When people think of beauty, their first thought goes to cosmetics, serums, face creams, sometimes even injectables like Botox, right? It’s normal, we have been marketed in such a way to immediately think that this is the only way to see results in our skin, maintain the look of longevity and even feed a bit our vanity. However, what if I told you that you could support your skin and your body as a whole, on a deeper level, with just your hands a brush?
Enter in dry brushing.
First off, what is dry brushing? Dry brushing is a method in which one gently exfoliates the skin by using a bristled brush, moving it in the direction that promotes lymphatic drainage (outward toward the extremities in small increments). It’s advised to do it before one showers on dry skin and start at the feet, and move up the legs, then the arms, and eventually working to the mid section once or twice a day.
There are many benefits to this from helping our bodies improve lymph flow, which can then directly impact our detoxification system, which can also support our immune system, and of course the health of our skin. Below, we’ll get into the details of some of these points.
Improves Detoxification Through Lymph
Our lymph system is actually fluid that flows through our lymph vessels and lymph nodes. Its main function is to return fluid from tissues and back into central circulation in which is used in between cells. If lymph becomes stagnant, waste can accumulate. This is why if one ever has lymph problems, we may develop symptoms such as swelling, redness, or skin manifestations like acne, dermatitis, etc. By dry brushing, this can help move lymph fluid through tissues, to organs and then out through the body depending on which emunctory organ needs to be used (such as kidneys, bowels, or sweat glands).
As mentioned above, manually brushing lymph will help nudge things along, especially if we’re living a sedentary lifestyle. Moving our bodies, particularly through exercise is always preferable, but for those who want extra help, this is a great way to support our circulatory systems!
Can Help Exfoliate the Skin
Just like how you would exfoliate your face with an exfoliating scrub, dry brushing will also help remove dead skin off the body to then open up pores and oxygenate the skin.
Piggy backing off the last point related to our appearance more, dry brushing can help reduce the look of cellulite. The reason for this is because cellulite has many different root causes, and one of them being poor circulation and an accumulation of toxins in the body. People believe it’s because of just “too much fat”, but what many fail to realize is that fat has an affinity for many things such as heavy metals, endocrine disruptors, unstable fats like poly unsaturated fats and even hormones like estrogen. As they accumulate, they can hinder the elastin in our skin thus causing the look of cellulite to appear. Please note stretch marks and cellulite are two different things. It is completely normal to have some stretch marks due to puberty, pregnancy or growing in general. It can be hard to move accumulated toxins through the body and towards drainage pathways like our liver, or kidneys, hence the act of dry brushing can help usher them by improving circulation as mentioned before and lymph drainage.
Ever feel like you don’t take time for yourself? Just dedicate 10 minutes to sit on your bathroom floor (doesn’t matter what time of day) and just brush yourself up and down. Let yourself feel a bit pampered and present. The act of “petting” with animals has been shown to signal to them they are loved and cared for. As children, we sometimes will pet a child’s head for doing a good job. As for us, we don’t get that physical touch to remind reaffirm “we’re good”, so give it to yourself.
If you’ve been thinking of trying dry brushing, definitely check out Alitura's products here to help start moving that lymph!
Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Practitioner
Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner
Integrative Health Coach