For those of you that are new to this idea, you may be wondering why people have decided to start brushing their skin when they’re not even that hairy!
We have various cultures around the world to thank for the ritual of dry skin brushing such as:
-The Ancient Egyptians who were said to exfoliate with natural enzymes from sour milk and wine for soft, supple skin using the dry body brushing technique
-Ayurveda, from India uses dry brushing to stimulate circulation and blood flow, traditionally using raw silk or linen gloves
-Traditional Chinese dry brushing uses the dried fibres of a gourd fruit called silk squash, commonly known as a loofah. Externally, luffa can be used either alone or mixed with sesame oil to remove dead skin, stimulate circulation and is associated with the Lung, Stomach and Liver meridians.
A Finnish nutritionist and naturopath Dr. Paavo Airola helped popularise what we see today as dry skin brushing and promoted it’s ability to improve digestion and revitalise our organ systems.
There are various benefits associated with skin brushing.
Dry brushing unclogs pores in the exfoliation process. It increases blood circulation and promoting lymph flow/drainage. It can also make you feel good since it has the additional benefit of stimulating your nervous system, which can make you feel invigorated afterward, the way getting a massage often does.
Please note that I always recommend that when we stimulate detoxification and the elimination of toxins that the key elimination pathways (cells, blood, lymph, liver, bowels, kidneys) are working well. For example if you suffer from constipation and there are a lot of digestive issues, I don’t recommend daily skin brushing until this has improved. When you skin brush you are stimulating the lymph underneath and it’s movement towards the lymph nodes. If the liver, bowel and kidneys are already overworked then by pushing more toxicity towards them from the lymph it will create more stress so we need to be careful. Care should also be taken if you have certain skin conditions as the brushing could aggravate them.
For this reason, It is important with any health craze to understand your body and if it is right for you at this point in time and Nutritional therapy can help you through this process.
The best time to do it is just before a shower. Brushing the skin while it is dry allows you to exfoliate and increase blood circulation without robbing it of moisture.
Here is a link where you can purchase a skin brush for yourself.
Here is an example of the motions you can follow as part of the routine. The movement is helping the lymph and toxins towards the lymph nodes.