What is Dry Skin Brushing and How Can it Help my Health?
It sounds a bit unusual to say the skin that covers the human body is actually an organ, but that is precisely what it is. Our skin is actually the largest organ we have and is responsible for the vital processes of absorption and elimination of various products. Absorbing vitamin D from the sun and eliminating toxins produced by our body, are two such examples. Skin also helps to protect all the internal components of our body from external threats such as bacteria.
Many people of course, are familiar with the concept of exfoliating the skin on their face. They have rightly been informed that exfoliatingfacial skin increases blood circulation to the face, removes dead skin cells that clog pores and allows new skin cells to come to the surface. All of which provides for brighter, clearer facial skin. All of the benefits of facial skin exfoliation, also hold true for exfoliation of the rest of our skin.
Dry Brushing Explained
So what exactly is dry skin brushing and how can it help an individual’s health? Dry brushing is the process of using a specially designed brush by gently sweeping it over dry skin. Dry skin brushing focuses on all the skin, starting with the toes and stopping just before the facial skin line. One of the main purposes of dry skin brushing is exfoliation, or removing dead skin cells. Dry skin brushing provides more exfoliation than what occurs with scrubbing wet skin because the friction level brushing dry skin is higher than when skin cells are moist.
Benefits of Dry Skin Brushing
Estimates are the body eliminates over a pound of waste per day. Some of this elimination occurs through showering, sweating and friction from clothing, but it isn’t difficult to understand that a fair amount of waste remains on our body, clogging our pores and hindering the body’s ability to properly eliminate waste.
Dry brushing helps improve waste product elimination by removing dead skin cells from pores, allowing our skin to breathe more freely. Removing dead skin cells from the skin’s surface helps improve the look and tone of the skin. It also allows any products applied to the skin to penetrate more deeply. Just as with facial skin, dry brushing helps to improve blood circulation to skin surfaces, bringing vital nutrients and allowing for faster elimination of waste products. Another important benefit of dry brushing is that it stimulates the lymphatic system throughout the body. This of course, increases toxin and waste removal handled by the lymph system.
Dry Brushing Tips
Those trying this technique should avoid using a brush that has synthetic bristles. Instead look for a brush with soft, natural bristles. Do not dry brush skin if there is any evidence of a rash. Nor should one brush burned, cut or wounded skin. Starting with the feet, gradually work your way to the chest area, brushing all skin with a steady, even brush stroke. Initially, a lighter touch is best until you determine how much pressure your skin can tolerate. Remember, the goal is gentle exfoliation, not scrubbing your skin until it is raw.
When brushing, it might be helpful to think of the heart and chest area as the dustpan that will collect all the wastes being removed from your skin. Continue using single brush strokes working toward the heart and chest region, with the exception of the stomach area where you should switch to a gentle, clockwise motion, reverting back to regular strokes upon reaching the chest and heart.
The entire drying brushing process need only take a minute or two. When finished, shower as usual to remove any residue. Clean the brush after every session, following the instructions recommended by the brush manufacturer. Ideally, dry brushing should be performed at least once a week, although some find the experience so refreshing they prefer to do it more often.
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