Monday, May 31, 2010

Dry Brushing the Skin

The skin is the body's largest organ and is so important in the elimination of toxins that it is often referred to as the 3rd kidney (the lungs are #2). One of the best things we can do to keep the skin healthy is dry skin brushing.

More than 30 years ago, a Finnish doctor by the name of Paavo Airola prescribed this technique for his patients to detoxify, exfoliate and stimulate the skin. It is still widely used in spas and cancer treatment centers around the world.

There are many benefits of dry skin brushing, including:

* assists the lymphatic system by moving lymph
* improves circulation and strengthens immune system
* increases oxygenation
* increases cell renewal
* removes dead skin layers
* tightens the skin and improves texture (=softer skin)
* helps improve the appearance of cellulite
* aids in prevention of varicose veins
* detoxifies the entire body
* aids digestion
* invigorating and improves nervous system functions

You can get a good natural bristled dry skin brush at your local health food store or here.
I personally find the short handled brush to be the easiest to maneuver.
There are numerous detailed instructions available online. But basically, you want to start with the feet and legs, then arms and torso - always moving toward the heart, as this is the direction the lymph naturally flows. Use gentle pressure and avoid very sensitive areas and areas with broken skin. I like to do long, sweeping strokes, but some people prefer small circular motions. Either one is fine. But always go toward the heart. And skip the face. Too harsh. The whole process takes about five minutes (but you can do it twice as long if you're really into it), and is meant to be done prior to bathing. You want to wash all those loose dead skin cells off.
Dry brushing is best done in the morning, as it accelerates blood flow and has quite an invigorating effect. And it can be done as frequently as once per day. Also, remember to wash and air dry your brush regularly.
It feels great and is great for you. So brush that bod!

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