While many have been dry brushing for years already, others are new to the idea. Why would someone want to brush their skin instead of using soap on a washcloth?
Some use soap only in the private zones and brush everywhere else, while others soap up to a healthy lather everywhere after dry brushing first. It’s up to you how you go about it. Most, however, prefer to brush in the morning to get the circulation going and prep the body’s systems for a busy day!
Dry Brushing Aids Several Bodily Systems
Some advocates of dry brushing the body swear by it and believe that it not only stimulates the skin and feels great, but that it also acts as support for the lymphatic system, exfoliates the dead skin cells, cleans the pores, helps detoxify the body, strengthens the immune system, aids digestion, improves the functioning of the nervous system, tightens the skin, wards off premature aging of the skin, stimulates the hormones and oil-producing glands, gives an energy boost, tones the muscles, and even helps minimize the appearance of cellulite. Let’s check out and how it’s done and what the details are on these claims!
First of all, dry brushing should only be done with a naturally-bristled brush with soft fibers and preferably a long handle. Most believers spend from five to fifteen minutes dry brushing their skin daily, or at least twice weekly, and recommend working the brush toward the direction of the heart or toward the center of the body (matching the direction of the lymph system. They stress that the practice should never hurt, and to reduce pressure on the brush if it does. Start with a gentle brush and work up to a firmer bristle gradually as you grow accustomed to the practice. Females are advised to avoid brushing the breasts.
Dry Brushing Helps Detoxify the Body by Stimulating the Lymphatic System
Since the skin is considered one of the largest eliminative organs and greatest detoxifiers of the human body, some believe it’s important to dry brush the skin regularly and rid our exterior surface of any dead skin cells, toxins or impurities clogging up the pores or otherwise decreasing the efficiency of its detoxifying properties. Some believe that if the skin isn’t kept sufficiently detoxified to allow it to do its job, all of the eliminating work falls to the kidneys, which can become overwhelmed. The lymphatic system runs just along the inside of the skin as well, so advocates insist that dry brushing stimulates the lymph nodes and also helps aid detoxification of the body. Clearing the pores (even the smallest ones) helps the skin continue to do its job and makes you look great, too!
Dry Brushing Gives Tired or Sluggish Folks an Energy Boost
The science isn’t in yet, but many advocates state that dry brushing somehow gives them more energy. Some theorize that its circulation-enhancing abilities are to blame. This is why some recommend only dry brushing in the morning or early afternoon, not in the evening, as it may actually end up keeping you awake!
Avoid Sensitive Areas, Wounds, Infections, Rashes, etc.
Make sure to brush around any areas of rash, wounds, or other sensitivities in order to allow healing and avoid spreading.
Give It a Try Using a Video or Pictorial Demonstration for Guidance
Here is a brief, simplified video demonstration of dry brushing for those who are new to the practice. Wellness Mama suggests a slightly different approach, beginning with the bottoms of her feet, gradually moving upward on the legs with ten brushes on each part of the body. She continues with the palms of the hands and up the arms toward the heart, then in a circular clockwise motion on the abdomen and underarm areas. She repeats the process on her back and finally her face, using a different, gentler brush on the facial skin.
After your Shower, Massage in a Pure Plant Oil
Choose from avocado oil, apricot oil, or almond, coconut, sesame, olive oil or cocoa butter to massage gently into the skin following your shower.
You’ll want to clean your body brush using soap and water at least once weekly to keep it fresh and toxin-free.
- As with all my articles, please consult your physician before attempting this practice to be sure this type of regimen is right for your body or household.