Rich Travis, Staff Writer
Imagine one day in the future, telling your kids as they are running out the door in the morning… “STOP!!! Go brush your SKIN, right now or you’re not leaving this house!!” Sounds funny right? We’ve all heard it a million times growing up—regarding our teeth. Now they want us to brush our skin too? As scientific researchers of the human body continue to grow and make discoveries, new ideas are evolving, and one of them is “Skin Brushing.”
But perhaps it’s not a new idea at all, because dry skin brushing is said to have originated in India thousands of years ago as part of Ayurveda’s cleansing philosophies. Ayurveda is a system of traditional medicines, including meditation and yoga, believed by many to be the oldest healing science.
How Does It Work?
Your skin is an organ of elimination, just like your kidneys, liver and colon. It’s the largest organ of your body and it’s estimated that one-third of your body’s daily impurities are excreted through the skin. Dry skin brushing helps keep the pores clear and the skin active to assist the body in this cleansing process. If your skin becomes inactive, its ability to remove excess toxins is impaired. This places extra stress on other organs and on your body in general.
As we age, our bodies become less effective in shedding outer layers of dead skin cells. This build-up of dead skin can result in a thick, dry and somewhat leathery look, which is often common with more mature skin. As well as exfoliating this outer layer, dry skin brushing also stimulates the sweat and oil glands, providing more moisture for the skin. It also helps keep young skin fresh, vibrant and free of breakouts.
Because your body breathes and absorbs essential nutrients through your skin, regular dry brushing will leave your skin clear of excess debris so it’s free to absorb oxygen and other nutrients into your body.
It also stimulates your body from the outside in. It works to cleanse the whole system and is an effective treatment for many ailments. Accumulated waste products in the body are known to contribute to many illnesses as well as premature ageing. Dry skin brushing also increases blood circulation, which helps to contribute to healthier muscle tone and better distribution of fat deposits, also known to many as cellulite.
Maybe it’s time we started to treat our skin with the same respect and health consciousness as we do our mind and body. After all, it’s all connected. A healthy skin guideline might be to brush daily and never put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t eat.
5 Steps to Skin Brushing (by A dis- Ease free world)
- 1. Dry skin brushes have soft bristles, similar to a soft toothbrush. Make sure that your skin is dry. Doing your skin brushing first thing in the morning is an awesome idea, before you work out or shower.
- Always brush in an upward motion, starting at your feet, and working your way all the way up to your chest, where your heart is. This is because the main drainage points for your lymphatic system are right near your collar bones. So this is where you want to direct the flow.
- Brush in smooth, long strokes, or in circular motions. If you have areas of concentrated cellulite, you can stay and focus on this area. Skin brushing can help to bring fresh circulation to areas of store toxins (cellulite) and help to break them up.
- Use very gentle strokes on delicate skin like the skin on your breasts and upper chest.
- Remember to brush all surfaces of your skin on your body, including the bottoms of your feet, your whole back and your armpits, all towards your heart. If you choose to brush your face, do so very gently, or get a skin brush designed for that area.
For best results, skin brush every day.
5 Benefits of Dry Skin Brushing
1. Exfoliates Dead Skin
When in your teens and 20s, dry brushing isn’t necessary because the skin automatically renews itself. However, as you get older, it is helpful to exfoliate once or twice week to help renew the skin and remove those dead skin cells so that you have a fresher appearance and healthier skin.
It’s important to do this gently so that you do not tear the skin. You don’t want to break down the skin’s protective layer or cause irritation to sensitive skin, which could get infected. Exfoliating too much can also dehydrate the skin, which is that last thing you want to do. (3)
2. Stimulates the Lymphatic System
Because your skin helps to detoxify the body, it’s important to keep it healthy so that it can do its job. However, if your skin has too many toxins or dead skin cells, it may not be able to eliminate waste from your body as efficiently as needed.
Dry brushing your skin can help your lymphatic system, which has the job of removing toxins from the body and ultimately helps prevent you from getting sick. When inflammation builds up in the body, it can cause the body to struggle to fight off that inflammation. If the skin is healthy, it can help release those toxins so that the body is not having to work so hard to rid itself of them.
3. Reduces Cellulite
Everyone hates cellulite, and it seems to be so hard to lose. Cellulite is the appearance of cottage cheese skin predominantly seen on the legs, butt, stomach and back of the arms. It’s often caused by fluid retention, lack of circulation, weak collagen structure and increased body fat in addition to hormonal imbalances, medical conditions, genetics, poor diet and toxicity.
Cellulite is most common in adolescent and adult women, but men can have it, too. While there are many claims to treatments, dry brushing may help stimulate the cells and break down toxins from beneath the skin, which may act as a natural remedy for cellulite.
4. Unclogs Pores
Dr. Cynthia Thaik, MD, a Harvard-trained cardiologist and author of Your Vibrant Hearttells us that over time, your pores can get clogged with dead skin cells, pollutants and cosmetics. This causes the liver and kidneys to work really hard to get rid of impurities. Dry skin brushing unclogs your skin’s pores and helps your skin absorb more nutrients, which promotes healthy skin and allows those toxins to release a bit easier. (4)
5. Offers Stress Relief
Another benefit of dry brushing is that it’s similar to massage in decreasing stress, which is great for your health by eliminating anxiety. A study reported that whole body massage was effective in reducing anxiety and stabilizing vital signs of patients with acute coronary disorders. (5) Dry brushing is similar to massage in helping you to relax, yet is far cheaper since you can do it yourself.
Much like a hand massage, dry brushing can provide much needed natural stress relief. When you are less stressed, your body heals much faster from any disease-causing inflammation that it may be have.
About the Author
Rich Travis is a staff writer for ThyroidNation.com. Living with his wife and 2 children, he has a front row seat to the devastation thyroid disease can cause and offers an in-depth, up close and personal view of his experience. His wife of 18 years suffers from Hypothyroidism and was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Adrenal Fatigue in 2012. Seeking help, offering compassion and supporting cures for those that suffer, he is on a mission to educate the masses. Please follow him and Thyroid Nation on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Read more of his articles, here.