Did you know that your skin plays a major role in your body’s detoxification? It does.
Did you know that your skin reflects the overall health of your body? As an emunctory (an organ (as a kidney) or part of the body (as the skin) that carries off body wastes), issues on the inside often show up on the outside.
Dry skin brushing is a way to not only impact the aesthetic appearance of your skin, but a way to improve your overall health. These are just a few of the health benefits:
Lymphatic System Stimulation
Your lymphatic system is responsible for eliminating cellular waste products. Literally hundreds of miles of lymphatic tubules allow waste to be collected from your tissues and transported to your blood for elimination, a process referred to as lymphatic drainage.
When your lymphatic system is not working properly, waste and toxins can build up and make you sick. Swollen lymph nodes can definitely indicate a buildup, however you can have a congested lymphatic system without symptoms (remember that it takes some time for symptoms to appear). Lymphatic congestion is a major factor leading to inflammation and disease. Stimulating the lymphatic system to help it release toxins, dry skin brushing is a powerful aid to detoxification.
When you dry brush your skin, it increases circulation to your skin, which encourages the elimination of metabolic waste.
Dry skin brushing helps shed dead skin cells, which can help improve skin texture and cell renewal. It’s good to keep the process going by removing the dead skin daily. If you are seeing dead skin flakes on your clothes when you remove them, or are seeing patches of dryness building up dry skin brushing can help to break up the “log jam”.
Dry skin brushing has been described as meditative and may reduce muscle tension, calm your mind, and relieve stress. Many compare it to a light whole-body massage. People who engage in this self care ritual often call it “addictive”, it feels that good!
First you’ll need a good dry brush with bristles made from natural materials. The bristles should feel stiff, but not too stiff… this shouldn’t hurt. A brush with a long handle is a great idea, so you can reach your entire back and other hard-to-reach spots.
If you can find the time to do it, dry skin brushing ideally should be done daily for best results. Try incorporating it into your normal daily routine, such as doing your brushing before your morning shower. Be warned, brushing before bed may be too stimulating and keep you awake.
When brushing, always brush toward your heart, which is best for circulation and your lymphatic system. You can brush your entire body (including the soles of your feet). Start at your feet and work your way up your legs to your arms, chest, back, and stomach. Avoid brushing your face (unless you have a special brush designed for this delicate skin), your genitals, or any areas with irritations or abrasions (including varicose veins).
While brushing your skin, strokes should be firm but not painful (avoid “scrubbing”). Your skin should be pink after a session, but not red and irritated. Brush for as long (or as little) as you’d like. 5-10 minutes should be enough, though if you are being thorough it can take up to 15 minutes.
The biggest challenge is finding the time, but I encourage you to try. This can be really beneficial if you have been struggling with a cold that has hung on all winter. It is also a great way to begin a detox.
Good luck! Enjoy! Go get a brush!