I did a post the other day on elderberry and how it was a good way to strengthen and support the immune system. Today’s post features another way to strengthen the immune system, plus it also stimulates the organs, aids overall detoxification and kidney function, breaks up cellulite, increases circulation and lymph flow, and makes the skin glow. Pretty good for a simple, economical routine that requires just a little of your time and a good natural-bristled brush!
Dry Skin Brushing:
Long used in Ayurveda, dry skin brushing is a powerful way of promoting detoxification through the skin externally. It’s simple to learn, inexpensive, and something you can easily do for yourself. The process involves using a special brush with firm, natural bristles, before you bathe or shower, while the skin is still dry (with wet skin the brushing action actually stretches the skin and doesn’t have the same effect).
Dry brushing not only helps with overall detoxification and cleansing, but also exfoliates dead skin cells, breaks up cellulite, opens the pores (which promotes the discharge of metabolic wastes), and encourages proper circulation and lymph drainage. It also increases cell renewal, helps digestion, and stimulates the glands. It accelerates the clearing of toxins, and may reduce the duration of an infection. All this serves to combat bacteria, tighten the skin, bring back a healthy glow, and makes the body more resilient. Pretty good for something that takes very little time or effort! Just be sure to always keep your brush dry, other than when you wash it every couple of weeks in warm water.
The technique I learned for dry brushing was to brush each area of skin once, with long, sweeping brush strokes (not a back and forth or overly vigorous motion), always moving toward the torso/heart. Start with the soles of the feet because the nerve endings there affect the entire body. Next brush the ankles, calves, and thighs, always moving up the leg toward the heart. Move to the buttocks, then across to the stomach, where you would use a circular, counter-clockwise motion. Then brush the palms, hands and arms, moving toward the heart and lymph nodes in the armpits.
How Often To Brush?
I originally read that you were supposed to do the brushing routine on a regular/daily basis, but later came across some information from The Robert Gray Intestinal Cleansing Program that made me think that may not necessarily be the case. Their instructions for how to brush were also a little different than what I’d learned. Here are their directions:
“Like the colon, the lymphatic system can contain stagnant waster matter. To feel the full benefit of the R G I C P (*Robert Gray Intestinal Cleansing Program), it is important to use skin brushing to stimulate and cleanse the lymphatic system. Once the colon is at least partially cleansed, it takes a few months of daily skin brushing to completely cleanse this system.
You should begin skin brushing at the same time you begin the program. Use a long-handled, bath-type brush with natural vegetable bristles. Keep this brush dry and do not use it for bathing.
When you perform skin brushing, your body should be dry, and you should move the brush once over every body surface except your face, using a clean sweeping motion. Do not use any back and forth motion, circular motion, scrubbing, or massaging. One clean sweep is all you need. Start brushing at your neck, and then move down your trunk, brushing generally in the direction of the lower abdomen. Also brush across the top of your shoulders and upper back, and brush up your arms, legs, and buttocks. Done properly, this technique takes about four or five minutes to perform and is very stimulating and invigorating.
You should practice skin brushing daily for a period of three months, no matter how long you take the intestinal cleansing products. Thereafter, since skin brushing, like intestinal cleanings, is subject to losing its effectiveness if performed over too long a continuous period, you should only perform skin brushing twice weekly, allowing three to four days between each brushing. It is best to always perform skin brushing on the same two days of every week.”
And here’s more information and tips for dry brushing from Carolanne, a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness coach at www.Thrive-Living.net…..
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.
Frequency — 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.
Brush type –– 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.
Method — 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.
As you can see, there is a variety of opinion on how and how often to dry brush. If you do a little research on the internet you’ll find even more versions of what you should do—some of them very elaborate and time consuming. So, as with anything, listen to your body and follow your own inner guidance as to what to do and how often.
Here’s a video by Dr Mindy Beck with some good information and fairly simple routine to follow:
Sold on the idea of dry brushing? Check out Vitacost.com for a natural-bristled brush at 42% off. If you are new to Vitacost and make your first purchase of $25 or more through the link on my webpage you will receive a $10 off coupon. And if you plan on shopping again after that, be sure to sign up for a free acct. at eBates.com, if you don’t already have one. That way you can use the eBates portal to shop at Vitacost (and 100s of other popular stores) and earn cash back on your purchases. Plus, eBates also offers some reward–I got a $10 gift card–when you place your first $25 order at a store through them. How does it get any better than that?!
p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts. Also check out my new website Evolution Made Easier and blog of the same name for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.
Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.