“Garshana” – Ayurvedic Dry Brushing: How to Do It? Benefits And Reasons

Dry brushing, also called Garshana, is a staple of traditional wellness and a part of Ayurveda.

what is ayurveda

First, we need to back up to understand Ayurveda, where dry brushing comes from. Ayurveda is the ancient life of science that believes that prevention of disease is as important as curing it. Ayurveda is a holistic science of life that works on the principles of balancing the Vata, Pitta and Kapha Doshas that governs our body. It has gained popularity in the west due to its therapeutic efficacy and its ability to cure lifestyle disorders. It has also earned fame in the area of cosmetology and rejuvenation.

What Is Dry Brushing?

Dry Brushing is one of the Ayurvedic detoxification techniques that has been used by people since time immemorial. Ayurveda has described various types of massages and rejuvenation techniques that can be even used today for the treatment of various ailments. “Garshana” (pronounced gar-shun-uh) is a term used in the Ayurveda texts for dry brushing which means “friction by rubbing”. Vasant Ritu (Spring season) is the best time for the detoxification of the body and thus Garshana can show its highest efficacy in this season.

Dry brush is known to have numerous health benefits. It is done by rubbing a brush with coarse bristles usually made up of natural-fibres. The rubbing is done in a particular pattern and it works on the principle that rubbing will peel off the dead skin cells and will help in draining the toxins through the pores. It also stimulates the lymphatic system and aids in internal detoxification.

Why To Do Dry Brush?

Dry brushing is a revitalizing treatment. It is mainly used for the pacification of Kapha Dosha. People having Kapha Dosha predominance and aggravated Kapha Dosha must do it. Also, it is said to expel the toxins out of the body through sweat. It is a wonderful exfoliating and skin rejuvenating technique which can open up the clogged pores. Furthermore, the key benefits of dry brushing are briefly discussed below that will provide you with more reasons to do Garashana.

Key Benefits Of Dry Brushing

This ancient practice has a plethora of health benefits. It also adds more beauty to your skin by peeling off the dead skin cells, opening the pores and increasing blood circulation. The key benefits of dry brushing are briefly described below.

1.    Kapha Dosha Shaman

Kapha is the Dosha having qualities such as oilyness, sliminess, etc. Feeling of heaviness, lazy, sleepy, etc can be the premonitory symptoms of Kapha Dosha aggravation. Such aggravation can lead to more complex diseases such as high cholesterol, obesity, obstruction in capillaries that can lead to a drug-dependent life.

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“Garshana” can help you to pacify the aggravated Kapha Dosha as it encourages opposite properties to that of Kapha. Dry brushing increases the qualities such as dryness and roughness that nullifies the effects of aggravated Kapha Dosha.

2.    Detoxification

The lymphatic system is a network of tissues and organs that helps in the elimination of unnecessary toxins, waste products and transport of the white blood cells throughout the body. Dry brushing stimulates the lymphatic system and helps in draining the lymph from the lymph capillaries towards the lymph nodes. Thus, “Garshana” enables us to expel out the “Ama” i.e. cellular toxins internally as well.

3.    Rejuvenates Skin

It is a known fact that our skin sheds its outer layer every 2-4 weeks. Dry brushing our skin sheds the outer layer of our skin cells which mostly contains damaged and dead skin cells. It helps in the growth of fresh skin cells. Garshana also exfoliates the skin cells by opening the pores clogged by dead skin cells, dirt, etc. Massaging the skin with a brush or gloves also increases the blood flow to that certain region, thereby providing you with fresh glowing skin and enhancing the skin tone.

4.    Combats Cellulite

Cellulite is an interesting looking dimple-like dent formed on the skin. Typically, you can find it over the hip and thigh regions. It develops when the fat tissue pushes out the covering connective tissue. Often, you will find it more in women than in men, and it is a symptom of increased Meda Dhatu.

Happily, dry brushing or Garshanawill help you to combat the cellulite by dissolving the excess fat tissue in that region and by increasing blood flow. It can also aid in lymphatic drainage which helps in further prevention of cellulite in the prone areas.

Our Recommendations for a Dry Brush

Now, maybe you are wondering, what dry brush do I buy? If you have never purchased a dry brush before, we got you covered. Here is the dry brush (affiliate link) we have been using for years and still love to this day.

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How to Dry Brush?

Dry brushing should be done vigorously over the skin by using a brush having natural-fibers bristles. Alternatively, Garashana gloves are available in the market that can be used for it.

Dry Brushing Patterns

Before performing the dry brushing, know the types of brushing patterns used in it. It includes two types of patterns:

  1. Circular Motion:
    Dry brushing should be performed circularly over the joint areas such as Neck, Elbow, Knee, Wrist, etcetera. The brushing should follow only a unidirectional pattern either clockwise or anticlockwise for better results.
  1. Long Strokes:
    Over the areas of long bones, the dry brushing should be done with long strokes directed towards the heart. It is necessary to perform the brushing towards the direction of the heart to drain the excess lymph.

The dry brushing should be performed in the morning before bath. The skin should be dry and free from any kind of oils or lotions. It is also advised not to perform it in case of any kind of skin disease or pregnancy. Expert advice is highly recommended in such cases.

Dry Brushing in Simple Steps

  1. Start the dry brushing by vigorously massaging your wrists and the tip of your elbows circularly. Then, massage your hands from the base of your fingers towards the upper side in the direction of the armpit.
  1. Do the same on the other hand too. You can take the help of an assistant too if you are not comfortable doing that with your off-hand.
  1. Now, massage your abdomen and buttocks with the brush or gloves in a circular manner. Avoid brushing over the heart and chest area.
  1. Proceed towards your ankles and feet circularly and complete the procedure by massaging the thigh and calves region in long strokes directing towards the heart.
  1. After dry brushing your whole body, take a shower and feel your rejuvenating skin.

Other Notes

You can also perform Garshana on the face. However, it is not recommended as it may also cause serious problems if done incorrectly.

In addition, it should be performed on regular intervals as per one Doshic constitution (Prakriti), Season and Age.

Finally, it is mainly preferred in the Spring season as the all the body is all set for detoxification in this season. However, the person with the vitiation of Vata Dosha (Vata Prakop) should strongly avoid it.

Conclusions on Dry Brushing

Using this ancient cleaning practice to bolster your health and beauty routines can add vitality to both your body and your mind. We recommend starting in the spring, or at any time you need to detox and refresh. Enjoy!

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