2013 Wellness Challenge Week 30: Dry Brushing
In keeping with an Ayurvedic, detox-y theme, I decided to take on dry brushing last week as a way to keep my skin fresh and my circulatory system circulating.
Dry brushing is commonly used in Ayurvedic self-care rituals as a way to cleanse the skin of toxins, increase blood flow to the heart and exfoliate. It sounds exactly as it’s called – using a dry brush, you brush your body before hopping in a shower to wipe the dead skin cells away.
As the body’s largest organ, it has been estimated that the skin alone processes up to a pound of waste a day through sweat and the excretion of microscopic toxins. Most of us take good care of our face because that’s what people see every day, but the rest of our body deserves proper and regular maintenance as well, especially in the summer when we’re more prone to exposing our skin to the elements.
Regularly brushing the skin to rid it of dead skin cells and toxins is a great way to keep your largest organ functioning properly and looking smooth.
The Benefits of Dry Brushing
The benefits of dry brushing include:
- Increased circulation
- Increased stimulation of lymphatic drainage (this stimulate and strengthens the immune system and helps the body eliminate metabolic waste)
- Opens clogged pores to exfoliate the skin and removes more waste and dirt
- Firms up the skin and helps lessen the appearance of cellulite
Tips for starting your own dry brushing routine
- Make sure to invest in a dry brush that is made with soft, natural bristles rather than synthetic materials. (See below for a product recommendation)
- Start off brushing softly so as to avoid scratches and pain. Dry brushing does not hurt, but when you’re brushing dry bristles across your skin for the first time, you’ll feel it. Over time, you can increase pressure as you get used to the feeling.
- Move the brush in a counterclockwise motion up the skin starting from the extremeities and moving toward the heart.
- Use clockwise motions on your stomach only.
- Take a shower after you’re finished dry brushing to wash away the leftover dead skin.
- If you’re skin is super dry, consider first applying some oil or light lotion.
- Avoid brushing over skins, burns, rashes or any type of skin irritation.
Working a dry brushing ritual into your morning routine will greatly improve the health of your skin, but should help you feel refreshed and energized for your day as well because of the circulation benefits you’ll receive. The whole process only takes a minute or two, so it’s not something that you need to get up any earlier for.
You can purchase dry brushes online or at natural food stores. Consider getting one with a long handle so you can easily reach your back.
Dry brushing for physical, mental and emotional self-care
Dry brushing has lots of health benefits and is inexpensive and easy to start up. It doesn’t take much time, making it a natural shoo-in for a routine you can pick up immediately and continue for the rest of your life.
Beyond the health benefits, it’s a great way to get in touch with your body as well. Taking an extra minute in the morning to tune in with what’s going on, how you feel and taking a few deep breaths will fill up your energy stores to keep you going strong the whole day long.
Even though this was just a one-week challenge, this is definitely one of those rituals I’ll be adding into my daily routine forever.
Do you know someone who is always looking for new ways to stay healthy and balanced? Send them this article and let them know you were thinking of them.
The dry brush below from Amazon is a good option at a good price point.
This is an affiliate link which means if you buy from this link, I’ll get some money from it. Thanks 🙂
Image credit: Exotissimo Travel