Dry Brushing: The Little Skin Routine, Making Big Changes
By: Christine Dale, BSN, RN, CLHRP
A little trivia question for you! What’s the most powerful substance, for healing a wound?
Give up? I’ll give you a hint. Every living person on the planet already has it!
Blood is the transportation system of the body, which brings healing, rejuvenation, and HEALTH! Blood brings oxygen and vital nutrients to our tissues, and removes toxins and wastes. Though this may seem like simple seventh grade science, it’s absolutely a basic truth! Don’t believe me? Ask someone with medical issues, such as diabetes or a chronic respiratory illness, how quickly their wounds heal. NOT quickly!
So, how does blood tie into dry brushing?
Among other beneficial processes, improving blood flow to an area, promotes quality collagen to be built. Remember that collagen is the protein needed, in our skin, to rebuild and repair! The collagen production that we hope to stimulate for anti-aging, is the exact same collagen needed to heal wounds! Regardless of our goal, we need blood for health! Therefore, if there is an area of the skin that has been damaged, aged, or comprised, we can have hope for rejuvenating this area, by stimulating blood flow!
Dry brushing is a simple, at-home procedure, we can do daily, to promote this wonderful healing process!
How is it done?
Begin with a few tools: -A dry brush (this is a specific type of brush; ordinary brushes can harm or be ineffective) -Essential oils
You can choose to perform dry brushing any time of day. Just remember to use quicker, more vigorous strokes at the start of your day, as opposed to slow, longer strokes, at the end of your day. (*I prefer to dry brush prior to showering, for better exfoliation!)
You can also choose to do the: whole body, face, and neck, or just individual sections.
After undressing the area, to be dry brushed, ensure that the skin is dry. Place only a drop or two of oil onto the bristles of the brush. Make contact with the skin. Remember, the purpose is to stimulate blood flow, so hard pressure is counterproductive and will tire your arm out more rapidly!
Begin swiping the dry brush across the skin, from the outermost point, working inward and closer to the body. Try to work your strokes towards the heart. At the wrists and ankles, it may be helpful to use a circular motion, going around the extremity. Your strokes should not be painful, and you should begin to notice areas of the skin “pinking up”, as blood flow is stimulated.
It’s not necessary to spend a lengthy amount of time dry brushing, and results can be felt and seen very quickly!
What issues does dry brushing help with?
The benefits of dry brushing are numerous! Just to name a few:
-Cellulite (Dry brushing helps to flush out accumulated toxins and fluids) -Loose skin (Blood flow promotes collagen production, and thus firmer skin) -Ingrown hairs (The stroking of bristles against the skin helps to exfoliate and lift up on trapped hairs.) -Keratosis pilaris (I can say from experience, that dry brushing has helped improved mine TREMENDOUSLY!) -Dull, lackluster skin (Blood flow not only gives a glowy complexion, but also feeds the undernourished tissue important nutrients!)
Is there any reason NOT to dry brush?
It’s always a good idea, to speak with your healthcare provider before beginning any treatment! After all, this is the person you trust the most to care for you, during your body’s most critical times of need!
It’s also important to avoid dry brushing in these situations: (this is not an all-inclusive list)
-Prescriptive and non-prescriptive Blood thinners (Get clearance from your healthcare provider first. Once cleared, start more gently, only tackling small sections throughout the week.) -Open wounds, sores, infections- as well as outbreaks -Large or raised varicose veins -Broken capillaries (Proceed very gently and only a few times per week, as too much stimulation can irritate and worsen these.)
Check out the tutorial, in the video below, of our license massage therapist, Dawn Crowe, performing a demonstration of proper dry brushing!