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The Sacred Ancient practice of Dry Brushing and Self- Massage
Ayurvedic dry-brushing, called Garshana (pronounced gar-shun-uh), promotes lymphatic cleansing and is a powerful way to support the removal of Ama (cellular waste products) from the body. It’s roots lie  thousands of years deep in Ancient Vedic Texts regarding daily Ayurvedic practices for health. Garshana is traditionally done using raw silk or linen gloves, though many prefer to use a natural bristle body brush. This technique is recommended for people who have signs of Ama, which may include fatigue, sluggishness, feeling physical or mental dullness, constipation, and a taxed immune system.

 

Because Garshana is stimulating, people who are predominantly Kapha in their constitution will benefit from practicing Garshana daily. Those who are predominantly Pitta( Fire element) can do this practice 4–5 times per week. And those with more Vata( Air element) would best benefit from doing this practice 2–4 times per week  followed by Abyangha(Ayurvedic self-massage) with warm oil after dry brushing to lubricate the skin. This helps to bring Vata dosha back into balance by calming the nervous system.

 

Guidelines for Garshana—The Traditional Ayurvedic Dry Massage

  • Skin brushing is best done in the morning before bathing, with dry skin that is free from lotion or oil
  • Make sure the room where the massage will be done is a comfortable temperature
  • Stand in the bathtub/shower or on a towel to avoid getting flaky skin on the floor
  • Using gloves or a brush, massage vigorously to stimulate the skin and lymph
  • Keep the direction of the stroke always toward the heart
  • Use circular strokes on the stomach and joints (shoulders, elbows, knees, wrists, hips, and ankles), and long sweeping strokes on the arms and legs (toward the heart)
  • Massage from the feet upward, continuing to the torso and on to the neck
  • Massage from the hands to the shoulders
  • Massage the stomach and buttocks in circular clockwise motions
  • Apply light pressure where the skin is thin or sensitive and firm pressure on thicker areas like the bottoms of the feet

 There are many benefits to this practice, some of which are:

  • Increases muscle tone
  • Improves skin texture (luminosity and suppleness)
  • Reduces the effects of stress on the body
  • Promotes weight management by supporting healthy metabolism
  • Supports natural detoxification
  • Improves lymphatic circulation

There are some contraindications as well so make sure to consult with a practitioner prior to starting this practice. 

 

This natural detoxification practice gently flushes out toxins without disturbing the body’s balance, and it will help you feel energetic and increase vitality and immunity in the body.  To Learn more about what Dosha( Element) is dominant in your body, and learn more about the benefits and contraindications of this ancient practice as well as other practices to strengthen the body and the immune system, set up an Ayurvedic Wellness consultation with Dr. Antoinette in our Spa today! Also visit our Spa boutique for dry brushes and other Ayurvedic oils and supplements, and body care items!