Dry brushing your skin is an excellent way to clean and take care of your body. Brushing helps combat and prevent illness, increase energy and circulation, and recover from injuries. Skin brushing is also an excellent way to warm up before athletic events, yoga or any fitness activity.
Have you noticed when you exercise and have a good sweat going that if you don't shower within an hour or so, you start to feel bad? This is caused by the sweat and toxins being reabsorbed into the skin, and preventing the skin from breathing. However, if you shower soon after exercising, you feel better.
The skin is your largest elimination organ. It releases up to two pounds of toxins daily! Skin brushing removes toxins released by your skin and reduces the load on other elimination organs, such as the liver, lungs, and kidneys. Skin brushing boosts your immune system by stimulating the lymph system to produce more white blood cells. White blood cells help our bodies fight invasions from harmful diseases.
The lymph system plays a major role in eliminating waste materials from our bodies. We have three times more lymph fluid than blood (45 pints compared to 15 pints of blood). In older and chronically ill people, the lymph becomes thick like cottage cheese and doesn’t flow well. Skin brushing helps break down thick lymph fluids to a consistency closer to water. The thinner consistency circulates more easily to remove waste materials. However, the lymph system has no pump like the heart for the blood system.
We need to exercise, stretch, or perform some type of movement like yoga to help the lymph fluid circulate and prevent it from getting too thick and clogged. This prevents stagnation, settling, and accumulation of waste products in our muscles, organs, and joints which causes soreness, arthritis, poor muscle tone, cellulite, and poor blood circulation.
Skin brushing cleans the skin, but more thoroughly than with soap, and without disrupting the skin’s pH balance. In addition, this fast and simple technique accelerates the removal of toxins from the body in a natural way by stimulating the immune system, and increasing blood and lymph circulation. Increasing circulation also boosts your energy, which makes it a great way to start the day.
I recommend dry brushing the skin first thing in the morning. The morning is an excellent time to do it because toxins accumulate in the body during sleep. The dry brushing technique significantly increases blood and lymph circulation which helps eliminate these toxins, and makes you feel alert and awake. Men and women also notice they no longer need to use skin moisturizers when they brush regularly. Brushing helps bring new skin cells to the surface and unclogs the skin’s pores to improve skin breathing. This encourages oil glands to release more of the body’s natural protective and moisturizing oils. Dry brushing should take approximately 5-10 minutes a day, 5-6 times per week. Brushing can be done 2 times a day if you are on a general detoxification program, or to eliminate the effects of alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, or other bad habits. We only need soap for our underarm, rectal, genital and facial areas.
Brushing is always done dry, either before showering or before your morning exercise routine to warm up the muscles and prevent injuries. Skin brushing is done by starting from the feet and proceeding up the legs. Then do the back, the stomach and chest area. Always brush in the direction of the heart because lymph flows upwards. Once you reach the heart area, brush down the arms, the underarms, and the back of the neck. Finish with brushing the top of the chest, staying directly off the breast nipple, and finally very lightly on the sides of the neck in a downward motion. Look for a 'dry skin brush' made of natural vegetable fibers (as opposed to nylon or anything harsh). [Note: Avoid brushing over tumors, and open or inflamed skin areas.]
Give yourself one to two weeks to get accustomed to dry skin brushing. For many, the stiff natural vegetable fibers may seem too hard in the beginning. I have recommended skin brushing for years, and my clients enjoy to the energy boost, clearer mind and feeling of aliveness they experience.