Quite a few years ago my iridologist told me my skin wasn’t breathing. As the skin is the largest organ in the body I figured that wasn’t a good thing. His recommendations from what I can remember were a dose of herbal extracts for my liver (things like St.Marys milk thistle, dandelion) and dry skin brushing every morning before my shower.
Dry skin brushing is quite easy and very refreshing. You simply need a good quality brush, preferably one that’s made from natural fibres.
So if you’ve started the year with detox on your mind, dry skin brushing might be something you’d like to try. After all your skin is the largest elimination organ of your body.
A few years ago the wonderful Jennifer Jefferies wrote a great article (here at rejuvenation lounge) on the skin, kidneys and dry skin brushing. Here’s some highlights from the article that I thought you might find informative.
Notes on skin brushing:
By Jennifer Jefferies Naturopath, author and speaker.
Did you know you can reduce the burden on your kidneys by regular skin brushing? Sound a bit far-fetched?
The skin is the largest eliminating organ of the body. Stimulating it in a constructive way increases its rate of elimination of toxic waste products, which decreases the demands placed on the kidneys.
In each square centimeter of skin there are as many as three million cells, 15 sebaceous glands, 100 sweat glands, a meter of blood vessels, 3,000 sensory cells, four metres of nerves, 200 pain detectors, 25 pressure sensors for touch, two cold sensors and two heat sensors. In every square centimeter!
Each of these components has vital functions and brushing is the surest way of stimulating them and improving their efficiency. This type of stimulation is positive and does not lead to exhaustion like unnatural stimulants such as caffeine, tannins and alcohol will.
A Brush Is Better Than Soap For Removing Dead Cells:
Except when the skin is physically covered with dirt or grease, soap cannot clean it as effectively as a brush. Dry skin brushing removes the dead cells from the surface of the skin and because skin brushing contributes to cleansing the blood stream, it improves the skin everywhere on the body, although the skin that is brushed benefits the most.
Dry brush before your shower:
Brushing should be done once or twice a day, on rising before you dress and on retiring. If you are having a shower, skin brush before the shower so that the dead skin and other debris will be washed away.
Add essential oil to your brush or mitt:
Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil (mixed with a little carrier oil) to the dry bristles of a good quality natural fiber mitt (this is important as synthetics can damage your skin) and spend a few minutes brushing, working on each limb, the front of the trunk and the back.
How to dry brush at home:
A well known high quality local brand of skin brushes is bodecare here in Queensland, Australia. They sell their products to spas all over the world. Here’s some general rules they recommend about dry skin brushing.
General Rules of Dry Skin Brushing:
- Always use a natural bristle skin brush, for optimum results use a plant bristle.
- Perform on Dry Skin only.
- Generally stroke upward in one movement.
- Light strokes repeated 7 times.
- Adjust pressure to your comfort levels.
- Best to follow brushing with some form of hydrotherapy i.e. shower or bath
- Don’t brush more than you need to. Over doing it does not mean better results.
- Work from left to right side of body.
- Avoid breast and genitals
Here’s a link to their web site if you are wanting more details. And, no I haven’t been given any free products (wish I had though)
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Beside my bed:
I’m re-reading – again! The messages and guidance are simple, yet deeply profound.
A beautiful reminder about compassion to self and others and delightful learnings when we resist what is.
The Dalai Lama’s Cat is by far my favourite book for 2013. xx Carole