Why Garshana, or Dry Brushing, Is a Grounding Detox Practice for Kapha Season
As we progress through the chilly winter season and look ahead to the brighter days of spring, we may find ourselves itching to try out new detox and wellness practices—especially ones that can be carried out indoors. And during kapha season, it’s more important than ever to adopt and maintain a regular health and wellness routine. As the shorter days and colder weather make it more difficult to keep up with regular exercise and an intentional, nutrient-filled diet, kapha season often leads to stagnation—both physical and mental. The body becomes more susceptible to accumulating toxins, and we may also feel emotionally drained, uninspired and demotivated. Ayurvedic tradition asserts the fundamental entwinement of our bodies, minds and external environments, and this certainly holds true during the winter months, which are notorious for bringing on both physical and emotional challenges.
Fortunately, there are a wide number of beauty, wellness and diet practices you can incorporate into your daily routine to transform your relationship to winter and to keep the body and soul uplifted and nourished. One simple, yet potent practice that is especially recommended during kapha season is Garshana, or dry brushing. Garshana is an Ayurvedic practice that involves applying a natural firm-bristled body brush in firm motions all over the body. We think the practice is so important that we created our own organic, vegan and artisan-crafted Lymphatic Detox Dry Brush for a luxurious detoxification experience. While this centering, revitalizing ritual takes only a few minutes out of your day, it brings powerful long-term benefits to the lymphatic system, circulation, complexion and more.
Benefits of Garshana for Detox and Rejuvenation
1. It Improves Lymphatic Drainage
Our lymphatic system carries out the vital work of guarding against illness, disease, environmental damage and external toxins. The potent, stimulating motions of dry brushing boost oxygen and blood flow and further encourage the flow and drainage of lymph, which in turn leads to the expulsion of toxins from the body. In addition, research has shown that a healthy and active lymphatic system can alleviate swelling and irritation. Especially during the winter months, our lymphatic system may need to work harder than usual to expel accumulated toxins. Garshana is a powerful way to boost lymphatic function and further aid this important system in maintaining our overall heatlh.
2. It Boosts Circulation
By promoting blood and oxygen flow, Garshana also naturally boosts circulation, which is vital for the distribution of nutrients and white blood cells. An added benefit of boosted circulation is that it leads to a youthful, vibrant complexion and promotes a natural glow.
3. It Exfoliates the Skin
In addition to boosting circulation and overall skin radiance, Garshana also serves as an excellent practice for natural exfoliation. The firm movements of a dry brush against the surface of the skin helps to release accumulated dirt, toxins and skin follicles, leading to a refreshed and rejuvenated complexion.
4. It Centers, Energizes & Motivates
Especially given our increased susceptibility to feelings of stagnation and deflation during the winter months, Garshana also offers an excellent way to feel centered, grounded and energized. By taking a few moments to really focus on our bodies, we can combat emotional detachment or sadness and feel more connected to ourselves. Through acts of self-care like Garshana, we learn to re-appreciate our bodies. The ritual also imbues the skin and body with feelings of groundedness and rejuvenation, making it easier to approach the day with renewed motivation and positivity.
How to Practice Garshana
The graphic below outlines basic dry brushing techniques for different parts of the body. You can save it on your phone for easy reference as you incorporate this simple ritual into your daily routine. Note that those with inflamed or sensitive skin, open wounds or conditions like psoriasis and eczema should be extra gentle on their skin to avoid irritation.