Did you know that the skin is the largest organ in the body, and is responsible for one-fourth of the body’s detoxification each day? That makes it one of the most important elimination organs. Toxicity can gather beneath the skin’s surface from common use of improper pH levels in body soaps, skin creams and anti-perspirants, plus synthetic fibers worn next to the skin. Any one of them can contribute to a variety of skin problems and conditions.
Dry skin brushing is a good way to energize your body in the morning. It also boosts your immune system and helps correct and prevent illnesses, and increases circulation. This is important because your skin releases up to 2 pounds of toxins daily. Your liver, lungs and kidneys are also responsible for eliminating toxins and skin brushing reduces the toxic load of these other organs. In addition, dry brushing not only removes layers of dead skin and aids in unblocking pores, it enhances the function of the lymph system.
Between the cells in all tissues are minute channels where fluid collects. The fluid is called lymph. It is a colorless, odorless, absorbent substance that helps nourish the body by transporting various nutrients such as salts, minerals and proteins to all parts of the body. Lymph also collects the waste products generated by the cells of the body and turns them over to the blood. The blood then carries the toxins generated by cell metabolism to the lungs, kidneys, colon and skin for elimination.
When you do skin brushing, you help your lymph system to clean itself of the toxins that collect in the lymph glands. This process improves surface circulation on the skin and keeps the pores open, encouraging the body’s discharge of metabolic wastes and resulting in an improved ability to combat bacteria. A side benefit is that it helps your skin to look and feel healthier and more resilient.
The blood system has the heart to pump and keep it moving, but the lymph system has no help. Dry skin brushing breaks down lymph fluids that have thickened to a consistency like cottage cheese, especially as we grow older, or in chronically ill people. When the lymph fluid has a better flowing consistency, it can produce more white blood cells to help our bodies fight negative invaders as well as work more efficiently. Exercise, stretching, yoga, or some type of movement helps the lymph move and prevents it from getting too thick and clogged. Regular exercise and dry skin brushing prevents stagnation and accumulation of the waste products that can deposit in our muscles, organs and joints.
Dry skin brushing is best done first thing in the morning, and takes only 5-10 minutes. For best results, it should be done 5 or 6 days a week. Afterward, you’re ready for your shower. Mornings are best because toxins are released and build up during sleep. Dry skin brushing helps you feel alert, and by removing the dead skin cells and stimulating more blood and lymph flow and circulation, it will help the skin to produce more oils from the unclogged pores. Oil glands are free to release more of their protective and moisturizing oils.
Once a day is sufficient. You should avoid brushing over open or inflamed skin areas. You’ll need a ‘natural’ bristle brush with a long handle, and this can be found at most department and health food stores.
Skin brushing is done by brushing from the feet, up the legs, the back then the stomach and chest area. Always brush in the direction of the heart as lymph flows upward. When you reach the heart area, then brush down the arms, the underarms, then the back of the neck, the top of the chest (avoid brushing over the nipples), and finally very lightly on the sides of the neck in a downward motion.
The stiff natural vegetable fibers may seem too hard at first, but give yourself a week or two to get accustomed to dry skin brushing. You’ll find you get addicted to the energized feeling and clear mind you get from the process.
Summary of benefits:
- Your natural skin oils will now be able to coat your skin’s top layer and alleviate the dryness, plus moisturize your skin naturally. Great for the dry winter months.
- It reduces the need for body lotion.
- By dry brushing the entire body, it helps release toxins from the skin, reducing the stress on the liver, kidneys and colon, at the same time reducing body odor.
- Protects the skin with natural sun protection factors. Great for spring and summer.
- Helps eliminate fat deposits.
- Helps to create lymphatic flow and boosts the immune system.
- It is an excellent way to warm up before exercising. You will avoid pulling muscles.
- It will help prevent or eliminate arthritic acid stiffness in the joints.
Anything one can do to help eliminate toxins from the body has to have multiple health benefits, and dry skin brushing is a quick, easy and natural way to achieve that.