Dry Skin Brushing
When I first heard about dry skin brushing (DSB) I was kind of skeptical about it. I mean, really, how does taking a brush that looks like horse brush (or at least what I always thought a horse brush to look like) and running it over your skin help anything besides sloughing off dead skin? But it is so much more than just skin care. When you think about it, our skin is like a gateway to the inside of our body. The pores allow passage through the skin both going in and coming out. Our skin is made up layers that contain nerves and glands that are like a defense system for our body. Our skin is crucial when it comes to good detoxification. However, if the skin is bogged down then it has hard time properly eliminating waste products from the body and then, here is the gross part, all of that waste stays in our body to be re-circulated (YUCK!). This is where dry skin brushing comes into play.
DSB can stimulate your lymphatic system. The lymph system is responsible for eliminating cellular waste from the body. If you were to look at a picture of the lymph system in the human body, you would be hard pressed to find where there wasn’t a “leg” of the lymph system. It is EVERYWHERE! When the lymph system is bogged down that is when we get sick, develop inflammation and/or disease. DSB also helps improve circulation to the skin, which helps with metabolic waste elimination.
DSB is an excellent way to exfoliate the skin, improving the appearance, unclogging pores which allow your skin to “breathe”. People have also found that by starting DSB it helps soften fat deposits below the skin surface, making cellulite appear evened out or less.
The methodical act of DSB has shown to lessen stress in some people. By regularly performing DSB it can reduce muscle tension, calm one’s mind, and relieve stress. Who couldn’t use a little stress relief?
Those who are addicted (yes, it does become an addiction, albeit a good addiction) to DSB swear that it is invigorating. I believe that while it can be invigorating to one person it may not be for another person. I usually do my DSB in the evening before my shower and find it more relaxing than invigorating. With that said I recommend you trying it out for yourself and see if it does one or the other or both for you.
So, I gave you all of the good things about DSB, but how the heck do you do it? Be patient, I’m getting there. First you want to get a good quality brush. You can find one online or at our office for under $20. The bristles should be made from natural materials and should feel stiff, but not overly so. Its best to get one with a long handle or you can get the ones like our office has that has a long removable handle. The long handle allows you to reach the “hard-to-reach” areas on your body.
For best results, DSB should be done daily. Some do it twice a day; I prefer to do it once a day right before my shower. That way if there are any dry skin cell stragglers you can wash them down the drain.
So, let’s start brushing! You want to begin at your feet (don’t forget to get the soles) and work your way up to your heart as that is the direction in which lymph flows in our bodies. Using firm pressure is best; however, make sure not to “scrub” the skin. You want to have a pink glow about your skin when you are done. Some prefer to use long strokes while others like to work their way up using short circular strokes. Try both and see what works best for you. Please note that you want to avoid DSB on the face, genitals, any abrasions, and varicose veins. The average brushing session can last anywhere from 2-20 minutes.
Most importantly take this time to help yourself be a healthier happier you. The cost and time are minimal for the great benefits that are reaped. If you have any questions about DSB, feel free to call, email, or stop by and ask me. I’m not an expert, but I can always find out the answer if I don’t already know it.
Jenny Poor, CNHP