The Root of Life is Knowledge
Ayurveda is an ancient system. The word (Ayur) means life (Veda) means knowledge. The knowledge of life encompasses everything relating to the human body, mind, and spirit. The skin an integral part of that composition. Balance is the key to a healthy life inside and out.
In this post, we are going to talk about one of the many practices that are popular in Ayurvedic health and skincare.
The Garshana is a traditional Ayurvedic dry massage that rejuvenates the skin and its lymphatic system. This treatment is a very physical process that enhances blood circulation by releasing all of the accumulated toxins within the body. To perform a Garshana, there are a few things you will need.
- Natural silk gloves
- A soft sponge or a dry brush
You can find raw silk gloves at my favorite one-stop shop Amazon.
My favorite is the set of three - glove, handheld Garshana Brush that also doubles as an extended handle brush. Find it here
Using the gloves or the dry brush gently brush your skin to help remove dead skin leaving the skin supple and glowing.
This is a practice that I do every Saturday, and I do this in the morning before my shower. It is especially beneficial to do this in the morning for dual reasons. You can stimulate blood flow after waking up from a night of rest and brushing before a bath will allow you to rinse off the impurities loosened by the massage. I do this on Saturdays because this is the day my schedule permits me to take the extra time out in the mornings to work this in. You can choose any day that works for you. Just make sure you designate enough time to complete the massage and make sure you are regular with this practice. You can do it more than once a week if you like. It is suggested that you do it daily for maximum results. I prefer just once a week because I do use my sugar and salt scrubs in the shower regularly and over stimulating your skin can leave you exposed to sensitivity and open scrapes and abrasions leading to infection. Everything in moderation is my recommendation.
Another one of the many benefits of dry brushing is the elimination of ingrown hairs which we are prone to if we shave often, epilate or wax. Ingrown hair is a condition where hair curls back or grows sideways into the skin. This is most common among people who have coarse or curly hair. It may or may not be accompanied by an infection of the hair follicles or otherwise knows commonly as a "razor bumps".
Performing My Garshana
- I begin by massaging my entire body, starting with my head except for my face and chest. I try and avoid sensitive areas especially skin that is irritated, broken or inflamed.
- I dry massage using gentle and circular motions with the brush or sometimes the glove over the stomach and joints (shoulders, elbows, knees, wrists, hips, and ankles), and long sweeping motion on my arms and legs, I make sure all strokes are upward and toward the heart. This direction helps pump blood toward the center and drain the accumulated toxins in the lymph to pump toward the heart and be expelled.
- I apply light pressure where the skin is thin, such as the underarms, and harder pressure where the skin is thicker, such legs, elbows knees and feet. I focus on each area for at least 5 minutes sometimes more.
- I complete this practice with a shower. First with warm water as warm as I can stand (the only time I'd take a steamy shower is on Saturday mornings) to open my pores. Then turn the shower to cold water, so it jolts my skin and closes the pores but more importantly invigorates my senses and skin speeding up blood circulation. A simple soap wash will do as I've already brushed and stimulated my skin. I like using my Jaya or Kristina and sometimes Autumn. All gentle soaps.
In a day, our skin sheds pounds of waste through thousands of sweat glands and dry skin cells. If our pores are clogged with sebum (naturally produced skin oils) dirt and impurities - there is no way for these toxins to escape out. Dry- brushing comes in handy to help resolve this and is an excellent routine to add to our day and weekly skincare routine.
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