Garshana: Ayurvedic Dry Brushing For Detoxification + Glowing Skin

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Spring is a time of awakening. As the weather begins to warm  and song birds invite us to come outside, the sun’s return inspires us to stretch get outside and move our bodies. All around, we can feel the buzz of life nudging us from winter hibernation. In the ancient practice of Ayurveda, springtime is known as Kapha season because the elements of earth and water are predominant. The rivers begin to flow more swiftly, the earth becomes saturated with water and plants of all kinds begin to pop-up from its soil. Rebirth is happening all around us.

While springtime brings us many gifts, Kapha season can also cause imbalances to the body and mind. As pollen starts to ride the wind’s breeze, allergies and congestion flare up for many people. Congestion of the skin can lead to excess sebum (oil) production and even breakouts. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or are just feeling a little foggy in the mind or stagnant in the body, it may be time to gently detoxify. Fortunateyly, Ayurveda has excellent cleansing therapies to help revitalize the body and skin.  One of the best is Garshana.  

Garshana, (pronounced gar-shun-uh), is an ancient Sanskrit word which translates to ‘friction by rubbing.’ Commonly known as dry brushing, this Ayurvedic practice involves a stimulating lymphatic massage to detoxify the lymphatic system, refresh your skin and revive the mind. It has recently become rather popular to perform garshana using a dry bristle brush; however, a dry brush can be too harsh for those with sensitive skin.

We recommend the traditional method of using 100% raw silk Garshana gloves because they are hypoallergenic and a gentler, all-natural exfoliator. 


You might be thinking, “what is the lymphatic system\” anyways? Well, let’s take a closer look…

The lymphatic system transports lymph, a fluid containing infection-fighting white blood cells, throughout the body. In doing so, it acts as the drainage system of the body, helping to remove toxins, waste and other unwanted materials which are known as Ama in Ayurveda.

Unlike the circulatory system which has the heart to initiate movement, the lymphatic system does not move on its own. Therefore, it can become inefficient or \”sluggish\”, an unfortunate side effect of today\’s modern sedentary lifestyle. To maintain proper function, the lymphatic system needs daily deep breathing, cardio exercise, yoga, and Garshana or Abhyanga massage.

Making time in your day for self-care is one of the most beneficial things you can do. Adding Garshana is a boost for optimal detoxification, lymphatic and immune health


Garshana has a plethora of benefits for your health and beauty:

  • Detoxifies the lymphatic system
  • Expels ama (toxins)
  • Stimulates blood flow
  • Increases circulation
  • Warms the body
  • Improves energy
  • Promotes mental alertness
  • Exfoliates the skin
  • Encourages cellular renewal
  • Revives skin tone + texture
  • Combats cellulite

*all of these benefits help to balance excess kapha dosha.


For best results, the massage strokes are generally towards the heart to assist the movement of lymph in the body, applying as much pressure as comfortable. Exert more force in areas of fatty tissue & brush gently on sensitive areas.

  1. You may choose to lightly massage the face using small circular motions from the center outward.
  2. Move to the neck & shoulder areas using long brush strokes.
  3. Continue to the arms with long strokes, incorporating circular motions at your elbows & wrists.
  4. Massage the abdominal area in a clockwise motion, the natural path of digestion.
  5. The lower back & hips/buttocks area can be massaged using the same circular motion.
  6. Finish the massage using circular strokes for the knees & ankles and long strokes for the feet & legs.
  7. The massage is completed with an application of oils intended to nourish and tonify the freshly exfoliated skin.

If you\’re performing dry brushing at home as part of your daily self-care routine, you can finish with a shower to rinse off remaining residue and be sure to apply Ayurbeauty Body Oil for healthy, radiant, glowing skin!


  1. Lymph drains down along the sternocleidomastoid muscle (SCM), located at the base of your skull on either side of your neck, behind your ears. (3x)
  2. Facial sweep up the jawline, drawing up to the ears. (3x)
  3. Sweep from the upper lip to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). (3x)
  4. Sweep from the nose bridge to cheeks. (3x)
  5. Sweep from the 3rd eye to temples. (3x)
  6. Sweep from the hairline to temples. (3x)
  7. Forehead friction using fingertips of both hands moving back and forth.
  8. Cheek friction in a figure 8 motion on the cheeks.
  9. Nose bridge friction.
  10. End your massage with a facial sweep up the face and across the forehead. (3x)

Once finished, complete this routine with the Ayurbeauty Skincare Ritual.


From the Ayurvedic perspective, people that are predominant in Kapha dosha or are currently experiencing a Kapha imbalance will benefit the most from garshana. If this is you, we recommend that you perform dry brushing daily for optimal balance. If you are predominant in Pitta dosha or experiencing a Pitta imbalance, we recommend performing Garshana 3-5 times per week to help detoxify your system. If you are predominant in Vata dosha or experiencing a Vata imbalance, we recommend you performing garshana 1-2 times per week to help uplift the mind in a gentle way and always remember to follow your massage ritual with Self Abhyanga using Ayurbeauty body oils to ground the nervous system.

For the ultimate experience, schedule a Garshana therapy at Ayurbeauty Wellness Center.  Treat yourself to a full body pampering while detoxifying your skin and body!


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