Within Ayurveda (a traditional system of medicine from India that dates back 5,000 years), it is known in Sanskrit as garshana (or “friction by rubbing”)

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The lymphatic system is a major part of the body’s immune system. It comprises a network of organs, lymph nodes, lymph ducts, and lymph vessels that make and move lymph from tissues to the bloodstream. This intricate network performs many key functions, such as maintaining fluid levels, protecting your body against pathogens (any bacteria, virus, or other substance that can make you sick), and transporting and removing waste products.

While many people today perform dry brushing on its own, in Ayurveda it’s a component of Abhyanga.

The mechanism of dry brushing functions both on and below the skin’s surface.

In conventional Western medicine, a healthy lymph system is fostered by staying hydrated and living a healthy lifestyle, which includes regular exercise. In Ayurveda, encouraging lymph health can also include dry brushing and other forms of traditional massage, as well as other treatments and lifestyle changes.From a traditional Ayurvedic perspective, dry brushing may help detoxify the body by encouraging a healthy flow of tissue fluids (known in Sanskrit as rasa dhatu), particularly lymph. Rasa dhatu refers to the body’s “inner ocean,” and rasa means “sap” or “juice”.

The benefits could be:—

1. May Boost Circulation

Massaging your skin with a dry brush triggers a mild inflammatory response in your body. That, in turn, boosts circulation, pushing blood to the target areas.

2. May Improve the Appearance of Cellulite (Temporarily)

There’s no proof that dry brushing reduces cellulite. However, the increase in blood circulation may plump dimples in the skin and improve the appearance of cellulite in the short term.

3. May Help Lymph Flow

Dry brushing is traditionally understood to support lymph flow, and it is believed to help “detoxify” the body. Our lymphatic system is key in removing toxic waste from the body, so dry brushing may aid in that process.

4. Exfoliates the Skin

The coarse bristles of the dry brush may exfoliate the skin. Dry brushing can slough off dead cells at the skin’s surface, stimulating new, healthy ones to take their place.Dry brushing  may help unclog pores and improve the appearance of dull skin.

5. Gives You Energy

Dry brushing stimulates the nerve endings in the skin, which may leave you feeling refreshed. The increased circulation also likely helps, though research is needed to confirm.



Dry brushing is generally safe for most people with healthy skin. However, as with any form of exfoliation, there’s a risk of applying too much pressure or doing it too frequently. That can cause microtears in the skin that can become irritated, inflamed, and infected and can even lead to scarring.Dry brushing may also irritate already-vulnerable skin in people with inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. Aside from causing irritation, dry brushing may also introduce bacteria to open wounds, causing further complications.In addition, avoid dry brushing your face, as the skin there is more sensitive than that of the rest of your body.

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