By Heather Newby
Until recently, I had never heard of dry brushing. But after hearing about over and over, I decided to do some of my own investigation. After doing some research I was amazed, and yet it came to me, “Duh Heather, your skin is the largest organ in the body and it allows toxins in and out of the body. Why not skin brushing!” It is probably one of the easiest ways to aid the body in detoxification on a daily basis!
Every day the skin accumulates up to a pound of dead skins cells eliminated from the body through the skin. As skin cells get closer to the outer surface of the body they lose their blood supply and die. Skin brushing is a very effective way to remove these dead skin cells.
The integumentary system is the organ system that protects the body from various kinds of damage, such as loss of water or abrasion from outside. The system includes the skin and its appendages (including hair and nails). The system has a variety of functions; it serves to waterproof, cushion, and protect the deeper tissues, eliminate waste, and regulate temperature, and is the attachment site for sensory receptors to detect pain, sensation, pressure, and temperature. The integumentary system also provides for vitamin D synthesis.
Some additional benefits to skin brushing:
- Helps to improve circulation
- Stimulates lymphatic drainage
- Firms the skin
- Improves brain function through increase circulation
- Gives you more energy
When you increase the lymphatic flow through skin brushing, it can help prevent the formation of cellulite. In addition to removing the old dead skin cells and the toxic debris within those cells, dry brushing initiates the development of new healthy skin cells.
How do I dry brush correctly?
First, it is important to find a brush with soft natural bristles. The brushes are typically available at a local health food store in the price range of $6 to $10. You may find one cheaper, but synthetic bristles often contain chemicals that are best to avoid.
In beginning, start with light, gentle brushing. Over time your skin will be able to handle brushing a little firmer. The strokes should move toward the heart. This will improve lymphatic flow back through the venous system towards the heart. When dry brushing the stomach, use a clockwise motion as this works with the natural digestive flow.
If the skin slightly pink after brushing that is fine, but it should not be red or sore. Avoid brushing over fresh wounds, burns and cuts or abrasions. The skin should be dry but not excessively dry when brushing. You can use coconut oil while brushing if the skin is very dry, but be sure to clean the brush thoroughly after brushing. Shower immediately after brushing to remove the exfoliated skin cells.
You may notice that they feel energized after dry brushing. This is due to the elimination of toxins in the body which in turn improves circulation which increases energy levels. The skin feels refreshed. It glows and feels smoother after the whole process of the body exfoliation. Once you try it, you will be hooked!