Buffing your skin into submission with a hard-bristled brush?
Seriously, it sounds like something you’d do to My Little Pony, not to your own skin… right?
Well, before you give it the complete brush off, read on.
Once you understand the benefits of this little beauty treat, you’ll soon have your clothes in one hand and a scrubber in the other.
First, skin science
- what is the largest organ in the body, responsible for 10 to 15% of total elimination?
- what organ receives a third of all the blood that is circulated in the body?
- when is the blood full of toxic materials, which organ will reflect this with problems?
- which organ is the last to receive nutrients, yet the first to show signs of imbalance or deficiency?
Why, your skin, of course.
It’s as major an organ as the heart, lungs, and kidneys and its primary function includes respiration, excretion, blood and lymph, immunity, and circulation.
In Chinese medicine, the skin is considered so important, it’s referred to as the third kidney that conducts vital Chi. Follow the link to find out 20 interesting facts about your skin.
A brief history of skin brushing
Throughout the centuries, weird and wonderful techniques of dry brushing have been practised.
In ancient Greece, athletes used strigils, specialised spoon-like skin scrapers to remove sweat and encourage circulation. Those Greeks never do anything normal.
Not to mention the Cherokee Indians, who would brush their bodies with dried corn cobs to enhance the health of their skin.
And Animals Do It
Higher land animals, especially wild boars, and deer, in free nature, are in the habit of lying down in small muddy swamps and pools and rubbing to and fro in the mud. After a while, they rub themselves against the earth, trees and other objects. The birds go to brooks or springs, and, by immersing their necks, throw water over their bodies…then they rub or scrub the body using their head, bill, and wing elbows.
But stop, don’t panic!
Were not for a minute, suggesting you resort to rolling around in the mud or stand in a field beating yourself with corn cobs or spoons for that matter because a simple bristled brush will suffice.
Dry brushing is a powerful elimination tool.
In our clinic we often recommend body brushing to our clients, it’s a wonderful exfoliator and detoxifier.
Your skin is a living, breathing organ that’s exposed to hundreds of pollutants every day, and just like every other major organ on your body, it requires daily cleansing and nutrients.
But we will be the first to admit, the more we got into the subject of dry brushing, the more we become genuinely amazed at what a powerful elimination tool for the lymphatic system it really is, especially when it comes to removing toxins, that have been hanging around in the body way too long.
- a natural exfoliator
- stimulates blood circulation
- helps to remove ingrown hairs
- increases nerve function throughout the skin organ
- allows for better absorption of your skincare products
- increases circulation in areas of greatest fat-concentration, rebalancing the fat distribution
- stimulates a sluggish lymphatic system, removing toxins from the body where waste products accumulate
The important lymphatic system
This is composed of lymph vessels, lymph nodes, and organs.
These lymph nodes are super important for your body’s defence system, removing microorganisms and other foreign substances, acting like tiny filtration systems that keep foreign bodies such as bacteria, from entering your bloodstream, stimulating your lymphatic system through skin brushing activates waste removal via your lymph nodes. Follow the link to find out more about lymph and detox.
For those of you keen to know the full correct lymph drainage technique, we have included this video:
What is the best technique?
A soft, natural-bristle brush with a long extended handle is ideal for dry brushing so that it can get to all those difficult to reach areas.
The best time to carry out the treatment is before you get in a shower and first thing in the morning, to move all those toxins through your lymph.
Doing it yourself is a simple technique, using light strokes in an upward motion that starts at your feet and moves up towards your heart, which is ideal for circulation. Similarly, when you start on your arms, begin at the hands and work upward. Use firm, small strokes upward, for the stomach, work in a clockwise direction with circular motions.
Any kind of brushing or exfoliation should be gentle and should never break the skin.
For those clients who are struggling with their weight or fluid retention, we recommend using a few drops of detoxifying essential oils in a light oil such as almond or olive oil – never use essential oils neat on your skin as they can irritate. By using essential oils it will help to improve your circulation and encourage detoxification.
A great blend to use as part of your dry brushing routine; includes lemon, fennel, juniper, black pepper, cypress, and thyme.
The naked truth
So a big question we are often asked in the clinic, is will dry brushing remove cellulite?
And the answer is a resounding no, which you can find out all about in our article, “Cellulite: Dispelling the Myths“.
But whilst topical treatment with skin brushing won’t cure cellulite, it will rid your skin of dead cells, improve its overall appearance, get circulation back on track, increase lymphatic flow, and boost your energy and immunity levels.
Armed with this information, I’m sure you’ll agree, this is one little beauty treatment that is guaranteed to put the zing back into your skin.