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Skin Health & Dry Skin Brushing
Your skin is a sophisticated system of nerves, glands, and cells that protects your body from extreme temperatures. It contains densely packed nerve cells that act as messengers to your brain making interactions with the world around you meaningful. It also plays a crucial part in detoxification.
Because your body breathes and absorbs essential nutrients through your skin, clear skin makes it free to absorb oxygen and other nutrients into your body. This is where dry skin brushing becomes valuable. It has long been a part of Ayurveda’s cleansing philosophies. The benefits of dry skin brushing go beyond skin deep, offering whole-body benefits to your health. Let’s look at the benefits of this healthy system.
Stimulates Lymphatic System
The lymphatic system plays a vital role in elimination, helping to move toxins through the body. It also contributes to the strength of the body’s immune system by producing certain white blood cells and antibodies. When your lymphatic system is not working properly, waste and toxins can build up and make you sick. Lymphatic congestion is a major factor leading to inflammation and disease. By stimulating your lymphatic system and helping it release toxins, dry skin brushing is a powerful detoxification aid.
Dry skin brushing removes dead dry skin, improving appearance, clearing your clogged pores, and allowing your skin to "breathe."
When you dry brush your skin, it increases circulation to your skin, which encourages the elimination of metabolic waste.
Dry skin brushing may help to soften hard fat deposits below the skin while distributing fat deposits more evenly. This may help to diminish the appearance of cellulite.
Dry brushing is also said to help reduce cellulite by removing toxins that may break down connective tissue, although some believe the effect is temporary.
The act of dry brushing has been described as meditative (especially if you do it in a quiet space) and may reduce muscle tension, calm your mind, and relieve stress. Many compare it to a light whole-body massage.
Improves Digestion & Kidney Function
Dry skin brushing may go even deeper, helping to support your digestion and organ function. Many naturopathic doctors use dry brushing to help with bloating because massaging the lymph nodes helps the body shed excess water and toxins.
How to Do Dry Brushing
First you will need a high-quality dry brush. Look for one with bristles made from natural materials. They should feel stiff but not overly so. Ideally, choose a brush with a long handle so you can reach your entire back and other hard-to-reach spots.
Dry skin brushing should be done daily for best results, or even twice a day if you like. Try incorporating it into your normal daily routine, such as doing your brushing before your morning shower and then again after work (avoid doing it too close to bedtime, as it may leave you feeling energized).
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).
The pressure you apply while brushing your skin should be firm but not painful (avoid "scrubbing"). Your skin should be pink after a session (not red or irritated) and you can brush for as long as you would like. An average dry brushing session may last between two and 20 minutes.
Ensure you shower to wash away the dead skin cells and impurities. Alternating temperatures in the shower from hot to cold will further invigorate the skin and stimulate blood circulation, bring more blood to the outer layers of the skin. Then you may follow it up with a slick moisturizer to nourish the skin.
Benefits at a Glance
- Removes dead layers of skin and other outer impurities.
- Stimulates and increases blood circulation.
- Helps release fatty deposits under your skin’s surface.
- Assists the eliminative capacity of your body’s organs.
- Rejuvenates your cells.
- Strengthens your immune system.
- Increases muscle tone.
- Improves skin texture.
- Helps prevent premature ageing.