Dry brushing is a natural, inexpensive way to detoxify and invigorate the skin and the whole body. It is a traditional technique that helps remove dead skin cells, stimulates the lymphatic system and promote adequate lymphatic drainage; to help eliminate waste. It assists in preventing and dissolving cellulite and delays premature ageing while obtaining brighter, smoother, softer looking skin.
Interesting facts about the skin
The skin is the largest and most important eliminative organ in the body and is responsible for a quarter of the body’s detoxification each day.
It eliminates around half a kilogram of waste products each day for the average adult, most of it through the sweat glands.
Receiving a third of the blood circulated through the body.
The skin is the last organ to receive nutrients in the body, yet the first to show signs of imbalance or deficiency.
BENEFITS OF DRY BRUSHING
1)Dry brushing cleanses and detoxifies the lymphatic system as it stimulates the adequate flow and drainage of the lymph. Lymph is part of the immune system and is made of white blood cells called lymphocytes and the interstitial fluid that bathe our cells; providing a pathway for the absorption of fats and fat-soluble vitamins into the bloodstream, returning proteins and tissue fluids to the blood, removing cell waste and thus increasing the body’s defense against disease. The lymphatic system does not use a pump like the circulatory system, where the heart keeps the bloodstream flowing. It depends on the contractions of muscle, through body movement, breathing, exercise or manual stimulation, to push the fluid along the lymph vessels. This is where body brushing can help to encourage blood flow through the channels and clean out the metabolic waste that can build up in the tissues and lymph nodes. So it is now evident how detoxification occurs primarily through the lymph.
2) Dry brushing removes dead skin layers. Dry skin brushing helps shed dead skin cells; which can help improve skin texture, cellular renewal and delay skin aging. Dead skin cells are part of the body’s rejuvenation and detoxification processes, it is therefore beneficial to promote and assist the process of their removal daily.
3) Dry brushing strengthens the immune system. Dry skin brushing may reduce the duration of infections as it accelerates the elimination of toxins, thus assisting the immune system. It helps support the immune system during treatments for cancer and other chronic illnesses (always check with your health care provider). By stimulating the lymph vessels to drain toxic mucoid matter into the organs of detoxification, we can purify the entire system.
4) Dry brushing stimulates the hormone and oil glands, thus helping all of the body systems to function at peak efficiency. The skin is our body’s largest organ and when the process of its detoxification is improperly maintained and stimulated, the elimination duties of the skin are forced upon the other organs of detoxification such as the kidneys.
5) Dry brushing tones the muscles. Dry skin brushing helps muscle tone by stimulating the nerve endings which causes the individual muscle fibers to activate and move. It also helps mobilize fat and helps to even distribution of fat deposits. This is a great technique for those with limited mobility such as pregnant women or the elderly.
6) Dry skin brushing rejuvenates the nervous system by stimulating nerve endings in the skin which leaves us feeling invigorated and energized.
7) Dry brushing stimulates oxygenation and circulation. Our skin breathes! However, for most people this vital route of detoxification is operating far below its capacity as it is clogged up with a buildup of dead skin cells and the un-removed waste excreted through perspiration. Dry skin brushing increases circulation to the skin, encouraging the body’s discharge of metabolic wastes. Increased blood flow to the brushed areas will increase the electromagnetic energy that helps us feel energized and invigorated. By activating the circulation, we also help prevent varicose veins.
8) Dry brushing increases skin functions. Dry brushing helps the skin breathe by eliminating clogged pores. Brushing allows the pores of the skin to open allowing it to absorb nutrients and eliminate toxins. Clogged pores are not just a cosmetic concern. Healthy, breathing skin contributes to overall body health.
9) Dry brushing helps reduce cellulite. Improving cellulite is one of the main reasons people look into dry brushing. Increasing the circulation to the skin has been shown to reduce the appearance of cellulite. Cellulite is toxic material accumulated in the body’s fat cells. Toxins are often trapped in the subcutaneous later of fat cells just beneath the skin which contributes to cellulite (in addition to other health concerns). Cellulite is unattractive but also very difficult to affect. Dry brushing is a cheap and non-invasive way to improve the appearance of the skin in addition to the many health benefits it provides. So, rather than taking drastic and potentially dangerous measures like liposuction, try dry skin brushing to help break down and eliminate unwanted toxins.
HOW TO DRY BRUSH
Dry brush the dry body before showering or bathing so that the water can wash off the impurities from the skin as a result of the brushing action. The brush should be dry and the skin should be dry too.
Start to brush from the toes towards the neck as most of the lymph in the body drains to a central area near the collar bone.
The entire body should be brushed, including the back. Use long sweeping strokes starting from the bottom of the feet upwards, and from the hands towards the shoulders, and on the torso in an upward direction to help drain the lymph back towards your heart.
An exception to this rule are that we can brush back and forth between the fingers and toes and use small circular strokes in a clockwise direction on the stomach, following the movement of the gut.
Note: Stroking away from your heart can put extra pressure on the valves within the veins and lymph vessels and over time may lead to ruptured vessels and varicose veins.
Use light pressure in areas where the skin is thin and harder pressure on places like the soles of the feet. Don’t overdo it, remember this living organ!
Skin brushing should be performed once a day, preferably first thing in the morning. A thorough skin brushing should take about 5-10 minutes, but any time spent brushing prior to bathing will benefit the body. If you are feeling ill, increasing the treatments to twice a day can be beneficial and promote the healing mechanisms of the body.
Avoid sensitive areas such as bruises, cuts, areas of skin rash, wounds, or infections. Do not brush an area affected by poison oak, poison ivy, jellyfish sting or sun burn.
For added benefit: Finish up your regular shower with three hot and cold cycles. Meaning: turning on the water as hot as you can take it for several seconds, then as cold as you can handle it, then hot, then cold for three cycles. End with either hot or cold whichever one makes you feel better. This will further invigorate the skin and stimulate blood circulation, bringing more blood to the outer layers of the epidermis. Or try a bath with Epsom salts or mineral-rich salts which also help encourage detoxification.
After getting out of the shower, pat your skin dry and massage it with pure plant oils such as jojoba, avocado, apricot, almond, sesame, coconut, cocoa butter or a combination of any of them .
Tap your brush to shake off dead skin cells. Each person should have their individual dry brush, just like a toothbrush! Keep your brush in a dry area away from steam and potential mildew. When washing your brush with soap and warm water, rinse well and make sure it is thoroughly dried in a sunny area before use.
Some people have more sensitive skin so dry brushing may feel uncomfortable at first but your skin will adjust. Other people find it invigorating and love it from day one.
TIPS AND PRECAUTIONS
Avoid brushing over the nipples and genitalia.
Avoid very sensitive skin, varicose veins, inflamed skin or painful rashes.
Avoid in an active cancer state or over enlarged lymph nodes.
Avoid brushing the abdominal area while pregnant
Stop brushing if an allergic reaction appears.
Use a plant bristle body brush. Plant bristle from coconut husks or from the agave plant, (commonly called tampico or sisal bristle) provides the best exfoliation and stimulation for the skin. They are the highest quality, are long lasting and don’t scratch the skin
When brushing the face, only use a brush specifically designed for the sensitive skin of the face.
Should you wish to learn more about these or other health coaching techniques we invite you to book a Health Consultation with The Health Coach Academy team or join our Health Coaching Program.
Results may individually vary. Information and statements made in articles of The Health Coach academy Blog are for education purposes only and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. The Health Coach academy does not provide medical advice, prescribe medication and treatment plans, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by The Health Coach academy are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. Should you have a medical condition or health concern, consult your physician.