Dry brushing is exactly what is sounds like.
You may have been hearing about this buzzy self-care activity recently, but dry brushing has been practiced for centuries. In Ancient Indian Ayurveda, dry brushing is known as ‘garshana’ and was done every morning for 3 to 4 minutes before a bath to stimulate blood circulation. The Chinese used dried up fruit fibers to dry brush with. Greeks used metal spatulas on their hands, legs and general body to scrape off dead cells and flakes. The Japanese used loofas and rough cloths to dry brush their skin before taking traditional hot water baths and Native Americans such as the Cherokee Indians and Comanche Indians used clean dried corn cobs to brush off dead cells.
However, it has become trendy, so trendy in fact, I am now seeing it on spa menus. As with any other trend, you need to be able to decipher the noise from the real benefits, and there are many real benefits to dry brushing. No it will not help you lose weight (I read that somewhere) or cure your cellulite (and read this too, however, it can reduce the appearance of cellulite).
So why dry brush? What is the largest organ in the body? Think this is a trick question? It’s not. What is one of the most important elimination organs in the body, playing a large role in detoxification of your body? What organ receives a third of all the blood that is circulated in the body? What organ is the last to receive nutrients in the body, yet the first to show signs of imbalance or deficiency? Skin. The answer to ALL of these questions is skin. Therefore, since skin is such a vital part of detoxing your body, it is important we help it along.
The skin is referred to as our third kidney, meaning it helps eliminate waste from our body. If your colon doesn’t get all the toxins out, for some people, you will then show the effects in your skin in the form of breakouts. Dry brushing stimulates blood flow, sending toxin carryingblood straight to the kidneys and colon for elimination.
I swear by dry brushing and have sworn by for a long time, ever since a holistic doctor that I went to recommended it to me about 8 years ago. You see, I have dry skin, not just a little dry patch here and there, dry-as-the-sahara-desert skin. Unfrotuantley, if you are like me and have dry skin, then you know the pesky bumpiness and roughness that comes along with dry skin. Let me first tell you, crush brushing solved this problem, due to the manual daily exfoliation, it smoothed out my skin like no ones business. It allows the dry rough skin to be exfoliated to let all the lovely creams and oils I slather on daily to be absorbed by fresh skin, therefor actually being able to soften and moisturize (think about it, without exfoliating you are just moisturizing already dead cells that are sitting on top of your skin). I love dry brushing for the skin softening benefits alone, but there are so many more reasons to love.
5 Benefits of Dry Brushing
1. Lymphatic Support: The lymphatic system is a major part of the body’s immune system. It is made up of organs and lymph nodes, ducts and vessels that transport lymph throughout the body. Many of these lymph vessels run just below the skin and fans of dry brushing say that brushing the skin regularly helps stimulate the normal lymph flow within the body and help the body detoxify itself naturally.
2. Exfoliation: This benefit is often noticed the first time a person dry brushes. The process of running a firm, natural bristled brush over the skin helps loosen and remove dead skin cells, naturally exfoliating skin. Dry brushing is one of the simplest and most natural ways to exfoliate skin.
3. Clean Pores: The added benefit of exfoliating the skin, is clearing oil, dirt and residue from the pores. By unclogging blocked pores, your skin will not only be able to breathe freely but also all the acne and black head causing gunk will be cleaned out. You can also dry brush your facial skin (I do this), using a specialized smaller gentler dry brush for the face. This is a great anti-aging tool and allows your serums and creams to soak in better as well.
4. Cellulite Help: Though the evidence is anecdotal, there are many accounts of people who claimed that regular dry brushing greatly helped the appearance of their cellulite. It is said that dry brushing tones the muscles and tissues under your skin by distributing fatty deposits evenly. I personally think that this is due to getting the blood flowing better under the skin.
5. Natural Energy Boost: I can’t explain why but dry brushing always gives me a natural energy boost. One theory is that because it increases circulation, it also increases energy.
6. Skin Softening: Stimulates oil glands, and smoothes and softens the skin
7. Anti-Aging: By increasing blood flow and circulation around the body, dry brushing will bring nutrient filled blood to each and every area under your skin, including collagen-rich tissue, feeding them with vital nutrients for healthy vibrant skin!
How to Dry Brush
If you are into the whole idea of dry brushing, make sure you brush toward the heart, starting at the feet and hands and brushing toward the chest.
Also, make sure you replace the brush every 6-12 months as the bristles will eventually wear out. I also recommend washing the brush every few weeks to remove dead skin cells.
Have you tried?