Dry Brushing Your Skin

While at my Sister’s house on Christmas Eve this last year, I saw a woman whom I know, who looked fantastic. When I asked her what had she been doing to look so good, she said that she had been working with a nutritionist who had her on a strict diet, supplement regimen and she was dry brushing her skin every day. I had never heard of dry brushing before. She said she did it twice a day which took about 45 extra minutes to get ready in the morning.

When she first explained what it was, my first reaction was how self-indulgent. But I went home and did some research on it and was sufficiently intrigued to try it. I have been dry brushing for about a month now for only 5 minutes once a day before my shower and I can tell you it is a fantastic thing.

Below are seven benefits you can expect from dry brushing your skin:

1. Stimulates Your Lymphatic System
In your body, your lymphatic system is the system responsible for eliminating cellular waste products. Hundreds of miles of lymphatic tubules allow waste to be collected from your tissues and transported to your blood for elimination, a process referred to as lymphatic drainage.
When your lymphatic system is not working properly, waste and toxins can build up and make you sick. Lymphatic congestion is a major factor leading to inflammation and disease. By stimulating your lymphatic system and helping it release toxins, dry skin brushing is a powerful detoxification aid.

2. Exfoliation
Dry skin brushing removes dead dry skin, improving appearance, clearing your clogged pores, and allowing your skin to “breathe.”

3. Increases Circulation
When you dry brush your skin, it increases circulation to your skin, which encourages the elimination of metabolic waste.

4. Reduces Cellulite
Dry skin brushing may help to soften hard fat deposits below the skin while distributing fat deposits more evenly. This may help to diminish the appearance of cellulite.
Dry brushing is also said to help reduce cellulite by removing toxins that may break down connective tissue, although some believe the effect is temporary (and mostly a result of skin become more plump and swollen after brushing).

5. Stress Relief
The act of dry brushing has been described as meditative (especially if you do it in a quiet space) and may reduce muscle tension, calm your mind, and relieve stress. Many compare it to a light whole-body massage.

6. Improves Digestion and Kidney Function
Dry skin brushing may go even deeper, helping to support your digestion and organ function.

7. It’s Invigorating
I have become “addicted” to dry skin brushing (in a good way) because it simply feels so good. Along with glowing and tighter skin, I feel invigorated after a quick 5 minute session.

Dry Brushing your skin is very simple to do and there are many internet resources and YouTube videos to show you exactly how to do it.

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First you’ll need a high-quality dry brush. Look for one with bristles made from natural materials. They should feel stiff but not overly so. Ideally, choose a brush with a long handle so you can reach your entire back and other hard-to-reach spots.

Dry skin brushing should be done daily for best results, or even twice a day if you like. Try incorporating it into your normal daily routine, such as brushing before your morning shower and then again after work (avoid doing it too close to bedtime, as it may leave you feeling energized).

When brushing, always brush toward your heart, which is best for circulation and your lymphatic system. You can brush your entire body (including the soles of your feet). Start at your feet and work your way up your legs to your arms, chest, back, and stomach. Avoid brushing your face (unless you have a special brush designed for this delicate skin), your genitals, or any areas with irritations or abrasions (including varicose veins).

The pressure you apply while brushing your skin should be firm but not painful (avoid “scrubbing”). Your skin should be pink after a session (not red or irritated) and you can brush for as long (or as little) as you’d like. An average dry brushing session may last between two and 20 minutes.

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