Dry Brushing has Many Favorable Health Benefits
Some of the most important benefits are improved energy, a clear mind as well as increased lymphatic drainage and better circulation.
Before my healing I had never heard of dry brushing and, even when I started my healing journey, I really didn’t understand the profound benefits that dry brushing my body could give me. However, a few years into my health journey, when I started using my infrared sauna for deep healing of my root causes of my Hashimoto’s, including incorporating dry brushing into my routine, I was sold! I couldn’t believe how much better these two health tools made me feel!
The History of Dry Brushing
Interestingly, the health practice of dry brushing has been used in many ancient cultures including, Egyptians, Chinese, Turks and Scandanavians, ancient Greeks and Romans and the Finnish.
Dry brushing is especially known in Ayurveda health practices. This technique for improved lymphatic drainage has been used for about 5,000 years.
Healthy Lymphatic Drainage
When you are dealing with stagnation, low energy, chronic disease like Hashimoto’s, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Systemic Sclerosis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, depression and mood disorders, brain fog, eczema and even bacterial infections, it is critical to be sure your lymph is draining properly and consistently.
The lymph system is a primary way the body detoxes (or holds on to toxins to protect the body) by cleansing the interstitial fluid between the cells. It is a pre-filter for the liver.
A fascinating fact is that our lymphatic system does not have the ability to drain itself. There is no pump to drain the lymph nodes or lymphatic vessels. The lymph drains through the use of gravity when a person is moving and exercising using the skeletal muscles and through contraction of smooth muscle fibers. Lymph can also flow better by the movement of the lungs.
The Extreme Toxic Load We Bear Today
Since we humans are subjected to so many toxins starting with the industrial revolution and now into the digital age, so many adverse symptoms and diseases can appear because our bodies become overloaded.
Of course, the very first place we need to start to reduce toxins is by choosing whole, organic, unprocessed food. Then, we need to make sure our digestion is working properly and that our intestinal lining is optimally functioning. That way any toxins or chemicals we may inadvertently ingest can get quickly filtered out, rather than pass through the intestinal barrier.
Consequently, most people have intestinal permeability these days where their gut lining is not healthy and will not be the barrier it needs to be. The result is that toxins get through and overload the body. Thankfully, we have secondary defenses – including the lymphatic system. However, it can get bogged down and overloaded too. That’s why we need to come in and give it some help!
Dry Brushing for Healthy Lymphatic Drainage
Getting into the practice of dry brushing to manually move the lymph out of the lymphatic system and into the liver will significantly reduce symptoms of chronic illness. (1)
The process of dry brushing your body is a fairly simple tool to use that reaps big rewards.
Benefits of Dry Brushing:
- Immune System Boost
- Smoother Skin
- Glowing Skin
- Reduced Cellulite
- A Better Release of Toxins from the Lymphatic System
- Increased Liver Support
- Improved Circulation
- Reduced Chronic Illness Symptoms
- Better Energy
- Increased Cognitive Function
Supplies You’ll Need for Dry Brushing
You’ll want to get a stiff-bristled natural fiber (no plastic) handheld brush. There are small versions that just have the brush and there is a larger version that includes the brush and a longer handle to help you get the hard to reach places on your back.
Personally, I like the one with the long removable handle.
This is the one I own and have used for years now. It is sturdy, no bristles have fallen out and it gets the job done.
Another option which I have not tried but has gotten rave reviews is the ionic copper and zinc center dry brush. The copper and zinc help to produce oxygen on the skin due to the negative ions it creates. It has an electromagnetic quality to it. I’d like to invest in one of these to try.
That’s all you need to dry brush! How simple is that?
How to Dry Brush Your Body the Right Way
You can dry brush anytime. First thing in the morning is one of the best times. I LOVE to dry brush my body after I’ve spent time on my rebounder and gotten out of my infrared sauna during my morning routine. Dry Brushing after that further helps increase lymphatic drainage and detoxification in my body. I follow that up with hot/cold shower contrast therapy and I cannot tell you how good I feel the rest of the day due to that self-care.
The goal with dry brushing is to stimulate the lymph to flow and clear out stored toxins. To do this you need to dry brush a certain way.
Steps for Dry Brushing Properly:
- Working with long upward strokes toward your heart with a moderate amount of pressure on the skin.
- Start with the bottoms of your feet pulling upwards toward the heart.
- Do about 10 strokes on each section of the body.
- Work on the legs, groin (not into the too sensitive areas but there are A LOT of lymph nodes in the groin area), hips, buttocks, back, abdomen (lots of lymph in the small intestinal lining), pectoralis (for a man), skip actual breast tissue for a woman (too sensitive), underarms sweeping down toward the heart (lots of lymph nodes there), arms from hands to shoulders, and neck. You can work from the top down too (head to toes).
Special Things to Know About Dry Brushing
- The bristles of a dry brush are meant to be firm and coarse.
- Initially, it might feel too hard on your skin. Just apply lighter pressure until your skin gets used to a firmer pressure. You can even do fewer strokes in the beginning.
- Never do it on your skin if it hurts.
- Never dry brush over an open wound or on extremely sensitive skin.
- Though people can do this protocol every day, for those with sensitive skin, it’s probably best to work this into your routine 2-3 times a week.
If you notice some detoxification symptoms you can take a few activated charcoal capsules on an empty stomach. As they metabolize, they will help soak up any excess released toxins and reduce the load on your body. Also, be sure to stay hydrated drinking half your body weight in ounces of water to help flush out the toxins.
Have you tried dry brushing before? If not, are you ready to give it a shot? Let me know in the comments!