Did you know that your skin is actually your largest organ? And skin plays a large role in our ability to filter and prevent toxins from getting into our bodies, as well as a large role in helping to eliminate toxins. Unfortunately, we are constantly exposed to a growing number of chemicals and toxins through the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the the products we put on our bodies. While we can make choices to eat only organic, non-GMO food, or to use natural products on our skin, we cannot avoid all of the toxins in our environment. This is why it is important to have a few strategies in place to help our bodies to do what they do best: to detoxify naturally. Detoxification is a broad topic, and so for this post, I wanted to focus in on the role of dry brushing to help support detoxification.
HISTORY OF DRY BRUSHING
Dry brushing has been practiced for centuries, even noted in ancient cultures such as Japanese cultures, Aboriginal cultures and Native American cultures. It has been used for general health, beauty practices, as well as as a part of spiritual rituals.
WHY DRY BRUSH?
Dry brushing is a gentle, safe, and effective method of stimulating increased skin cell turnover, exfoliating, improving circulation through the skin, and improving circulation through the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is an organ that runs throughout the body, in similar pathways as your arteries and veins. The lymphatic system is designed to capture waste products from cells, environmental toxins, and pathogenic organisms and help move them through your body to be excreted.
Other benefits of dry brushing include softer, brighter skin, reduced acne, reduced appearance of cellulite, and improved energy. In some cases where swelling has occurred after a surgery or injury, dry brushing can help improve blood flow to the area and help reduce swelling and pain.
HOW TO DRY BRUSH
Dry brushing is performed with a clean, soft natural bristled brush typically made from horsehair or other ingredients. Ideally, the dry brush will also have a longer handle so that you can reach the back side of your body.
Before showering or bathing, use the brush on your skin, starting at the feet, and working your way gently up to the torso, abdomen and back, and then include your arms. Use long sweeping strokes on limbs, and use circular strokes on your abdomen and torso, as well as on your back. Keep the touch relatively gentle.
Immediately after brushing, shower or bathe, then apply a clean lotion or oil (my favorite is the Citrus Rosemary body oil from Beauty Counter). Dry brush once a day; or if this creates irritation or you have very sensitive skin, dry brush every few days or weekly as tolerated.
Dry brushing can also be used prior to using a sauna, infrared sauna, or epsom salt bath for enhanced detoxification benefits.
WHERE TO PURCHASE A DRY BRUSH?
One of my favorite brushes is the below Earth Therapeutics Pure palm Dry Brush. Soft, eco-friendly and affordable.
This dry brush set made by Spa Verde is a great choice for beginners. It includes a face brush as well, and a carrying bag for travel.
Do you suspect you may have difficulties with excess toxins? For more support with detoxification, dry brushing or other questions about how to help your body heal and be your healthiest, please give me a call at 303-210-6843.