January 29 , 2018 / 9 minutes, 49 seconds

How to Dry Brush—and Why It’s So Potent

Author: Annette K. Scott

It’s fast, effective, numerous health benefits – what’s not to love about dry body brushing in the morning? A daily routine is absolutely necessary to bring radical change in body, mind, and consciousness. Routine helps to establish balance in one’s personal constitution. It also regularizes a person’s biological clock, aids digestion, absorption and assimilation, and generates self-esteem, discipline, peace, happiness, and longevity.

And yet, you still may be thinking, Why do I need to add something else to my already busy morning routine? Let me assure you, the extra five minutes this takes is well worth the investment.

Think back to your human biology class (minus the traumatizing exam) and answer these questions: What is the largest organ in the body? What is one of the most important elimination organs in the body, playing a large role in daily detoxification? What organ receives a third of all the blood that is circulated in the body? When the blood is full of toxic materials, what organ will reflect this with problems? What organ is the last to receive nutrients in the body, yet the first to shows signs of imbalance or deficiency?

The SKIN!

It’s invaluable in helping with so many issues, but especially detox. Indeed, the practice of brushing the skin with a soft but firm brush is essential during a detox, but the benefits of simply making it a permanent habit are even more important because the benefits of dry skin brushing include:

  • Increasing the circulation to the skin could possibly reduce the appearance of cellulite. Cellulite is toxic material accumulated in your body’s fat cells. So, rather than take drastic measures like liposuction, how about utilizing the dry skin brushing techniques to help break down unwanted toxins?
  • Dry body brushing helps shed dead skin cells (and encourages new cell renewal), which results in smoother and brighter skin. It can also help with any pesky ingrown hairs.
  • It assists in improving vascular blood circulation and lymphatic drainage. By releasing toxins, it encourages the body’s discharge of metabolic wastes so the body is able to run more effectively.
  • Dry skin brushing rejuvenates the nervous system by stimulating nerve endings in the skin (and it feels pretty great, too!).
  • It helps with muscle tone and gives you a more even distribution of fat deposits.
  • Dry skin brushing helps your skin to absorb nutrients by eliminating clogged pores.
  • And, in my experience, dry body brushing first thing in the morning can actually set up a perfect day! By doing something solely for yourself first thing in the morning, you can develop a beautiful follow-through effect, starting with a healthy breakfast – why ruin all the good work you just did?

Can you try dry body brushing at home?

Absolutely! This is the good news – you don’t have to book a pricey spa treatment to reap the benefits; this one can be done in your very own bathroom. All you need to do is purchase a natural bristle brush (not one made from nylon or synthetic materials). Here’s a picture of the one we sell at Kodawari!

You can also buy one with a long handle as that is also a plus, as it means you can reach all areas of the body but personally I prefer the one that I can hold in my hand.

In any case, once you purchase one putting it to use is pretty simple:

  • Start on dry skin before bathing.
  • Work in gentle circular, upward motions, then longer, smoother strokes.
  • Always begin at the ankles in upwards movements towards the heart – the lymphatic fluid flows through the body towards the heart, so it’s important that you brush in the same direction.
  • Your back is the only exception to the preceding rule; brush from the neck down to the lower back.
  • After you’ve finished with the ankles, move up to the lower legs, thighs, stomach, back and arms. Be cautious of softer and sensitive skin around the chest and breasts, and never brush over inflamed skin, sores, sun-burnt skin, or skin cancer.
  • Ensure you shower to wash away the dead skin cells and impurities.
  • Tip: alternating temperatures in the shower from hot to cold will further invigorate the skin and stimulate blood circulation, bring more blood to the outer layers of the skin.
  • Then follow it up with a moisturizer (personally, I’m a fan of coconut oil) to nourish the skin .

Illustrations by Louisa Cannell

Remember that stimulating the lymphatic system is at the core of all its benefits, which is why dry brushing is prescribed along with any detox program. The lymphatic system is responsible for collecting, transporting to the blood, and eliminating the waste our cells produce. If the lymphatic system is congested, it can lead to a build-up of toxins, causing inflammation and illness. Dry brushing stimulates the lymphatic system as it stimulates and invigorates the skin and is one of those rare things that feels just as good when you do it yourself, and it’s incredibly easy to incorporate into your routine.

Just remember that most experts recommend dry brushing in the morning, rather than before bed because of its energizing qualities. It’s fantastic to do in conjunction with a sauna or steam, too. Give it a go for 30 consecutive days and your body will love you for it!

Dry brushing is invaluable in helping with so many issues, but especially detoxing. The practice of brushing the skin daily with a soft but firm brush is essential not only during a detox but everyday. It boosts circulation, sweeps away dead skin cells, stimulates the lymph nodes, improves digestion, improves the appearance of cellulite, and helps the cells and body in general remove waste. It also acts as a shot of espresso to your body! We recommend dry brushing in the morning, rather than before bed because of its energizing qualities.

Go the next step and add coconut oil to your dry brushing! And just in case, we’ve got the best coconut oil for you to add to your routine.

Dry brushing combined with coconut oil is one of the most popular methods for reducing the appearance of cellulite. After a hot shower, while the pores are still open, apply coconut oil head to toe. Start at your feet and brush upward towards the heart. The chest area is where the lymph system drains. Similarly, when you start on your arms, begin at the hands and work upward. Use firm, small strokes upwards, or work in a circular motion. For the stomach, work in a counterclockwise pattern. Harsh exfoliation is never the point; be sure not to press too hard, or use too-stiff of a brush. Choose medium soft bristles for your skin brush for gentleness – we don’t want to break the skin! And if you are looking for the best coconut oil to use…check out Conscious Coconut…we love them and we know you will too!

Thanks for reading! Looking forward to seeing you at the studio…In peace and with gratitude, Annette

 

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