Dry brushing is a simple habit that takes very little time and offers the benefits of smoother skin, better circulation and stimulates the lymphatic system, the body system which supports detoxification and immunity. You’ll find that skin brushing leaves the skin feeling fresh and you feeling invigorated, so it’s best to do it in the morning. Since it’s exfoliating, it’s great just before a shower or bath. If you have low blood pressure in the morning, this will kick start the system and give you a little extra energy, increasing overall circulation and cell oxygenation. It may even prevent cellulite formation. It further supports the venous return, helping prevent varicose veins and spider veins. I also do it because it’s a quick healthy habit that brings pep to my morning!
The general guidelines are to start at the tips of the extremities and work upwards towards the heart, brushing in small quick strokes. This is to support the action of the lymphatic vessels which begin in the extremities and return fluid back to the blood circulatory system near the heart, after cleansing fluid through the lymph nodes. So avoid brushing in the opposite direction!
Start the toes of one foot, working in short small strokes, up towards the knees and through the thighs to the hips and buttocks and lower back, then work along the opposite side. After the legs, continue with the arms, starting at the fingers and working your way upwards. one arm at a time. After the arms, move on to the abdomen making short circular motions around the whole abdomen, then the same with each breast take care to avoid the nipples and finally working downwards along the neck towards the heart. There is no need to brush the face as the skin is too sensitive for dry brushing.
If the skin is injured or suffers a skin rash, avoid this area, as skin brushing will irritate it. Dry brushing can support healthy veins, preventing spider veins and varicose veins, but if you already have sensitive or broken skin due to varicose veins, take care not to irritate the area and cause injury, otherwise there are no contraindications for dry brushing.
Purchasing a brush:
You will want to buy a brush with natural bristles made specifically for skin brushing, or use a loofa brush from your health food store. The brush should be gentle yet firm enough to produce a slight redness but not scratch the skin. A nail brush, even one with natural bristles, is too stiff. Avoid wetting the brush, which makes the bristles too soft for invigorating the skin, however, if you prefer a lighter brushing action, use a dry terry type face cloth or towel for extra sensitive skin.
Good circulation ensures cells and tissues are replenished with oxygen and nutrients, while removing waste and supporting detoxification of cells – but you’ll find dry brushing in the morning before a shower or bath is invigorating, just takes a minute or two and is easy to develop into a daily habit.