The Health Benefits of Dry Brushing
The process of gently running a soft-bristle brush over dry, bare skin is known as dry brushing. When performed daily, dry brushing exfoliates dead skin cells on the body and also delivers some major benefits to your overall health:
- The skin is the body’s largest organ. It serves us well as a protective barrier, but, unfortunately, it also absorbs many of the toxins that come from the environment and today’s conventional beauty products (e.g., soaps and lotions), which contain harsh chemicals and drying agents. As waste builds up in our cells, the lymphatic system works overtime to rid the body of toxins, creating chronic inflammation in the body. Dry brushing is an excellent way to stimulate the lymph nodes into releasing waste, essentially helping the body to detoxify.
- Dry brushing increases circulation throughout the body, and better circulation helps to boost the immune system.
- The increase in circulation and release of toxins through the lymphatic system are also tied to a healthy digestive process.
- Dry brushing is a natural stress reliever. Gentle brushing stimulates the nerves under the skin, which in turn provides a calming effect on the nervous system and reduces stress hormones released by the body.
- Using small brush strokes all over the body not only feels invigorating but also works to smooth and tone the skin. Dry brushing can also help the appearance of cellulite because it may soften the hard fat deposits that make the skin look dimpled and uneven.
- Dry brushing cleans out pores and helps the skin breathe better, thus allowing your body to synthesize vitamin D more efficiently.
WFP’s Take-Home Advice
- We recommend dry brushing in the morning because of its energizing effects. Make this part of your daily routine and do it before you shower.
- Use a natural-bristle body brush made from either plant fibers or from natural boar bristles. The brush should have a blend of soft and firm bristles.
- Start at your feet, working all the way up your body towards your heart. Include your arms and hands (brushing upwards) and avoid delicate facial skin. Gently brush dry skin in small clockwise circular motions. (Watch this dry skin brushing technique.)
- Once finished, your dry-brushed skin will be thoroughly clean. When you shower, use a quality showerhead filter to ensure that your skin doesn’t absorb chlorine and other contaminates found in unfiltered tap water.
- Use soap in essential areas only (feet, groin-area, armpits, face) so that you don’t strip away the natural oils on your skin. These oils act as a natural defense against infection and are vital in helping the skin take in vitamin D.
- Apply natural skin products that are preservative-free and made with healthy “food-like” ingredients, such as aloe, coconut oil, and almond oil. The liver helps filter out harmful substances you ingest; however, topical skin products are absorbed into your bloodstream without the chance to be filtered by the liver, so it’s best to think of lotions and soaps in an edible-sense. If you’re feeding your body foods that are free of chemicals, be kind and do the same for your clean, healthy skin!
Sources and References:
Wright, C. (2014, October 15) Dry skin brushing can strengthen immunity, spark detoxification, and reverse the hands of time. naturalnews.com. Retrieved October 27, 2016 from http://www.naturalnews.com/047260_dry_skin_brushing_immune_system_detoxification.html
How to Heal Adrenals Through Dry Brushing and Lotion. Retrieved October 26, 2016 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doKUKdCGWDs
Vitamin D Council. What Is Vitamin D? vitamindcouncil.org. Retrieved October 31, 2016 from http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/what-is-vitamin-d/