I have personally known about body brushing, or dry brushing as it’s also known as for the past 4-5 years and have been doing it on and off for this period. Since i’ve started exercising regularly lately, i’ve also included body brushing as an essential part of my healthy agenda. I wanted to briefly go over the benefits of body brushing as i believe it’s so worthwhile being an inexpensive way to improve your health.
Our environment today is burdened with pollutants and contaminants that contribute to accumulated toxins within our bodies, not to mention the food we eat and the water we drink which are heavily sprayed and treated with numerous chemicals. Many of us don’t even think about what we put onto our skin, like soaps, creams and anti-perspirants that contain numerous unnatural ingredients and don’t usually consider how these can also affect our health and overall wellbeing. Over time we become so full of toxins that they begin to manifest in sickness and disease.
Getting Rid Of The Waste
The skin is the largest eliminative organ in the body and is responsible for one quarter of the body’s detoxification each day. Sweat is the waste product that secretes through the pores of the skin as your body rids itself of waste. But over time, the skin’s pores become clogged and less efficient. If the skin becomes inactive with the pores choked by millions of dead cells, then impurities will remain within the body. When this happens, other eliminative organs, mainly the kidneys and liver, will have to increase their labour and will eventually become overworked.
Your body also removes toxins through the lymphatic system. The lymph is the fluid that brings nutrients to our cells while removing waste. All detoxification occurs first and foremost through the lymph. The lymphatic system is like the circulatory system – the tubes (vessels) branch through all parts of the body like the arteries and veins that carry blood. Except that the lymphatic system carries a colourless liquid called ‘lymph’.
As your blood circulates, fluid leaks out into the body tissues. This fluid is important because it carries “food” to the cells and waste products back to the bloodstream. The leaked fluid drains into the lymph vessels, and is then carried to the main lymph nodes before continuing to the base of the neck, where it is emptied back into the bloodstream.
Lymph nodes act as filters that collect and destroy bacteria and viruses. The main lymph nodes are located in the groin, the armpits, the neck and the chest.
Our bodies contain far more lymph than blood, so you can see how important it is to keep it flowing. Unlike the blood, which has the heart to pump it, the lymphatic system is dependent upon outside forces such as exercise and massage for its circulation around the body. That’s why it is so important to get regular exercise.
Body Brushing Benefits
1. Removes cellulite and fatty deposits
2. Cleanses the lymphatic system
3. Removes dead skin layers
4. Strengthens the immune system
5. Stimulates the hormone and oil-producing glands
6. Tightens the skin preventing premature aging
7. Tones the muscles
8. Stimulates circulation
9. Improves the function of the nervous system
10. Helps digestion
11. Provides a gentle internal massage
12. Your skin will be softer, smoother and brighter.
How To Body Brush
- Always brush on dry, bare skin BEFORE showering or bathing. Body brushing will loosen dead skin cells that need to be washed away.
- Buy a firm, natural bristle body brush, preferably with a removable long handle to help brush hard to reach areas. I bought mine from Liz Earle.
- Always brush in firm strokes up towards the heart. Make sure you’re brushing in this direction only. Brush, lift up the brush and repeat. NEVER brush in both directions as you want the lymph to drain into the ducts (as explained above). Always brush towards these ducts, ending at the heart as this is where the fluid along with all the toxins, is finally pushed back into the circulatory system
- Take the brush and begin with the sole of your right foot. Use firm, rhythmic strokes to cover the sole several times. Next, brush the top of your foot, brushing up towards your ankle. Then go on to your lower leg, making sure you cover the whole surface. Always brush in an upward direction, towards the heart.
- Next, brush the area from your knee to the top of your thigh. Using long rhythmic strokes – make sure you cover the whole area several times.
- Brush your buttock area as far up as your waist.
- Then repeat the whole procedure on your left leg, starting again with the sole of your foot.
- Now, starting from the top of your buttocks and moving in an upward direction, brush the whole of your back several times all the way up to your shoulders.
- Next, brush your right arm. Start with the palm of your hand, then move on to the back of your hand. Ensuring that the whole surface of your skin is brushed, brush from your wrist up to your elbow.
- Brush your upper arm, working from your elbow towards your shoulder, again covering the whole surface of your upper arm.
- Repeat on your left side, starting with your hand.
- Then, very gently, brush your abdomen, brushing in a circle, always in a clockwise direction. Cover the area several times but with less pressure than on your arms and legs. If it feels uncomfortable, stop.
- The neck and chest are sensitive areas, so, again, brush here very gently. Always work towards your heart.
- If the bristles are too hard on your neck, don’t brush here.
- Lastly, work on your face. Use a small, soft brush or a dry face towel and soften the pressure, as vigorous rubbing can stretch or otherwise damage the facial skin.
Overall it should take between 3-7 minutes to brush the entire body.
Happy body brushing!!!!