The Benefits of Dry Brushing

December 14, 2022

We all love soft supple skin that glows; but did you know skin health goes deeper? The vitality of your skin can affect your overall health. Dry brushing is a great way to stimulate circulation, aids in detoxification, lymphatic drainage, stimulates the nervous system and improves digestion.

The Benefits of Dry Brushing - Choose a Dry Brush

What Exactly is Dry Brushing?

This practice is a massage ritual that originates from India. Their holistic health care called Ayurveda has been functioning for 5,000 years and uses dry brushing to stimulate circulation and blood flow. Traditionally done with the use of raw silk or linen gloves, but many preferred a natural bristle brush.

In addition, the Ancient Egyptians, who were touted as pioneers of beauty rituals, used this particular method for glowing skin for over a thousand years. Egyptians loved to use natural enzymes such as sour milk and wine for supple soft skin.

Dry brushing uses a stiff bristled brush to massage your skin to manually exfoliate the dead skin cells which promotes lymphatic drainage. There is a certain technique that works especially well for stimulating the blood flow.

Aworthy note: those with inflamed skin, including eczema or psoriasis should avoid dry brushing these areas. Also avoid open wounds to prevent introducing unwanted bacteria to the wound.

How to Dry Brush

Finding the right brush for you

A long handled brush is useful to use especially for hard to reach areas such as your back. The right brush is definitely subjective. Look for a stiff bristled brush but not one that is too abrasive, we aren’t looking to scrub pots and pans! Bristled brush made from boar’s hair is recommended, and for those who are vegan; synthetic bristles are also a good choice.

Getting Ready

You will need to be fully nude for this massage, so it’s best to do this before a shower. A refreshing rinse will be needed especially since you’ll be removing dead skin. You could even stand in the shower to avoid the dead skin going everywhere.

The Benefits of Dry Brushing - The Massage Moves

The Massage Moves

Medium pressure is preferred – you want to feel something without over irritating your skin. Your first few times you may be more sensitive to this, but your body will soon adapt to the feeling.

Long strokes are the best because we are trying to move the lymph fluid, so a rhythmic but delicate motion is key. Pass over each section several times ensuring overlap of strokes for optimal stimulation. Areas around joints can take shorter and quicker strokes.

1. Start at your feet and move up your body

2. Take each leg in sections, starting at the top of your feet. Then the shins, the knee, and the thigh. On the back of the thigh, treat the butt as your thigh and continue the upward motion on the small of the back. *Remember we are trying to move the lymph fluid to the chest and torso*

3. Onto the stomach, you can choose to do big circular motions or long upward strokes. This is a preference for each.

4. Upper body, start with the backs of the hands, stroke towards the armpits and heart. Similar to your legs, brush both front and backs. Pay extra attention to the upper arms because of its close proximity to the lymph nodes.

5.To finish the front, be extra gentle on the neck and decolletage because the skin is more delicate. Instead of using the same bottom up method, we will use gentle strokes from the jawline down to the chest. You can go in a circle over your heart if you like, again for women be gentle with the sensitive skin around breasts.

6. For the back, it will be the opposite; strokes starting from the top down.

7. Afterward, take a shower to clean off the dead skin that you have just exfoliated during the dry brushing. Do not use scrubs or loofahs to shower, you’ve already done that!

8. Hydrate while your skin is still damp with high quality ingredients such as: honey, coconut oil, olive oil, shea butter, aloe, and avocado oil.

The key to getting the most out of this ritual is to keep it up! The more often it’s done the better

Francesca Quinn
Naturopathic Doctor Denver
(720) 310-0797
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