Detoxification is becoming more and more important as our cosmetics, food, land, water and air supplies are flooded with a growing number of toxic chemicals each year leading to cancer and other yucky things.
Dry brushing techniques have been practiced for thousands of years by the Japanese before their traditional hot baths, ancient Greek athletes before bathing after vigorous workouts, by the Cherokee and Comanche Indians, by Russians, Turks and Scandinavians and happens to be a very popular method of exfoliation and detoxification treatment done by spas and cancer treatment centers today.
Did you know that detoxifying services at a day spa can run anywhere from $60.00- $200.00 or more? At first, I was even a little apprehensive. My mom has done this for years and I thought it would scratch and hurt- but it actually feels good once you get used to it!
See for yourself…
Here’s An Offer You Can’t Refuse:
- It’s super-quick… takes about 5 minutes.
- It’s dirt cheap… a good natural bristle brush will run you about $10 bucks.
- Save $ on body scrubs (I used to be addicted to them too, I know)…
- They’re easy to find… most health food stores carry them, also available online.
- Don’t let this looooong post turn you away… it’s in way more detail than you need to know, but I wanted you to understand why it’s important to do.
Lessons You (and I) Probably Slept Through in Anatomy Class:
- Your skin is the largest organ of the human body and the most important organ in the elimination process- responsible for about 1/4 of the human body’s detoxification each day.
- Helps rid your body of toxins- which medicine considers one of the largest contributors to disease today.
- Our bodies are constantly perspiring and eliminate approx. 1-2 lbs (yes, pounds) of toxins per day through sweat… ummm…. ew. gross.
- New skin cells are continuously being created in a bottom layer and pushed to the top.
- 30-40 thousand skin cells from the top protective layer (The layer you can see) flake off per minute!
- Natural oil glands in skin act as a barrier against bugs, germs and foreign particles and become clogged from bath, body and cosmetic product build-up.
- The skin is aka our “third kidney” and receives 1/3 of all of the blood circulated in our bodies.
- Skin is last the last to receive nutrients in the body, yet the first to show signs of imbalance or deficiency.
- Lymph is part of the immune system and is made of white blood cells that bathe our cells delivering nutrients and removing excess waste.
- Many feel that the basis for lumps found in breast tissue are associated with congestion or blockage within the lymphatic system.
- Our bodies contain way more lymph than blood.
- Lymphatic fluid flows through a series of one-way valves; always towards your heart.
- Dry skin is a sign of detoxification.
- Skin actually breathes covering approx. 17 square feet of surface (when capillaries are dilated) giving it 6 x’s the capillary surface area of your lungs.
Health & Beauty Benefits:
- Removes cellulite by evenly distributing fat deposits (Yippieee)!
- Reduces the appearance of stretch marks (Woo-hoo).
- Prevents varicose veins (Yay)!
- Gets rid of body acne and ingrown hairs.
- Exfoliates dead skin cells and layers giving you glowing soft, supple skin.
- Prevents premature aging by tightening the skin.
- Tones muscles.
- Helps digestion by unclogging pores allowing nutrients to be absorbed.
- Cleanses the lymphatic system; all detox occurs first and foremost through the lymphatic system.
- Accelerates the clearing of toxins during cancer and other chronic illness treatments.
- Stimulates circulation which promotes healing.
- Strengthens the immune system, reducing the duration of infections or colds.
- Rejuvenates nerve endings in the skin and improves nervous system function.
- Stimulates hormones, sweat and oil-producing glands allowing peak performance for all body systems.
- Helps to reduce edema (water retention).
- Increases electromagnetic energy that permits you to feel invigorated and alive.
- The benefits are virtually endless!
What You Need:
- Dry natural fiber brush or loofah.
- Dry skin.
- Hydrotherapy afterwards (bath or shower) with soap to rinse away any impurities.
- Organic or natural plant-based moisturizer (please see my product reviews for ideas).
Rules, Tips, & Tricks Of The Trade:
- Brush your skin only when it’s completely dry… brushing wet skin stretches it.
- Always dry brush before a bath or shower to rinse-off the impurities as a result of the brushing.
- Think of it like a razor or a toothbrush… don’t share!
- Keep your brush near the shower so you get into the habit of using it- I hang mine in a cabinet in my bathroom.
- Don’t brush cuts, scrapes, rashes or sunburned skin.
- Be careful if you brush sensitive areas like your neck and chest before going out… you may look like a cat scratched you LOL.
- Check with you doctor if you have any type of cancer to make sure skin brushing is okay for you.
- Always brush in light, brisk and long sweeping motions- towards your heart.
- I prefer toe-to-head, but depending on who you talk to- you can also do head-to-toe.
- Light pressure on areas with thin skin, harder pressure on thick skin.
- Don’t brush your face- the brush is to rough (I use my Clarisonic Mia for that…).
- Brush preferably first thing in the morning.
- Twice a day if you’re sick.
- Some say to repeat each sweeping motion 7 x’s (not sure why though, I’m sure the method to the madness is more than just OCD LOL).
- Slight reddening of the skin (erythema) is normal- it’s the blood circulation responding to the skin brushing.
- Brownie Points if you finish your shower with 3 invigorating hot and cold cycles in 10-20 second intervals (meaning hot / cold – hot / cold – hot / cold or vice-versa).
The Basic Technique:
- Before you hop in the shower or the tub:
- Begin on the left side of your body with the tops of your feet (I use a natural pumice stone in the shower for the soles).
- Continue up your legs to your hips (I tend to concentrate more on areas with cellulite).
- Now, switch to your right leg…
- Use circular motions by your bikini area / groin.
- Don’t forget to brush your booty!
- Next, start with your left hand.
- Continue up your arm.
- Go to your right hand…
- And all the way up you right arm.
- Don’t forget your armpits!
- Use circular counter clock-wise motions on your tummy.
- Brush upwards from your lower back.
- Brush downwards from you neck and shoulders ( I go as high as my jaw line in the front/hair line in the back).
- Lightly brush your Ta-Ta’s in an upside-down letter “J” fashion from bottom to top around them and into the center of your chest (like the shape of a heart).
- Congrats… you are officially a Detoxed Diva!
- Now hop in the shower or take a nice long relaxing bath…
- Oh, and make sure you moisturize your new skin!
Brush Care and Maintenance:
- Soak your body brush in warm, mild soapy water at least once per week.
- Air dry it in a warm, open, sunny place near a window to prevent mildew (yuck)!
- Replace with a new one anywhere from 6 months – a year, or as soon as you notice wear.
Happy Brushing! xoxo