Ayurvedic dry-brushing is called garshana. Typically done with raw silk gloves, it can also be performed using a body brush with natural bristles. The practice is always done on dry skin– so do it before showering or applying any type of oil or lotion. Ayurvedically, it is recommended to follow garshana with the application of good quality skin oil.
BENEFITS OF DRY BRUSHING:
1) On a superficial level, this practice exfoliates away any dry skin, and prepares your body to absorb oils during the oil application and get nourished.
2) On a deeper level, dry-brushing has a profound effect on the lymphatic system, an important part of our immunity that is only starting to get the attention that it deserves.
HOW DOES IT IMPACT THE LYMPHATIC SYSTEM?
The lymphatic system regulates the immune system and removes waste by transporting lymph and any blood that remains in the interstitial fluid. The direction of this movement is toward the heart. This is essentially our drainage system. It is important for our lymphatic channel to stay open and fluid because it helps waste through our body so that it can be removed.
Dry-brushing assists this process because it increases circulation. And when performed in coordination with the movement of the lymphatic system-toward the heart-it helps move lymph along its natural path.
HOW TO DO DRY BRUSHING:
Starts at your extremities. Use invigorating, long, methodical strokes as you move from your feet up your legs toward your torso, then from your hands up your arms toward your chest. Use Circular strokes around joints and move the brush in a clockwise direction around your abdomen, back, and heart.
Dry-brushing is stimulating, and you may find that it reduces any sluggish or heavy feelings you experience. On the other hand, if you’re feeling overstimulated, it’s best to discontinue this practice or pick it up at another time.