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Ayurvedic Skin Brushing (Gharshana)

Ayurvedic Skin Brushing (Gharshan)

  • Dry brushing is a traditional ayurvedic practice called gharshan.
  • Dry brushing is a massage technique where you apply a dry brush to your skin and create friction by rubbing.
  • As per classical texts of Ayurveda, Udvartana (dry powder massage) is a similar and more practiced therapy than Gharshana.
  • It's another one of the Dinacharya (daily routine) practices recommended within Ayurveda.
  • Dry brushing is a simpler version of Udvartana,
  • For those who find Udvartana too elaborate, Gharshana, or dry brushing, is a simpler and less time-consuming alternative to incorporate a similar technique  to detoxify into your daily routine.

Benefits of dry brushing (The friction caused by dry brushing)

  • Stimulates lymphatic system.
  • Help to remove ama (toxin) from the body.
  • Removes dead cells from skin.
  • Stimulate Kapha in the body and encourage movement and drainage of excess mucus.
  • It promotes weight loss.
  • Beautifying and reducing scars and lines if practiced after Abhyanga.

Here's a general guide on how to perform dry brushing in an Ayurvedic context:
  • Begin brushing before a shower or bath, preferably in the morning.
  • Start from feet and go towards your heart. Swift and fast movements.
  • Go for natural brush made of natural materials with organic mark
  • Be gentle, especially in sensitive areas and areas with thinner skin.
  • After brushing, follow with a warm shower to wash away the loosened skin cells and toxins.

Dosha consideration (who should do dry brushing)

  • Kapha people: Because Gharshana is stimulating, people who are predominantly Kapha in their constitution will benefit from practicing Gharshana daily.
  • Pitta People: Those who are predominantly pitta can do this practice 4–5 times per week.
  • Vata People: Those with more Vata would best benefit from doing this practice 2–4 times per week.

When to Avoid dry brushing

  • A skin condition, such as psoriasis or eczema
  • An open wound (skip the area)
  • Irritated skin, including sunburn
  • Acute illness
  • Fever
  • It's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or an Ayurvedic practitioner before incorporating new practices into your routine

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