DRY BRUSHING BENEFITS
AND A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE
Article by Joanna Brown
When you go through the menu of services in any spa, you will often come across dry brushing. When you imagine that you will be scrubbing your skin with a dry brush much like the way you scratch your skin using your nails, this does not sound like a pampering experience. For someone who has experienced this technique of rejuvenating his or her skin, it is easy to understand why it can be addictive. Not only does the brush remove any dead skin from the surface of the skin, but it also stimulates the areas with cellulite to iron them out, while also supporting a healthy immune system.
This technique is so simple that much of what it is attributed to achieving seems like wishful thinking, right? Not quite! It is rather straightforward to understand the concept of how exfoliation works; since the dead skin is loosely hanging on the surface of the skin in flakes and chips, a simple sweep of the brush is enough to slough it off. What you will see afterwards is brighter skin that absorbs moisture much more readily when hydrated.
The light pressure of the brush as it sweeps gently over the skin is similar to the effect that massage has on the skin. When you observe a brush masseur in action, you will notice that the brush moves systematically. The strokes are intended to push lymph fluid into lymph nodes so that any waste that has been collected from around the body can be eliminated. This circulation of lymph fluid further awakens our immune system, causing it to circulate looking for invaders and cleanse our system, enhancing our overall health and wellness. Speeding up natural body processes and boosting circulation also helps to rejuvenate the skin and other organs.
Key benefits to your health.
Skin Exfoliation: No more spending time in the shower exfoliating using body scrubs. You can now have the luxury of silky smooth skin throughout the year and what is even better is that there is no accumulated cost associated with it, as you can easily learn the technique at home.
Detoxification: Stimulating the lymphatic system by brushing can aid in removing toxins from the body. Instead of swallowing concoctions that are said to purify the blood, why not take the less risky route of using bristles to sweep out harmful substances from the bloodstream.
Cellulite Reduction: Liposuction was previously thought to be the guaranteed method of removing excess fat deposits from the body; that is until dry brushing was found to be effective. Cellulite is simply the accumulation of toxic materials that have been trapped in the cells. The location on the body makes them sometimes difficult to remove by means of exercise and that is why localized therapy is preferred. There has been an ongoing debate on the effectiveness of dry brushing for cellulite removal, with some professionals doubting that the cellulite removed does not come back. Scientific research is yet to establish if what is considered to be healing is actually cell improvement and not merely swelling caused by brushing and pumping of blood in a single location.
Skin Decongestion: Have you been trying to feed your skin with topical vitamins and micronutrients to no avail? One of the reasons why absorption of nutrients through the skin is not effective is because most people do not unclog the pores of the skin. It has now been established that daily dry brushing of the skin allows the skin to breathe and easily absorb nutrients from products applied on the skin.
As with any other topical remedy, there are telltale signs that indicate that the technique is working. Most people say that their skin feels softer and smoother in just a single session. This is the effect, which most people are aiming for, but there are still some who report extra benefits such as an increase in physical energy, relief for acne and enhanced digestive performance.
How to Dry Brush: a Step-by-Step Guide
The tool you will be working with is a brush and you should try and get the best possible for the task ahead. Most health stores will have the quality of brushes suitable for dry brushing but you will need to select the bristle firmness you find appropriate for your skin type. The brush you get for this process should have a long handle so as to reach areas of the back. The effects of dry brushing, according to some people, are similar to a morning workout session. It is, therefore, advisable to do it early in the morning before getting into the shower. This advice comes from my personal experience and preference, but there is no harm in dry brushing at any other time of the day.
Here is the process when you are ready.
1 :: Remove your clothes and stand in a bathtub, or another surface that can catch the shedding flakes of skin.
2 :: Brushing should be started from the bottom by moving upwards towards the position of the heart. Following the ordering of the body systematically, you should start brushing from the feet moving towards the direction of the heart, then your stomach and lower back in short brushing movements upwards towards the heart as well, the arms the same way from fingertips to shoulders.
3 :: For the body parts above the heart, you are moving the brush in downward strokes still towards the heart. Neck, shoulders, chest and armpit areas are brushed inwards to the heart.
4 :: You should brush an area several times about 5-7 stokes, taking care not to miss a spot. Overlap the strokes to ensure continuity of the stimulation.
5 :: Be keen on reducing the pressure of the brush when dealing with sensitive areas like the chest. As you become more accustomed to the process, the skin will become less sensitive.
6 :: Having covered your entire skin surface, get in the shower and, if possible, alternate between hot and cold flashes of water. This helps to enhance circulation of blood for a healthier skin.
7 :: Immediately you are done with the shower, pat the skin with a towel or soft fiber fabric to soak up excess moisture. You then need to apply natural oil such as coconut so that the moisture on the skin will be locked in to prevent drying.
For best results, dry brush your skin twice a day in the first month of starting and then scale down to once a day. The brush accumulates dead skin which could render the bristles ineffective so it is best to clean the brush once a week and left to air dry to prevent the buildup of microorganisms.