Body Brushing or Garshana means “friction by rubbing” in Sanskrit.
Garshana is a traditional Ayurvedic dry massage that refreshes and stimulates the skin and lymphatic system, enhancing blood circulation and the release of accumulated toxins.
In the science of Ayurveda, through the process of observation, the sages and rishis realised that the skin is the largest organ capable of promoting detoxification.
By stimulating the skin daily inline with certain Ayurvedic principles, Body Brushing was found not only to reduce “ama”(our undigested food that manifests as a toxin and can spread from the digestive system to other parts of the body.)
It also to create stimulus and movement throughout the body’s lymphatic system, helping to increase its ability and rate to detoxify itself. Body Brushing also involves massaging certain points in the body. It is also believed that Garshana revitalised the modern-day concept of dry skin brushing.
Garshana is one of the easiest practices to encourage the body to self cleanse. It’s super simple and can be done easily before bathing or showering. Through the technique, dead skin cells are removed, unclogging the pores and preparing the body to easily release toxins through sweating (which is a great thing to do after body brushing).
The Many Benefits of Body Brushing
Garshana exfoliates and sloughs away dead skin cells. Leaving you with silky smooth skin. It also unclogs congested pores. Dry brushing is one of the best tools for exfoliation, essentially allowing the pores to breathe and prevent toxic build-up.
Dry Body Brushing greatly enhances lymphatic drainage. The lymphatic system is responsible for discharging cellular waste products. Lymphatic tubules allow for toxins to be drawn from the tissues and transported into the blood for elimination. Obstructions in your lymphatic system can create a host of health problems, especially inflammation and congestion.
It reduces cellulite. Cellulite is a toxic accumulation and buildup in your fat cells. Dry brushing helps to displace the toxins and create movement through the various systems of elimination.
Stress relief. When it is done correctly and with mindful intention, dry skin brushing almost becomes a form of meditation. It creates the feeling of a light massage that helps to soothe the nerves, reduces muscle tension and quiets the mind.
How to Body Brush Correctly
Traditionally Ayurveda makes use of raw silk or linen gloves. You can also use an all-natural (non-synthetic) body brush with a long handle to access the hard to reach areas of the body.
Before a shower or bath, step into the tub to avoid getting flakes on the floor.
Start at your feet and brush upwards towards the legs. This helps to stimulate the lymphatic system. Strokes ideally should be done 7 to 14 times on each portion of the skin.
Next, move on to your hands and make upward sweeping strokes to your arms.
Next target the neck area. Working on one side of the jawline, start from the earlobe and sweep down to the chin. Repeat on the opposite side.
From the base of the back of the neck, sweep all the way to the collarbone. Start with one side, and afterwards work on the other.
Targeting your chest, brush with light strokes towards the heart starting from the collarbone. The pressure should be very light.
Move to your belly and brush up towards the heart.
Move on to your armpits and with your arm extended overhead, brush down and towards the chest.
Start from your hips and sweep upwards to your armpits, start on one side and then repeat on the other.
Moving to your back, start from the tail-bone sweeping up towards your head.