(Carolanne Wright for WakeUp World) Long used in Ayurveda, dry skin brushing is a powerful — yet exceptionally economical — healing therapy. Upon first glance, the practice may not seem like much. We may question how a quick session of brushing the skin can provide such impressive results as heightened immunity, reduction of cellulite and overall detoxification. As unlikely as it may seen, dry skin brushing delivers all of the above and more.
With this straightforward technique, you are on your way to glowing health, smooth skin and a happy lymphatic system — this last perk is especially important to keep immunity buzzing and your constitution robust. But how does it work?
When we brush the skin in an upward motion, not only are we removing surface toxins and dead skin cells, but we’re also stimulating the movement of lymphatic fluids — a secondary circulatory system that assists immunity by transporting white blood cells and removing waste. Since the lymph system doesn’t have a mechanism like the heart to keep fluid flowing, it needs to be manually encouraged through dry brushing, exercise, rebounding or yoga.
Skin brushing is also known for firming cellulite, thereby smoothing lumpy problem areas of the skin. However, don’t be fooled. The taming of cellulite isn’t simply a cosmetic concern, it’s also linked with a lower toxic load. Since cellulite is comprised of fatty toxic buildup, when we brush the skin, we are essentially helping dissolve these formations so they can be removed by the eliminatory channels of the body.
Beyond detoxification and promoting youthful skin, the practice also increases blood flow, improves muscle tone and tightens up sagging bits. On top of that, the production of hydrating oils is stimulated, further enhancing a healthy dermal surface. Dry skin brushing aids digestion as well as kidney function too.
Brush well and often
If you’re sold on the idea of dry brushing, here are a few tips to get you started.
You should try to brush your skin at least once per day, with each session lasting between 2 and 20 minutes. Before your morning shower is ideal. Otherwise, a brushing session at night might prove to be too stimulating and interfere with sound sleep.
Look for a natural, stiff-bristled brush with a long, attachable handle for reaching tricky areas like the back. Avoid synthetic bristles, as they tend to be overly harsh and can damage the skin.
Beginning with the feet, and moving up the legs, brush toward the heart. You want to use long, sweeping motions — not scrubbing or back and forth movements. And don’t brush so vigorously that the skin is red or irritated. You’re aiming for stimulation, not trauma. For the stomach area, brush counterclockwise. Next, focus on your backside with upward strokes. End the session with the hands, arms and chest. Avoid delicate areas like the face. Remember, both the skin and brush need to remain dry for the entire session. For maximum benefit, make sure to shower afterwards to remove dead skin cells and surface toxins.