SKIN BRUSHING – want to feel better faster?
Some interesting research has been done into what happens when the skin is stimulated by massage, such as skin brushing.
The effect on the internal workings of the body is much greater than previously realised. It has long been known that it stimulates the blood supply, but it also has a profoundly beneficial effect on the organs, muscles and the nervous system. The effect we are most interested in here, is the stimulation of the lymphatic system.
Our bodies are made of cells which have a limited life span. They die off and are continuously replaced by new cells. When the cells die, they are broken up into tiny parts by specialised organisms. These are then drawn into the lymph vessels where they are further broken down by the white corpuscles. This “house cleaning” process is continuous, but it can get stagnant, clogged up, and then problems can ensue.
The more efficiently the lymphatic system is working, the cleaner and better fed are the tissues it bathes. Drainage of the breast tissues is especially important. The breasts are external to the body so to speak, and subjected to restrictions and pressures by clothing which can inhibit lymphatic flow. This is the reason we address the need for bras to fit well.
The cells of our skin are also dying and being replaced all the time. If these dead cells are removed from the surface of the skin by gentle brushing, the skin can “breathe” more easily. The skin is the largest organ of elimination, and needs to be kept “clean”.
The most important benefit of dry skin brushing is to the breasts.
It can help to accelerate the flow of lymph through the tiny vessels, and into the main lymphatic drainage ducts. The lymphatic system is our waste removal system, so important to keep moving! From the large lymphatic vessels, the lymph is drawn into the bloodstream so that the toxins can be excreted through the kidneys. Inner cleanliness produced by dry skin brushing will show externally in the healthy glow of the skin, and in improved overall health.
WHY DO SKIN BRUSHING (or BODY BRUSHING)?
Skin brushing is well worth the short period of time it takes to do. Some authorities have suggested that just five minutes of skin brushing can be the equivalent of an extra half hour of exercise. If you do your exercise programme every other day, do the skin brushing routine on the days you do not do your usual exercises.
The SKIN BRUSHING essentials.
What sort of brush do I need?
Pure bristle brushes are fairly expensive, but they are really the only ones to use. Natural bristles do not scratch the skin. Cheaper brushes made of plastic or synthetic fibres may damage the surface of the skin which defeats one of the main objects – a healthier, clearer skin. If you can get one which has a wooden handle which you can attach and detach, you will find it better for doing your back. You should be able to find one at a health store.
After you have been skin brushing for some time, you may want to use a stiffer brush. Find one which has natural vegetable fibres, maybe coconut, which will last a long time. It is more important to get your skin well used to being brushed regularly before you try using stiffer types of brush.
When shall I do it?
To do dry skin brushing, your skin needs to be dry! Do not do it when you are hot and perspiring after exercise. If you are going to exercise as well, do the skin brushing first. It is probably best to do skin brushing just before you plan to have a bath or shower. Then when you have finished skin brushing, you can wash off the dusty waste matter you have loosened from the surface of the skin straight away. First thing in the morning is probably the preferred and easiest time.
Anytime is fine, but you may want to avoid doing it just before you go to bed, as it can be quite stimulating, and make it difficult for you to get to sleep. The important thing is that it becomes an enjoyable part of your programme of health care routine. Wash and air dry your brush once a week especially if you’re skin brushing 5-7 days a week.
How to do Skin Brushing
Only do skin brushing in one direction – towards the heart.
There are lots of different methods so don’t be too worried about which you choose.
- Start with the one side of the body and complete that side before finishing with the other side.
- Start with the lower body, do both legs and then do the arms and upper body.
- Start with the upper body (mix of short strokes on arms and then long strokes; and then short strokes at top of legs and then long strokes)
I like a mix of short and long strokes and found this great little home video on YouTube that was short and sweet. Many other videos were just too long and some didn’t include an actual demonstration (I’m visual so helps me to learn by seeing). I liked this one because it’s only 3 minutes and you’ll get the jist well before then!
Dry skin brushing benefits:
- eliminates cellulite,
- cleanses the lymphatic structure,
- eliminate dead skin coatings,
- makes the immune system stronger,
- stimulates the hormone and oil producing glands;
- tightens the skin to prevent untimely aging,
- makes the quality of your muscles better,
- stimulates circulation, enhances the performance of the nervous system,
- aids digestion and most of all, it is considered as the simplest and cheapest way of rejuvenating your skin.