If you are on a wellness journey (and you probably are if you are reading this post), then detoxification is one of your goals. I am wary of extreme detox diets, oil liver cleanses, or some of the other methods I have read about; but I do like to incorporate simple practices into my routine to help out my liver and lymphatic system and support overall detoxification. One of the methods I use and have really come to love is dry brushing. Dry brushing is a very simple technique that only takes a few minutes before you shower to stimulate your lymphatic system, which is your body’s pathway for detoxification.
What are the benefits of dry brushing?
#1 Improves circulation – both blood and lymph. It is a tool you can use to help support your circulatory system. It encourages lymphatic drainage, which is helps your body to remove toxins.
#2 May help reduce cellulite. Dry brushing helps to break down the toxic material accumulation that causes cellulite. It may also help with distributing fat deposits more evenly and improving muscle tone.
#3 Exfoliates skin. Dry brushing helps to clear the skin by removing dead skin cells and clearing pores.
#4 Wakes up the nervous system. It stimulates your nerve endings and acts to invigorate your nervous system.
#5 Alertness. My personal experience is that it makes me feel more alert. I actually avoid dry brushing in the evening, because I will have trouble settling down for sleep.
What do you need to dry brush?
One of the things I love about dry brushing is that it cost me less than $5.00 to buy a brush, and I can dry brush anywhere, anytime. All you need to try it is a brush. You want one with very stiff bristles for it to work correctly. To show you the one I have, I went back in my Amazon account to when I first purchased it. It was in January 2014! I have been dry brushing (off and on) for almost three and half years with the same brush, and it is still in great shape! It is just a hand-held brush, but a brush with a long handle can be used too. Here is the brush I use:
Once you have a brush, then it is just a matter of learning the technique. Basically, you will be starting as far from your heart as possible and brushing towards your heart using quick strokes in one direction. Then, you will brush downward on your back, because that is how your lymphatic system flows and you want to stay within its normal pattern for best results.
How to dry brush step-by-step
Get naked, yep. Brush directly on skin using quick, short strokes in one direction. Repeat in the same spot a few times before moving to the next spot. Overlap as you move up your body. This will feel very invigorating, but when you first start out, it may be a little painful in sensitive areas. Be gentle in those areas; as you continue to dry brush you won’t be as sensitive and you will start to love it!
Brush the bottoms of feet, from toes to heel. Then, tops of feet, toes to heel. Do both feet.
Brush from ankles to mid-shin around each leg. Then, from mid-shin to knee around each leg. Knee to mid-thigh around each leg. Mid-thigh to hip around each leg.
Brush waist and bum spending extra time on any cellulite or fat deposits, always brushing upward. Then, stomach to chest. (Skip back for now.)
Hands & Arms
Brush top and bottom of both hands, finger tip to wrist. Then, wrist to elbow. And elbow to shoulder.
Chest & Neck
Brush across shoulders toward chest and heart. I like to brush from the outside to the inside of my armpits and breasts toward my heart (skip the nipples). You have a ton of lymph nodes in this area, so take some extra time here. Brush neck from chin downward toward heart, focus on area at the base of your ears.
Brush your back from top to bottom using the same short strokes.
When should you dry brush?
It is really up to you. You will be dry brushing naked, so the easiest time is before a shower or when you get dressed in the morning. The bonus of dry brushing before a shower is that you will wash away the dead skin cells or any other debris. If you are a morning shower-er, then that is perfect. If you are like me, and usually shower at night, then you may want to dry brush while dressing in the morning. Like I explained earlier, dry brushing makes me feel very alert, so I avoid it before bed. For best results, commit to doing it at least once a day for two weeks or a month and see how you feel. You can do it multiple times a day, if so inclined.
Do not dry brush over skin that is inflamed or broken.
After brushing, I feel rejuvenated and alert. It makes me feel very vibrant. I keep my brush on an S-hook hanging next to our towels in the bathroom. The brush itself is compact, making it perfect for RVers. I used to dry brush daily, and if I would skip a day or two in a row, my body actually missed it. Lately, I have not been as faithful in my dry brushing, which is probably why I am writing this post today – as a commitment to myself to get back on track. Lord knows I can use any detoxification I can get, and dry brushing literally feels so good that it is a no-brainer. The brush costs less than 5 dollars, the whole process takes less than 5 minutes, and the way it makes me feel is enough motivation to get this girl back on track! Hope you join me!