Health Benefits to Dry Brushing
I have had a lot of time to sit and think. And yes, I am worried about so many things. One of the things I am super worried about is winter. Now, I don’t know about you, but I have been shut in since March, which makes it almost 8 months now. We had a mild summer, which meant that I could at least go outside and feel the sun on my face, or go for a walk, or even, dare I say, have a socially distanced yerba mate round with a friend every now and then.
But, now the leaves are changing colors, it is getting cooler and darker earlier. I am a bit worried. I decided I needed a distraction. Something to think about and do that will take me through this winter. In addition to a few other things, I came up with an idea… why don’t I try some self-care things that I have always been curious about? What would happen if I did it all through winter and figured out if they worked for me. (I know… I am not saving the world with this one… it’s just helping me from going insane!)
My idea is to take three weird and wacky practices, do them throughout winter and then report back in the spring. What do you think? An experiment of sorts, a COVID LOCKDOWN experiment.
First up… Dry brushing.
This is something I have done on and off for years and love it. I don’t even know why. I think it is a measure of the difference in how my skin feels. But, now I want to see if it works for other things. You see, I am 55… ok, I am lying, I am 56… and I am starting to see the age creep up my skin. And, while I have seen it in my face for a decade now, I really hadn’t noticed my body. Now I am seeing some creping and I am horrified. So…. I am hoping that dry brushing will change that or at least get me through the winter pandemic months focused on something other than the mess that is going on out there. For a few minutes a day, I will have this!
Research on dry brushing shows that it helps with lymphatic drainage, circulation, exfoliation and texture of the skin.
What is dry brushing?
I was turned onto this decades ago by an ayurvedic teacher. It is a method of “exfoliating” the skin using a natural bristle body brush. It’s different from a regular body brush or sponge that are gentle on the skin… this is one that is a bit rougher. There is a certain order and technique to get the most benefits. For me, it always felt good and left my skin feeling and looking better.
What is interesting is that this is done on “dry” skin, thus the title, and BEFORE you shower or bathe. It is a pre-cleanse technique!
Starting with the soles of the feet, you hold the brush against your skin and “brush” in circular motions. Slowly you work up the leg and toward the heart, brushing in small circles. Then you do the other leg the same way. When you do the arms, you start on the palm and work your way up each arm.. If you have a brush with a long handle, you can do your back. Then the belly has an up and down motion, the chest in circles and the face too. To get more details, google dry brushing!
You always brush “towards” the heart on dry, unlotioned skin, not under water like a shower. That is something different.
Don’t forget to clean your dry brush once a week with soap and water. Let it dry in a sunlit area to prevent mildew from joining the party.
Miraculous Wonder Cure
While I have always found this a soothing habit, and temporarily beneficial to slough off dead skin, I was never sure if it had long term benefits or would work on more complex issues like creeping or even cellulite like the internet claims.
So, will it work?
This is a million-dollar question — does dry brushing actually do anything “healing” for the skin? I am going to do this until the summer and then report back. Anyone want to join me? If so, write in the comment section below, or feel free to message me. Let’s keep track of each other and then compare notes.
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