneficial ancient cleansing ritual that is culturally rooted in various Eastern healing modalities. It’s effective and has withstood the test of time…but only for thousands of years.
Unfortunately, many of us here in the West have been missing out on this important step to self-healing–mainly due to a lack of mainstream buzz, but thankfully this is evolving with our ever expanding levels of mind-body consciousness. Amen!
Our skin is our largest organ and I think many of us move through life unaware of the massive potential it has to heal us internally. Aside from our SPF’s, everyday skin care and occasional massages…all good, all necessary…we are unintentionally neglecting the opportunity to gift ourselves the magic of a major healing portal–our skin. It’s a fast-track, no-nonsense, immediate way to naturally purify, rejuvenate and balance our mind-body physiology–DAILY.
What a difference five minutes can make…
Here’s what it does:
Dry brushing sloughs off the dead skin layers, unclogs pores and opens up the channels for the natural excretion of internal toxins. Clogged pores diminish the exit strategy, making it more challenging for the sweat glands to systematically–and effortlessly–perform.
It assists with clearing out the lymphatic system–located directly beneath the skin–while the long and easy strokes aid in the dislodgment and movement of stored, sticky ama (toxic residue)–moving the yuk towards its final destination of elimination via our malas (body waste products of urine, stool and sweat.
It boosts your immunity.
Stimulates and increases blood circulation. Cold hands and feet anyone? Try it.
It regenerates collagen and can–over time–diminish and prevent cellulite. Yep, cellulite. Cellulite is caused by backed-up lymphatics. Get the lymph moving and the fluid will decrease in your fat cells–reducing the appearance of those uninvited dimples. Be sure to give those special areas a little extra love and attention while you’re performing your garshana.
Pass the longevity please!
Practicing the Art of Garshana
A garshana comes before your shower and should always be done with a dry brush or raw silk gloves. Some people find it easier to move through the motions with gloves, but it’s a personal preference. If you use a dry brush, purchase one that is made of natural fibers and has a long handle for easy backstage access. This brush is a nice option as well as these gloves.
- It’s best if your skin is oil and lotion free.
- Start with your hands and move up your arms.
- Always brush in long, upward, one-directional strides towards your prime lymph areas–neck, under arms and upper thighs (groin)–always moving in the direction towards your heart. No scrubbing back and forth.
- Be gentle with your tender skin at first. It takes a bit of getting used to, especially in sensitive areas like the neck, chest, breasts and tummy–it does get easier and will feel great knowing that you are sloughed, clean and opened up.
- Massage the joints in circular motions–wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles–as well as the breasts, tummy and buttocks.
- End with your ankles and feet.
- Rinse off in the shower. Finish with a cool/cold water rinse for an extra-added circulation bonus and glowing skin.
- Pat dry and oil up with your favorite body oil.
Vatas–do it slowly and add some inhale/exhale breath counts–think grounding
Pittas–do with awareness–think calming, yet efficient action
Kaphas–do vigorously and add to your morning ritual to get the blood moving and your day going
Easy access Dosha oils:
Vata–sesame (heavier/heating oils)
Pitta–coconut (soothing/cooling oils)
Kapha–safflower (lighter/warming oils)
Be well. Live free. Stay wild. Love hard. Rock on.