Want to have smooth, drool worthy, silky skin? Can’t get rid of cellulite? Have you ever tried dry brushing? This ancient technique, that only takes five minutes, is considered helpful for detoxification and supporting lymph flow, as well as balancing hormones and immune function.
Dry brushing is also known as an Ayurvedic practice called gharsana. It is commonly combined with drying and stimulating powdered herbs like trikatu (a blend of black pepper, long pepper, and ginger), triphala ( a blend of haritaki, bibhitaki, and amla fruits), or ginger to assist in unclogging pores, improving circulation and excreting toxins that get trapped beneath the skin.
Benefits of Dry Brushing
Our skin is our largest organ. We both detox and absorb through our skin. The job of our lymphatic system is to filter our blood and dispose of toxic and acidic waste. Without it, our tissue, organs, and cells would become overloaded with toxins. An unhealthy or sluggish lymph system could lead to a chronic fatigue, weakened immune system, bloating, aches and pains, cellulite, fibromyalgia, poor digestion, and so much more.
So the dry brushing is beneficial for:
- Unclogging the pores
- Balancing the immune function
- Balancing hormones
- Relaxing and stress relief
- Reducing cellulite
- Smooth and silky skin
Unclogging the Pores
Dr. Cynthia Thaik, MD, a Harvard-trained cardiologist says that over time, our pores can get clogged with pollutants, cosmetics, and dead skin cells. This causes the kidneys and liver to work really hard to get rid of impurities. By unclogging our skin’s pores dry brushing helps our skin absorb more nutrients, and promotes healthy skin.
Balancing the Immune Function
Dry brushing supports lymph flow and our lymphatic system which ultimately helps prevent you from getting sick by removing toxins from the body. This is essential to immune function.
When we get an infection like a wound, it stays localized to that area. That’s because the body uses lymph fluid to draw the virus or bacteria into a nearby lymph node, which is standing by with T and B cells. Those cells as part of our adaptive immune system are capable of adapting to address the specific infection rather than mount the generalized response you see from macrophages.
The lymphatic system helps to circulate hormones throughout the body, so if the lymph is stagnant it may not effectively get hormones where they need to be. Manual lymphatic drainage is a technique that supports lymph flow and sometimes is recommended by fertility experts for couples that are trying to conceive. (1)
Our body has two circulation systems – one is the cardiovascular system the other is the lymphatic system. While the job of the cardiovascular system is to pump blood, the lymphatic system collects blood that leaks out of vessels and returns it to its place. But the lymphatic system also has another job – it distributes hormones and immune factors while carrying away toxins and metabolic waste.
Relaxing and stress relief
Along with the other benefits of dry brushing is that it provides much needed natural stress relief. One study shows that whole body massage was effective in stabilizing vital signs of patients with acute coronary disorders and reducing anxiety. (2) Similar to massage, dry brushing helps you to relax but the best thing is that you can do it yourself.
Cellulite is toxic material accumulated in your body’s fat cells. Dry brushing is one of the most tested and tried methods of banishing cellulite. It does a fantastic job of increasing circulation and diminishing fat cells.
Everyone hates having cellulite, and it seems to be so hard to get rid of it. Cellulite is predominantly seen on the back of the arms, legs, stomach, and butt. It’s often caused by lack of circulation, weak collagen structure, fluid retention and increased body fat in addition to medical conditions, hormonal imbalances, poor diet, genetics, and toxicity.
While there are many unproven treatments, dry brushing may act as a natural remedy for cellulite by stimulating the cells and breaking down toxins from beneath the skin.
Smooth and silky skin
As we all get older dry brushing becomes necessary to remove those dead skin cells and help renew the skin so that you have a healthier skin and fresher appearance.
It’s important to exfoliate once or twice a week but do this gently so that you do not break down the skin’s protective layer.
How to Dry Brush
The most important is to implement the habit than to do it perfectly. Therefore try not to get too caught up in the specifics below.
- First, get yourself a natural body brush with a long, firm bristle.
- Ideally, first thing in the morning is the best time to do your body brushing. Do it by using circular, gentle movements as you brush towards your heart.
- Start with the bottom your feet and move toward your legs, then back, stomach, hands, and arms.
- You can spend some extra time in any areas you like to give some extra attention.
- Avoid any areas where your skin is thin, damaged or tender areas.
- After you have brushed your entire body bathe as you normally would. Pat your skin dry. Optionally you can apply a natural oil like coconut, olive, or rose hip oil to your entire body.
- Wash your brush regularly with warm water and a mild, natural soap. Rinse and leave it to air-dry.