The skin is our largest organ, and it’s also one of the major elimination channels in the body.
But do you ever really think about taking care of your skin? We put toxic creams on our skin, we bath in water filled with toxins, we wear tight clothes with synthetic materials.
All of this leaves our skin is clogged up, unable to breath and all but inactive.
Another surprising factor in how healthy your skin is: stress.
Being stressed out, in fight or flight survival mode, pulls your blood flow away from your skin and to the muscles and brain, so that you can run away from that tiger/your boss/that asshole in the car behind you whose on your bumper.
We need to work on bringing our skin alive again.
Dry massage is an old, traditional practice Ayurvedic medicine called Garshana. We call it body brushing.
Body brushing is a simple, five-minutes-a-day detox method that you can easily slip into morning routine. It’s also a one-off cost of around $5 – so there’s really no excuse not to do it!
It’s what I call a supporting detox strategy – on it’s own it’s not going to change your life, but it’s a great little practice that can help the bigger support the bigger detox strategies your doing. And it only takes 5 minutes!
7 Benefits of Body Brushing
1. LET YOUR SKIN BREATH AGAIN
Body brushing is obviously good for exfoliation, getting rid of dead skin and encouraging new cell renewal.
It also helps to unclog pores and let your skin breath again – so your skin will look more alive and vibrant.
“Gentle dry brushing will slough off dead, dry skin, improving its appearance and allowing it to hydrate more efficiently when moisturizer is applied afterward,” – New York City dermatologist Francesca Fusco, M.D.
2. HELPS CLEARS UP SKIN PROBLEMS
It’s also said to help with scarring, skin pigmentation, keratosis pilaris (aka chicken skin – those red bumps on the back of the arms) and helps to get rid of ingrown hairs (those red bumps where you shave).
Obviously diet plays the biggest role in healing skin problems, but body brushing can help the problem.
3. STIMULATES THE LYMPHATIC SYSTEM
The lymph system is responsible for removing cellular waste products. We have 12 quarts of lymph fluid (compared to the 5 quarts of blood), but the lymph system has no pumping mechanism of it’s own, so it can easily become stagnant – which is not good for our health.
We need to keep the lymph system moving by things like moving, bouncing, deep breathing and body brushing.
Gently brush over your armpits and groin area to activate the lymphatic system – I usually spend a little more time brushing my armpits.
4. HELPS DETOXIFICATION
Body brushing activates waste removal via your lymph nodes – this helps get rid of extra water and toxins. Your lymph then transports the toxic waste into the blood for elimination through the liver.
Sweat is one of the ways that the body rids itself of toxins. If our skin is clogged up, our body can’t use the skin to eliminate toxins and instead will try to eliminate them through the liver and kidneys, putting even more burden on those already struggling organs.
5. INCREASES CIRCULATION
Brushing the skin boosts blood circulation to the skin – and increased blood circulation helps to remove toxins and waste, and bring nutrients to those areas.
6. RELAXES & CALMS
It’s calming, relaxing and reduces stress – and recent research shows the positive benefits of pleasant touch and stroking like that of body brushing on the central nervous system (a good excuse to make those you love rub your feet – it’s for your health!). (1)
7. INVIGORATES & ENERGIZES
Increasing circulation and getting your blood and lymph to pump is energising!
Don’t take it too seriously
Body brushing will not dramatically change your life – but it’s so cheap, so quick and so easy, that it’s worth adding to your routine. Things like coffee enemas and saunas are dramatically more effective, but they are more time consuming and scarier (and with saunas, more expensive)!
Be nice to yourself while you body brush! It can either be the perfect opportunity to carefully look over all the parts of your body that you hate, and point them out in your head. Or, you can use the opportunity to start NOT being a dick to yourself! Be nice!
Where to Buy a Body Brush
How to Body Brush
- Body brush in the morning on dry skin, before you shower. I usually throw it into my morning routine after I do the near infrared sauna, before I take a shower.
- Begin at the feet and work your way to the heart in upwards motions. Avoid the breast area.
- Brush the skin in long, light, sweeping strokes.
- On the back, brush upwards.
- Brush your face in a circular motion.
- Shower after to wash away any dead skin cells and toxic material.
- Moisturise with coconut oil after your shower or use nothing and let your skin breath!
Important: Don’t brush over sunburn, inflamed skin or skin cancers.
Cleaning Your Brush
Wash your brush once a week. A few drops of Dr. Bronners castile soap onto the bristles and use your hands to rub it around and create a lather, wash all the soap off under running water. Shake it to remove excess water, and hang somewhere to dry (I hang it on my towel rack).
That’s all there is to it! Easy peasy!
Have you tried body brushing before? Did you notice any benefits?