It is often said that the skin is the largest organ within the body. But what other functions does the skin have aside from the obvious fact that it covers our body and protects our bodily organs? Did you know that the skin is sometimes called the third kidney? Yes, it is often called as such because one of the skin’s primary functions is the elimination of toxins. It is responsible for a quarter of the body’s detoxification process every single day. And one of the most efficient, quickest, and easiest ways to help your skin get rid of toxins from your body is through dry skin brushing.
What does the Dry Brush method involve?
The dry brush method for skin brushing is very simple. In fact, this practice has been exercised for thousands of years-from the ancient Greeks, to the Japanese, and the American Indians, where they used dry corn cobs to brush off dead cells of the skin from their body. There have been many variations all over the world and it has been used to detox the body. Among long lived individuals, an important aspect of their formula for longevity is dry skin brushing. It involves using a brush or any material that can slough off dead skin cells, and brushing your entire body.
You start brushing your feet, then upward your legs, then abdomen-always towards the direction of your heart-then down your arms, back, and neck. Avoid brushing your face since the skin here is very sensitive. Brush your body in a slow, circular motion. You do this before or after a shower and preferably in the morning, since toxins build up when we sleep. After brushing, it is recommended to do hydrotherapy-which involves drinking approximately eight glasses of water, (preferably filtered water). This assists in clearing away the toxins you’ve just released.
Tools Required for Dry Brushing
The best tool for dry brushing is a natural bristle brush with a long handle, so you can easily reach parts of your body. Other tools that you can use are loofah sponges, a soft pumice stone, washcloth, or even gloves.
How long should I use the Dry Brush method?
A good 5-10 minutes per day would be recommended for administering the dry brush method. Practice this 5-6 times per week to get quick results. However, do not rub your skin too much, or spend more time than what is required since this can cause irritation and can even make your skin vulnerable to bacteria.
Who can use the Dry Brush method technique?
Absolutely anyone can use the dry brush technique. However, if you have skin problems like severe acne, allergies, and other skin irritations, avoid brushing until the problem disappears. Seek the advice of your doctor if you are unsure.
Skin and the Lymphatic System
As mentioned earlier, the skin is the largest organ of the body. And all of us have some kind of routine to keep our body healthy-from bathing every day, to applying all kinds of lotions, creams, oils and powders. One of the best ways to detoxify and rejuvenate the skin is through dry brushing. Within a few days of brushing, you can immediately see the results in your glowing skin. By brushing, you are helping your body clear toxins from your lymphatic system as well as improve your circulation.
The lymphatic system is one of the body systems that is responsible for the elimination of toxins and acts as a body filter and keeps harmful bacteria at bay. As you brush your skin, blood circulation to that area is increased, and increased circulation enhances the flow of lymph through the skin. It improves the drainage of lymph in the skin, helping remove damaging toxins. A poor lymph flow is the reason for many health complaints like a poor immunity and fluid retention. When you have a fever, your lymph nodes are often inflamed. When you increase blood stimulation to an area of your skin, you’re actually unclogging those lymph fluids, which, in turn, makes you healthier.
How Dry Brushing assists in Body Detoxing and the Benefits
- Skin brushing is one way to detox the body and help improve the health of your kidneys and liver.
- By helping the skin get rid of toxins, you are actually reducing the load off your liver and kidneys. When you dry brush, and as you remove your skin’s dead cells, you are then making room for new and fresh skin cells to grow.
- Aside from the health benefits, you can also achieve glowing skin that’s much firmer. Increased blood flow to an area of your skin reduces the appearance of tired-looking skin, making you look younger.
- It can even remove cellulite, which makes it one of the best skin care methods to defy aging.
- In general, dry brushing helps improve your body get rid of waste and toxins, increase blood circulation, helps slow down skin aging, and even alleviates muscular tension and fluid retention. It is a powerful yet simple therapy that can impact the body positively.
Reasons for Dry Brushing
The many benefits mentioned above are good enough reasons for you to start dry brushing on a daily basis. It’s good for your health, for your appearance, it’s relaxing, and doesn’t cost you too much time and money. If you want a cleaner body and better skin, then dry brushing is definitely a must.
Brewer, S, The Total Detox Plan, Carlton Books, London, 2000, page 10
Harper, J, Natural Care Detox Handbook, Doring Kindersley Limited London, 2002
Krohn J, & Taylor F, Natural Detoxification, Hartley & Marks Publishers Inc. Vancouver, 2000