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How to Dry Body Brush for Energy, Detoxification and Radiant Skin
By Emma-lee Strachan, Naturopath
Dry body brushing ? also called skin brushing - is one of the best ways to care for your skin. It helps to break up fatty deposits, aids in lymphatic drainage and detoxification, and stimulates circulation on top of the basic exfoliation.
Body brushing is often done in spas as part of detoxification and slimming treatments. The gentle massaging motion of the bristles has a beneficial effect on areas of cellulite, and it is an effective treatment for helping to eliminate toxins from the body. Most of us can?t manage to have a luxury spa treatment every week, let alone every few days to revitalise our body and mind, but it is easy to fit in 3-7 minutes of body brushing every morning for similar effects.
Stimulates blood flow to increase nutrient delivery to cells
improves lymph flow to carry toxins and waste products out of the body
Removes dry, dead skin cells
Encourages cells to regenerate
Results in smooth glowing skin
Stimulates production of sebum (oil), to nourish dry skin
Helps combat cellulite and fatty deposits
Increases energy and stimulates the body
More about lymph
The lymphatic system is like the circulatory system - the tubes (vessels) branch through all parts of the body like the arteries and veins that carry blood. Except that the lymphatic system carries a colourless liquid called ’lymph’.
As your blood circulates, fluid leaks out into the body tissues. This fluid is important because it carries ?food? to the cells and waste products back to the bloodstream. The leaked fluid drains into the lymph vessels, and is then carried to the main lymph nodes before continuing to the base of the neck, where it is emptied back into the bloodstream.
Lymph nodes act as filters that collect and destroy bacteria and viruses. The main lymph nodes are located in the groin, the armpits, the neck and the chest. When body brushing, always brush towards the lymph nodes finishing at the heart.
The lymphatic system has three interconnected functions: (1) removal of excess fluids from body tissues, (2) production of immune cells, to help fight bacteria, viruses and infections, and (3) absorption of fatty acids and subsequent transport of fat, to the circulatory system.
To get the most from body brushing, it is important to make sure you are doing it correctly. By simply adjusting the direction of your strokes you can have a big impact on the effects. Remember where the ducts are located, and always brush towards these, ending at the heart as this is where the fluid along with all the toxins, is finally pushed back into the circulatory system.
Make sure the room is warm. Find somewhere comfortable to sit so that you can easily reach your feet and lower legs.
1. Take the brush and begin with the sole of your right foot. Use firm, rhythmic strokes to cover the sole several times. Next, brush the top of your foot, brushing up towards your ankle. Then go on to your lower leg, making sure you cover the whole surface. Always brush in an upward direction, towards the heart.
Stand up and brush the area from your knee to the top of your thigh. Using long rhythmic strokes - make sure you cover the whole area several times. Brush your buttock area as far up as your waist. Then repeat the whole procedure on your left leg, starting again with the sole of your foot. Now, starting from the top of your buttocks and moving in an upward direction, brush the whole of your back several times all the way up to your shoulders.
Next, brush your right arm. Start with the palm of your hand, then move on to the back of your hand. Next, ensuring that the whole surface of your skin is brushed, brush from your wrist up to your elbow. Brush your upper arm, working from your elbow towards your shoulder, again covering the whole surface of your upper arm.
2. Repeat on your left side, starting with your hand. Then, very gently, brush your abdomen, brushing in a circle, always in a clockwise direction. Cover the area several times but with less pressure than on your arms and legs. If it feels uncomfortable, stop.
3. The neck and chest are sensitive areas, so, again, brush here very gently. Always work towards your heart. If the bristles are too hard on your neck, don’t brush here. Lastly, work on your face. Use a small, soft brush or a dry face towel and soften the pressure, as vigorous rubbing can stretch or otherwise damage the facial skin.
Overall it should take between 3-7 minutes to brush the entire body. It is great followed up with a body moisturiser.
Types of body brushes
When you first start dry body brushing, it is best to use a softer brush, and then as you get more used to the feel of it, you can move onto a brush with firmer bristles.
Brushes with natural bristles always feel good, most are made from sisal.
Brushes with long handles give easy reach to the back and feet without the need for excessive bending. Some have woven hand straps, good for a firm sweeping action and to reach small areas that are hard to manoeuvre in with the long handle.
Body brushing is a cheap and effective way to make you feel great and keep your skin looking radiant. Once you make it a habit, you will wonder what took you so long to start in the first place!
- Which is the best oil for hair growth and thickness?Thank you Emiliano for your comment. In this blog we are referring more to oils, more so than butters and while we agree with you Shea is an excellent emollient for hair, it's consistency is more buttery and it is used more as a leave-in remedy to smooth hair texture. We have suggested Coconut oil as it helps slow down hair loss by penetrating deep into your hair shaft to prevent protein loss, which in turn prevents breakage. When applied to your scalp, it simultaneously moisturises and removes build-up around your hair follicles to encourage hair growth and is one of base oils always used in Ayurveda for hair treatments. As this post is more focused for hair and not for skin, the comedogenic scale applies to skin/pores and not hair follicles. Thank you again for your feedback.
- Which is the best oil for hair growth and thickness?Hello Zu, yes hair loss can be very stressful and this in turn amplifies the cause almost.. Perhaps with Covid, your system may have been depleted of nutrients and fighting the virus can take its toll on your immune system, so sometimes our hair and skin suffer when we have been ill. We really believe in oils for scalp massage as the best way to revive the growth and help regenerate the follicles. It may be also worth at looking at internal supplements and making sure you are getting enough of omega oils, perhaps plant based such as nuts and seeds in your diet. For external oil treatment, would recommend the Really Good Hair oil which we create with Brahmi, this herb is known to help bring the scalp back to health and improve growth. Biotin is also a good vitamin to take as a supplement to help with hair growth so do look into that. So hope these tips will be helpful for you.
- Which is the best oil for hair growth and thickness?I, am very surprised that your article did not include Organic Shea Butter and that coconut oil, is your number one choice for hair growth and thickness. According to the comedogenic scale, coconut oil, has a rating of (4), on a scale from (0), to (5), on clogging your pores. Why would anyone put coconut oil, on their hair or skin knowing the pores will get clogged up. Shea Butter, on the other hand has a (0), rating on the comedogenic scale, which is great for dry hair and skin and won't clog up your pores.
- Which is the best oil for hair growth and thickness?Thank you for your very informative article. I suffered COVID in December, 2020, and in February I started experience extreme hair loss and all my hair jus falls like a person who is under going Chemo therapy. It's very depressing. Had to cut off all my hair and even the little that is left is falling off daily not sure what to do. Please suggest something.
- Carrot Oil for Face Hello :) You can use carrot oil only in small drops on your skin in the morning/during the day since it is highly potent. Carrot oil is rich in vitamins and is a very effective moisturiser. You can also mix a few drops of Carrot Oil with your favorite face cream. You can do that at least twice a week or include it in your daily skincare routine. Hope this helps.
- Carrot Oil for Face Can I use the carrot oil in the day time? Because I am using Vitamin c serum in the night. Please advise. Thanks