Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Self-Care: Dry Skin Brushing

Dry Skin Brushing has been used for hundreds of years to boost the lymph system and remove dead skin cells from the body without removing the protective oils. Stimulation of circulation and lymphatic system are 2 of the “hidden” benefits. Lymphatic fluid contains waste material, and when this system becomes sluggish the results can be seen in the form of cellulite, dull complexion and poor skin tone. The backup of toxins in the lymphatic fluid puts extra stress on the other organs responsible for elimination. When dead skin cells are removed, the skin can function more effectively as an eliminative organ. It speeds up the internal cleansing of the body and reduces the stress to kidneys, lungs, and colon, which also assists in the elimination of waste (our skin is the largest elimination organ we have). 

The technique of skin brushing is easy, yet important. Each stroke should be firm, yet gentle and always brush toward the heart (avoid rashes or broken skin).  It is okay to improvise for your own satisfaction, just remember to work toward your heart. Before the bath or shower, while you are dry, massage your body using a dry bath brush (don't wet it). Follow with a bath or shower to rinse away the dead cells leaving softer, smoother skin.

I start at my feet and with long strokes I work my way up covering all areas of my body.  The areas above my heart I start at the top of my neck and stroke downward - again toward my heart.  Take extra care when brushing under the armpits and upper thighs as this is an area where the lymphatic ducts become clogged.  Areas that should not be brushed are nipples, and genitals. Be gentle on the face – there are smaller brushes specific for the face.

Benefits:
 Tightens the skin and improves texture providing a firm, toned appearance
 Aids digestion
 Helps remove cellulite
 Stimulates circulation to the skin
 Increases oxygenation
 Increases cell renewal
 Drains and cleanses the entire lymphatic system
 Detoxifies the entire body
 Removes dead skin layers creating beautiful, glowing skin
 Strengthens the immune system
 Improves exchange between cells
 Reflexive stimulation of the glands
 Stimulates dry skin oil production

It is really worth the short time it takes.  I've seen and felt the benefits of regular dry skin brushing - my skin is soft, smooth, and I can feel my heart pumping and my blood flowing. 
What a lovely act of self-care you can do for yourself in just minutes a day.

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