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Dry Brushing and Its Benefits

loofahDry brushing is invigorating yet relaxing.  How is it performed?  A gentle body brush is moved in repeated motions on the skin.  Why on earth would someone want to do this?  Well, for one thing, it feels wonderful: sort of like a light-pressure massage.  Secondly, it’s stimulating: the body feels re-energized.  Nonetheless, there are more impressive reasons to make body brushing a part of your daily routine.  Here are a few.

  1. Circulation. Dry brushing increases circulation by stimulating blood flow.  When this takes place, toxins are more easily released.  Detoxification helps eliminate waste acids, and that’s a good thing.
  2. Tightening. Brushed skin eventually comes to take on a tighter appearance and enhanced texture because of increased blood flow and enhanced dead cell removal.  Even cellulite is believed to be improved.
  3. Muscle tone. Nerve endings are activated by the brushing process.  Because of this, muscle fibers become stimulated.  With continued use, better muscle tone may be realized.
  4. Immune system. Toxin release helps support a healthier immune system.

So, how would someone actually brush the skin?  The process is relatively easy, and once a certain level of proficiency is attained, it’s really quite simple.

First, a body brush (or loofah) is needed.  Ideally, it’s best to find a brush that has fairly soft bristles.  If a brush is too firm, it may hurt or scratch the skin.  Once your skin becomes acclimated to the brushing process, you might wish to go with a somewhat firmer brush.

Next, prepare your body by removing all clothing.  Begin by brushing the sole of one foot in light strokes (about six to seven times).  When done, brush the top of the foot, then the ankle, up the calf, and to the knee.  Use six to seven straight, sweeping strokes for each area.  Continue up the leg (front, sides, and back) until you reach the hip.  Repeat process with other leg.

When both legs are done, do the abdomen and torso.  The abdomen is an area where circular, counterclockwise movements should be used instead of straight strokes.  After the abdomen and torso have been covered, brush the back in an upwards fashion.  Progress to the shoulders and neck (do not brush the face).  The shoulders and neck should have straight, downward strokes (remember, brush in the direction of the heart).  Finally, finish with the arms.  Start with upward strokes on one palm, then the top of the hand, and eventually make your way up the entire arm: repeat the process with the other arm.  When you are done, it is best to shower or bathe to further encourage brushing benefits.  Afterwards, apply a plant-based moisturizer to your skin.  In addition, clean your brush with soapy water.

Key points to remember:

a)      Always brush in the direction of the heart.

b)      Allow each brushed area six to seven straight, upward strokes (in the case of the neck and shoulders, the strokes should be downward—in the case of the abdomen, the strokes should be counterclockwise).

c)      The skin must be dry, not wet, when brushing.

d)      All skin in targeted areas should be addressed (think 360).

Dry brushing?  It’s great!