Amidst a sea of exotic body scrubs, fragrant lotions, and high-tech spa treatments, the modest practice of dry body brushing may appear a little underwhelming. But although humble in its appearance, the bristle brush offers remarkable, lasting results that only take minutes to accomplish. If you have a body brush discarded in the back of your cupboard somewhere, it’s time to dust it off and enjoy the benefits it offers.
Stimulates the Lymphatic System
The lymphatic system is responsible for collecting, transporting to the blood, and eliminating the waste, our cells produce. All detoxification occurs first and foremost through the lymph. If the lymphatic system is congested, it can lead to a build-up of toxins, causing inflammation and a compromised immune system. By invigorating the skin, the practice of dry brushing boosts the lymphatic system and increases blood flow and circulation, helping your body to metabolize toxins more efficiently, making it a potent detoxification aid.
The process of running a firm, natural bristled brush over the body helps to loosen and shed dead skin cells, encourage new cell renewal and eliminate pesky ingrown hairs. After a few sessions; the skin's texture appears notably softer, smoother and suppler. As a bonus, by minimizing clogged pores, the skincare products applied after dry brushing tend to penetrate better, allowing for your skin to hydrate more efficiently.
The motion of dry brushing aids to soften hard fat deposits below the skin while distributing fat deposits more evenly, which in turn helps to minimize the appearance of cellulite. The technique is also said to help reduce cellulite by removing toxins that may break down connective tissue.
While one of the more immediate effects of dry brushing is plumper looking skin, the process goes below the surface, helping to support your digestion and organ function. In fact, many naturopathic doctors use dry brushing to help with bloating because massaging the lymph nodes helps the body shed excess water retention and toxins, leading to improved digestion and kidney function.
The quiet practice of dry brushing can be seen as a meditative ritual. The repetitive upward strokes soothe muscle tension, calm your mind, and relieve stress.
First, you'll need a high-quality dry brush, so make sure to look out for one with bristles made from natural materials (avoid synthetic brushes). Ideally, choose a brush with a long handle so you can reach your entire back and other hard-to-reach spots.
Start at your feet and ankles and brush upward using light but firm strokes. You always want to brush toward the heart because that is the way the lymph flows naturally. After you finish brushing your legs work your way up to your stomach, arms, and shoulders. Your skin may appear a little pink afterward, but it should never appear red or irritated—if it does, you need to lessen the pressure. Make sure to avoid sensitive areas such as open cuts, abrasions, and any patches of eczema or psoriasis.
Dry brushing is incredibly easy to incorporate into your routine and should be practiced daily for optimal results. Most experts recommend dry brushing in the morning before getting into a shower, rather than before bed because of its energizing qualities. An average dry brushing session may last between two and 20 minutes, depending on your schedule.
– Written by Sofia Sosunov