We brush our hair, our teeth, and even our pets — but not our skin?
In much the same way that brushing your teeth removes plaque, dry brushing cleanses the skin. This ancient Ayurvedic technique is gaining popularity again, and for good reason.
The skin is our largest organ, protecting our bodies from a myriad of impurities and bacteria. Dry brushing takes care of that organ by exfoliating the skin, removing impurities and clogged pores and stimulating circulation. By dry brushing your skin, you essentially clean out the toxins and impurities the skin has already eliminated from the body.
Dry brushing also stimulates the lymphatic system, which you may know best for it's illness-fighting lymph nodes. Lymph ducts are located all over the body and drain into the blood circulatory system just above the heart. This network of vessels in the lymphatic system acts as a filtration system throughout the body, cleaning up byproducts of metabolism, dead cells, and other waste material.
Our skin is also full of touch receptors, which makes dry brushing a real treat for the nervous system. Stimulating all of these nerves and receptors can even give your mood a happy boost.
Ready to give it a try? Follow these simple steps.
1. Use a fairly stiff brush with natural (not synthetic) bristles. You might want to stand in the shower to catch any dead skin that falls off your body.
2. Using light pressure, and avoiding cuts or sensitive areas, start brushing your skin. Start with the soles of your feet, brushing in a circular motion. Move up the legs, then do the hands and move up the arms. Do your back and abdomen last, again avoiding any irritated skin.
3. Brushing is best done before your daily bath or shower, when the skin is completely dry.
4. Follow the brushing with a warm shower.
Think of dry brushing as a way to take care of your body, brushing away all your stress and worries with the toxins and dead skin cells. Allow your mind to quiet, and focus your attention on giving yourself this loving attention to give your skin a healthy boost.
Photo credit: Christian Millan