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  • Writer's pictureJulia

Dry Brushing

I’ve heard about dry brushing for a while, but have to admit I was a bit skeptical. The bristles are prickly and I wasn’t sure if I would like the feel! Curiosity got the best of me, and I bought a dry brush recently to test it out. I have to say I love it and it’s become part of my morning ritual!

Dry brushing is an Ayurvedic practice that uses a special bristled brush over your whole body to increase circulation and exfoliate your skin. Dry brushing in the winter is an amazing way to help brighten and rejuvenate your skin by buffing off dead skin cells. Because it stimulates sensory nerves, dry brushing can be energizing- it definitely wakes me up! Once you get the hang of it and get used to how the brush feels, the tingly sensation is kind of addictive. I now dry brush daily and love the way it makes my skin feel.

Be mindful when you hear grand claims that dry brushing strengthens your immune system function, breaks up fat cells, ‘detoxifies’ you or boosts digestion. It doesn’t- but it does exfoliate your skin and temporarily boosts circulation. Dry brushing likely increases the movement of stagnant lymph, but there’s no scientific evidence yet that dry brushing can drastically improve lymphatic drainage any better than our bodies already naturally can. Moving our bodies and contracting our muscles is what really helps move lymph back towards the heart naturally. However, dry brushing is harmless and the feel-good benefits are worth giving it a try!

We already have very efficient systems for detoxifying our blood and lymph and removing wastes and substances like environmental toxins using our major detoxification organs: our kidneys and liver.

The most important thing is to focus on supporting your detoxification organs through a healthy lifestyle, staying hydrated, maintaining good diet and exercise habits, and reducing your daily exposure to environmental toxins when you can. Dry brushing is an amazing tool to add into your daily self-care routine to boost circulation and exfoliate dry skin.

Here's how to do it:

If you don’t have a dry brush, you can buy a natural bristle brush online. I bought mine called “In the Buff” at Saje.

1. It’s pretty invigorating, so I like to dry brush in the morning. Do this right before you shower because you’ll be sloughing off dead skin cells.

2. Stand in your bath/shower. Dry brushing should be done in small upward, sweeping motions towards your heart, on bare, dry skin. Don't wet your brush either.

3. Start with your lower body, and do one leg at a time. Use small, upward sweeping motions to dry brush from your kneecap to the top and back of your thighs first. Then, sweep up your shins and calves to your kneecaps. Finally, sweep up the bottoms and tops of your feet, then up around your ankles, shins, calves and thighs.

4. Use the same motion to brush up your stomach, sides, and lower back too.

5. For your upper back, sweep the brush up and over your shoulder blades until you reach your collarbone.

6. Brush up the tops of your arms, followed by the lower part of your arms, and finally your hands. Once you brush up your hands, brush up your lower arm again, and then your upper arm again.

7. Avoid the delicate neck area and don’t brush on your face either, or over any areas that hurt.

*Avoid dry brushing if your skin is burned or irritated, if you have any open skin (like big cuts), sensitive skin, or any skin conditions like psoriasis.

Once you’re done dry brushing, take a bath or shower, and make sure to moisturize your skin using a natural moisturizer or oil, as your skin will readily absorb the product.

Keep following along at @aspoonfulofscience for more health and wellness, recipe ideas and lifestyle tips.

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