Thursday, July 25, 2013

All About Dry Brushing Skin: Pt 1

I've been dry brushing my skin for years now, sometimes very diligently, and sometimes a little haphazardly. It's an incredibly healthy habit and I wish I did it every single day, like exercising, drinking green juices, and all kinds of other healthy habits. I wish I could do them all, but somehow they just happen in fits and spurts. And when I need them most, like when I'm in some super busy time crunch, is usually when I do them the least. Go figure. And they end up on the next New Year's resolution list.  Again.

How I rationalize all of it is "hey, even doing them a little bit, or once in a while, is better than nothing." Which is true.  But doing them even more, or regularly, or daily even, is that much better. Dry skin brushing is especially like that. One look at you and people cannot help but notice that healthy glow. Hm, come to think of it, juicing does that too, so do both of them. You've heard that before - "just DO it."  Really.

So if you've never heard of Dry Skin Brushing, I'm going to start out by telling you what it's all about today.  And it's a huge amount of information, so tomorrow, I'll finish up with HOW to do it - the whole method and techniques section (yep, my first 2-parter, whee!).  

Even a few years ago, hardly any of the folks who came to my booth looking for body brushes (yes, I carry 2 styles - and we'll talk more about them tomorrow) knew anything about dry brushing, but now tons of people stop in looking specifically for a dry skin brush.  They've heard about it from friends, from their salon, from the internet or who knows where.  There is a lot more talking about it going on, but still room to get the full information out.  So we begin:

Amazing Skin Facts

Our skin is the largest and most important eliminative organ in the body and is responsible for one quarter of the body’s detoxification each day.

Our skin eliminates over one pound of waste acids each day for the average adult, most of it through the sweat glands.

Our skin receives one third of all the blood circulated through the body.  And although it is the last organ to receive nutrients in the body, it is one of the first places symptoms or signs of imbalances and deficiencies will appear.

A Simple & Natural Way to Healthier Skin

The practice of dry skin brushing is an age-old secret to great skin, but is relatively unknown to most people. With all the expensive and confusing skin care products and hypes out there, we think it's important to re-introduce a simple, easy, natural process that is not only a great way to maintain healthy skin, but also helps you to maintain a healthy body.

The ability of the skin to excrete toxins is the one of the most important ways to maintain health - and dry skin brushing is one of the easiest self-help methods available to anybody. Stimulation of the skin stimulates nerve beds within the skin structure that sets in motion natural healing processes throughout the entire body.

Your skin is the primary sign of an internally toxic body. As soon as your internal body becomes toxic, it spreads into your skin causing it to become irritated and itchy. There are numerous ports of elimination of the skin including your mouth, face, arm pits, the inside of your upper thigh region, feet, and toe nails. Did you know that body odor is an additional indicator of toxic build-up and is eradicated through the same channels?

Our skin is permeable or porous and can absorb toxins directly from the environment, while also absorbing virtually everything that comes in contact with it or is applied to it directly.  Skin brushing and its massaging action stimulates the body's automatic healing actions by bringing fresh blood supplies to its surface. The skin is also one of the best ways to stimulate the endocrine system, reaching all the glands very quickly. The instantaneous result from a brushing session is a feeling of increased physical well being, not the least of which is silky, smooth, beautiful skin that is hard to resist touching.

The Benefits Of Dry Skin Brushing

Detoxification is performed by a number of organs, glands and transportation systems including the skin, liver, kidneys, intestines, lungs, lymphatic system and mucous membranes. Dry brushing stimulates all of these organs of detoxification to function more efficiently which has a bonanza of health benefits for the body:

1) Dry brushing cleanses the lymphatic system. Lymph is part of our immune system and is made of white blood cells called lymphocytes and the interstitial fluid that bathes our cells, bringing them nutrients and removing waste. All detoxification occurs first and foremost through the lymph. Our bodies contain far more lymph than blood, so you can see how important this is.

2) Dry brushing strengthens the immune system. Dry skin brushing may reduce the duration of an infection and accelerate the clearing of toxins. It helps support the immune system during treatments for cancer and other chronic illnesses. By stimulating the lymph vessels to drain toxic mucoid matter into the organs of detoxification, we can purify the entire system. After several days of dry brushing, sometimes you may notice a gelatinous mucoid material in your stools. This is a normal sign that the intestinal tract is renewing itself.

3) Dry brushing stimulates circulation. Our skin breathes! But for most people this vital route of detoxification is operating below capacity because it is clogged with dead skin cells and the un-removed waste excreted through perspiration. Dry skin brushing increases circulation to skin, encouraging your body’s discharge of metabolic wastes. Increased blood flow begins entering the areas brushed and you will experience an increase in electromagnetic energy that helps you to feel energized and invigorated. By activating the circulation you also help prevent varicose veins.

4) Dry brushing helps reduce cellulite. Improving cellulite is one of the main reasons people look into dry brushing. Toxins are often trapped in the subcutaneous later of fat cells just beneath the skin which contributes to cellulite. Dry brushing is a cheap and non-invasive way to improve the appearance of your skin in addition to the many health benefits it provides. Instead of expensive liposuction surgery, try dry skin brushing coupled with an alkaline diet and exercise.

5) Dry brushing tightens and tones loose skin.  Women who have just given birth can use this technique to tighten loose skin and speed healing of stretch marks.  People who are currently on a weight loss journey, or have just lost a substantial amount of weight may find great benefits in a dry brushing regimen too.

6) Dry brushing removes dead skin layers. Dry skin brushing exfoliates skin, shedding dead skin cells which can help improve skin texture and cellular renewal. If exfoliation doesn't happen regularly, a buildup of dead skin cells can lead to eczema, psoriasis and dandruff, in addition to blocking the skin’s regular excretions like sweat.

7) Dry brushing stimulates hormone and oil glands, helping all of the body systems perform at peak efficiency. The skin is your body's largest organ. When not properly maintained, the elimination duties of the skin are forced on the kidneys. So, give your kidneys a break—keep your skin clean and rejuvenated. Bathe daily and dry brush beforehand to help stimulate blood flow to the surface so toxins can more readily escape.

8) Dry brushing tones the muscles. Dry skin brushing helps muscle tone by stimulating the nerve endings which causes the individual muscle fibers to activate and move. It also helps mobilize fat and helps to even out the distribution of fat deposits. This is a great technique for those with limited mobility.

Whew - that's a lot to take in. So that's why I'm going to take up the rest, all about the brushes and how to do it, tomorrow. And I'm also adding a new page (a link from the brush page, with a printable PDF version) to the web site. That way you can read about it again or refresh your memory all in once place while you're deciding on which brush to buy. Print the whole thing out too - so the instructions are at the ready. Let's get glowing!

Are you already a pro at dry skin brushing?  What success stories or hilarious escapades have you had with your dry brush in the shower? Share your tips and tricks with the rest of us in the comments below!