Top 5 Reasons to Dry Brush
One of the things I’ve been doing for my detox month on being ‘skin kind’ is dry brushing. This is not something I ever did before, although I’d heard plenty about it. As I do it more and learn more about it, I realize that I should have been dry brushing throughout my entire journey! Crickey! Dry brushing would have been especially helpful to my lymphatic system, one of the major bodily functions that help in detoxification.
For those of you who aren’t sure exactly what dry brushing (also known as skin brushing) is, let me describe it. Basically, you use a dense but supple brush like the ones in the picture to brush your skin when it is dry. You should always be brushing towards your heart to help your lymph flow in the right direction. I’ve attached a chart with the directions to help you out in case you need clarification. It is important to honour the directional travel of your lymph as the vessels can be sensitive. You want to work with your body, not against it.
When you first start to use the body brush, it can be a little painful if you have sensitive skin. Start with light, short strokes. Eventually you can work your way up to longer strokes, with more pressure behind them. If you are in pain, you are doing it too hard. You want to make this a habit, and doing things that don’t feel good is not the place to start if you can avoid it. In my research I’ve noted that there are some people who say they prefer circular motions when they dry brush. I’m not sure this would be as effective as long sweeping motions if you are dry brushing in order to help your lymph move back to your heart, but helpful as an exfoliation process alone.
Make sure that after you’ve used your brush a few times that you clean it. Rinse it with some warm water and soap. Even though you are just brushing your body with it, it can still get unhygienic after more than a few uses. Some might suggest to clean it after every use, but in my completely uneducated opinion, that seems like overkill. Unless of course you have some sort of rash or skin condition. In that case, you will definitely want to clean it after each use. You don’t want it to spread.
So, I’ve explained how to do it and touched briefly on some of the benefits, but here are your top 5 reasons to dry brush your skin:
1. Using a dry brush helps to slough off the dead skin on your body
This has a couple benefits to you. Firstly, it helps to keep your skin looking more radiant and young. Many people actually choose dry brushing over moisturizing. It is certainly a great way to cut down on the chemicals we are rubbing all over our bodies. Secondly, by removing the dead skin barrier, your body is more able to detoxify through your skin as you sweat.
2. Dry brushing helps your lymph to move through your system
Your lymphatic system is a highly valued member of your detoxification team. If you dry brush in a manner directionally compatible with your lymphatic system, it makes its job easier. Your lymph system will be able to transport toxins out of your body more quickly. The faster the better as far as toxic escape is concerned. Remember, your lymphatic system does not have its own pump. YOU are the pump, through exercise and activities like dry brushing, you move that lymph along allowing to collect and bring the toxins to the places in your body that will filter and expel them.
3. Dry brushing can boost your immunity
Your lymph system also transports some nutrients to where they are needed in your system and helps your immune systems to locate foreign or threatening particles. By helping your lymph system deliver the nutrients needed to the areas they are needed in, your body is better fed. Also, because your lymphatic system is so integral to the detection of foreign bodies, these threats will be found and dealt with much more quickly. There is even some suggestion that stimulating your lymph may help to clear cancerous cells.
4. Dry brushing stimulates hormone producing glands
Glands that produce hormones including your thyroid, parathyroid, ovaries, testes and adrenals are all positively stimulated by dry brushing. This can help you maintain or promote metabolic balance.
5. Dry brushing may help to reduce the appearance of cellulite
Some people agree on this one, some don’t. Basically, the dry brushing stimulates the muscles and tightens them to reduce the appearance of cellulite. I have read some articles that suggest it ‘disperses’ cellulite, but none that I would be willing to trust fully. I say if it can help reduce the appearance of it at all, that is great just in itself!
I’ve been dry brushing on a semi-regular basis since I started this month of my detox. I haven’t really noticed a huge difference yet, visually. However, I really feel like things start flowing after I’ve dry brushed. The feeling is nice and tingly!
Have you ever dry brushed? What did you like or dislike about it?
- Dry Brushing for Health (caringtouchspa.wordpress.com)
- Your Neglected Lymph System (rawlivingfoods.typepad.com)
- Skin Brushing (rawlivingfoods.typepad.com)
- Detox Series: SKIN and LYMPH (optimizedindividuals.com)