Ayurveda is the system of medicine, originating in India designed to help people stay vital while realizing their full human potential. (Ayur = life, Veda = science or knowledge). It provides guidelines on ideal daily and seasonal routines, diet, behavior and the proper use of our senses.
Ayurveda reminds us that health is the balanced and dynamic integration between our environment, body, mind, and spirit.
Tremendous Benefits of Garshana (Dry Skin Brushing) and (Abhyanga) Oiling
“The lymphatic system is responsible for collecting, transporting to the blood, and eliminating the waste our cells produce, said Dr. Tatiana Riabokin. If the lymphatic system is congested, it can lead to a build-up of toxins, causing inflammation and illness.”
Dry brushing stimulates the lymphatic system, invigorating the skin, our largest organ. Dry skin brushing enhances blood circulation and the release of accumulated toxins, and there are more benefits…
Directions for Dry Skin Brushing:
- Get a natural long handle bristle brush such as the one pictured here.
- Standing in the shower or tub, brush in long smooth strokes from your extremities towards your heart, covering your entire body.
- Start with your feet moving upwards. One leg, then the other. Use clockwise strokes on the belly, chest and armpit. On the upper part of the chest the motions should be directed downward, towards the heart. Then work on the arms starting with the hands, all the way towards the shoulders.
- Brush up the arms from hands to shoulders, up the legs from feet to hips, down the back and torso, up the buttocks, down the neck, and across the shoulders. Also brush under your feet.
- The process should take 2-3 minutes.
- AVOID areas of broken skin and brush over sensitive areas, such as breast tissue lightly.
What are the benefits?
- Exfoliation of your skin – your largest organ
- Lymphatic stimulation – helping your body remove toxins, supporting the other organs and systems in the body
- Stress Relief – reduces muscular tension, calming nervous system.
- Reduces cellulite
- Unclog pores to allow nutrient absorption
- Invigoration – increases energy, look and feel of skin.
NOW WAIT… before showering try Abhyanga – oil massage
The routine of anointing your self with oil nourishes your entire body, lubricates the joints, removes impurities from the skin, calms nerves, stimulates the organs of the body and works better than store bought creams laden with chemicals and additives to hydrate, especially in our dry northern climate.
- After brushing massage your entire body with sesame oil (known as the King of Oils, good for all doshas) or Coconut (Vatta balancing) or Almond Oil (Pitta balancing) or Safflower Oil (Kapha balancing) that is lightly warmed by running the bottle under hot water. There are many online dosha tests that can inform you on your doshic type.
- Apply oil to your scalp and massage in circular motions. Next work into the face circling the forehead, cheeks and jaw. Next stroke down the front side sides and back of neck.
- Apply oil in sweeping motions around joints and long strokes on limbs.
- Massage the oil into the upper chest and in a clockwise direction around the belly (up the right side abdomen, across and over the top of the belly button, down the left).
- Finish by massaging and spending time on your feet, which serves to connect with your vital organs through many nerve endings and pressure points.
- Pause for 5-15 minutes to allow the oil to soak in, and then proceed with your bath or shower.
- Wash only your private parts with a gentle body wash or chemical free soap. The oil does the job of cleansing your pores and you will notice how great your skin and entire body feel.
And here are some of my favorites from the long list of benefits of oil massage:
- Nourishes the entire body, mind and spirit, and feels amazing—decreases the effects of aging
- Allows me to take time out, slow down, calming the nervous system
- Imparts muscle tone and vigor to the dhatus (tissues) of the body
- Lubricates the joints
- Increases circulation
- Stimulates the internal organs of the body
- Assists in elimination of impurities from the body
- Aid in lymphatic drainage
- Lends to better and deeper sleep.