Have you heard about Dry Brushing yet?  It’s been getting some buzz recently in magazines and news programs as the method makes a comeback, even to “the rich and famous,” as a simple way to exfoliate your skin and get a glowing complexion.   There are several other health benefits to dry brushing that make it so worth it to add to your morning routine.

Dry brushing has a lengthy history, dating back many centuries.  And while dry brushing is commonly promoted today as a preventative method for dry skin and whole body exfoliation, leaving behind super soft new skin, there are many other health benefits as well:

Benefits of Dry Skin Brushing:

1. Diminishes the appearance of and eventually removes cellulite. (Cellulite is toxic!  Cellulite is toxic materials that are accumulated in your body’s fat cells as they are unable to be eliminated. Utilize the dry brushing techniques coupled with clean nutrition and balanced exercise. It will break down the unwelcome toxic body deposits and send them scurrying out of your body through your detox channels.)

2. Cleanses the lymphatic system to drain toxins into the colon and out of your body. (After a few days of dry brushing, you may notice gelatinous mucoid waste in your stool.  This is a good sign that your lymphs are clearing out!)

3. Removes dead skin layers to help improve skin texture and cell renewal.
4. Strengthens the immune system.
5. Stimulates the hormone and oil-producing glands, helping all body systems perform at peak efficiency.
6. Tightens the skin by increasing blood flow, preventing premature aging.
7. Tones the muscles and evenly distributes fat deposits.
8. Stimulates circulation, encouraging body to discharge waste.
9. Improves the function of the nervous system by stimulating the nerve endings in the skin.
10. Helps digestion and nutrient absorption.

11. AND an easy, inexpensive way to pamper yourself!

So how does this all happen?  As the body’s largest organ, the skin is responsible for eliminating about 1-2 pounds of waste every single day.  This means the skin is responsible for up to a quarter of the body’s ability to detoxify by getting rid of toxins through the sweat glands and pores.  Receiving 1/3 of the body’s blood circulation, the skin is the first place we see signs of illness, dis-ease, and lack of care when it is not stimulated properly.  Dry brushing the skin is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to awaken blood flow, massage the organs, stimulate nerve endings, mobilize fat, avoid water retention, and much more.  Over time the body functions at a higher level, just like after defragging your computer.  It’s cleaned out so it can work more optimally.

How to Dry Brush Your Skin

1. Purchase a natural, NONE synthetic, bristle brush.  I use this one.  Using a brush with a long handle, so that you are able to reach all areas of your body.

2. Dry brushing should be performed once a day, preferably first thing in the morning before taking a shower.  It should be performed on your dry, naked body.  If you are feeling ill, do it twice a day to aid in the healing process.

3. Begin brushing your skin in long sweeping strokes starting A) from the bottom of your feet upwards, or B) from the top of your head and face down downwards.  Sweep from the hands towards the shoulders, and on the torso in an upward direction.  Always brush towards the heart.  Try to brush several times in each area, over-lapping as you go.  Brush in a circular motion over your lymphs in the armpit area and groin area, and then continue to brush toward the heart.  This circular motion will massage the lymphs further and encourage the release of toxins.

Dry Brushing Chart

4. After brushing your skin, rinse off in the shower.   It is recommended to alternate temperatures in the shower from hot to cold.  This will further invigorate the skin and stimulate blood circulation, bringing more blood to the outer layers of the skin.  Proceed with washing your body as usual.  (Be sure you are not using toxic body care products as your skin will readily absorb the chemicals!  Visit ewg.org to search the toxicity level of your products.)

5. After getting out of the shower, dry off with a towel.  You may notice the first few times you implement dry brushing, skin may peel off your body during dry off.  This is normal (and GOOD!), simply rub all the dead skin cells away.

6.  Follow up your shower by massaging in a pure plant oil (such as coconut, olive, almond, or apricot oil) or a completely food-grade organic lotion (such as MiEssence Body Cream) to your skin.  Your skin will soak up these nutrients and your pores will say thank you!

A few things to remember:

  Clean your skin brush once every couple weeks with soap and water (I use this soap).  After rinsing, place skin brush in a sunny widow to dry and prevent mildew.  The sun will naturally kill any bacteria.  And be sure that each family member has their own personal dry brush, for sanitary reasons.

  Do not dry brush over skin rashes, sensitive areas, open wounds or cuts.  Let your body be your guide.  If it doesn’t feel right, don’t brush over that spot.

  Apply as much pressure as you’d like while dry brushing.  Start out light as you get used to how the brush feels (it will be coarse and feel rough at first).  Condition your skin over time and increase the pressure you apply as you can stand it.

  To begin to notice changes in your skin, it will take about 30 days of routine dry brushing.  For a full lymphatic cleanse and detox, it will take at least 3 months of daily dry brushing.  Keep it up from there — the results are worth it!

And that’s it!  It’s that simple to dry brush and reap all the health benefits!

Dr. David Schwartz, DC
Written by Dr. David Schwartz, DC at Triad Health Center.  Dr. Schwartz is a Webster Certified Corrective Care Chiropractor and expert in healing the body through true Functional Medicine.  Click to learn more about Corrective Chiropractic and Functional Medicine at Triad Health Center.  Listen to his health radio program live Saturdays at 11:30am on 94.5FM.

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