Brushing the hair and teeth is routine self-care for most people, but many haven’t heard of skin brushing. Dry skin brushing uses a brush on dry skin in a specific pattern to stimulate the lymphatic system. It has the potential to not only help your skin feel softer and smooth cellulite, but it can also produce a ripple effect of even greater health benefits, such as strengthening the immune system.
- Detoxification: The lymphatic system plays a critical role in the body’s immune system by transporting the lymph, a colorless fluid containing white blood cells. Because lymph vessels run just beneath the skin, dry brushing stimulates lymphatic flow, and helps the body detoxify itself naturally.
- Exfoliation: Lightly sweeping a natural bristled brush over the skin helps loosen and remove dead skin cells, making dry brushing one of the simplest and most natural ways to exfoliate the skin.
- Clean Pores: Dry brushing clears oil, dirt, and residue from the pores. Gentle brushing brings nutrient-rich, freshly oxygenated blood to the skin’s surface which can lead to improved tone and elasticity.
The Problems with Some Other Treatment Options
Expensive spa treatments, cosmetic surgery, and medications designed to lessen the impact of poor circulation, rarely address the root cause of the problem. Fluid retention in the lower legs and feet, numbness, tingling, muscle cramping, skin discoloration, skin that is slow to heal, and spontaneous bruising and cellulite are all potential symptoms of poor circulation.
Even brain fog, headaches, skin breakouts, fatigue, or frequent illness can be related to a sluggish lymphatic system. It’s important to talk to a health care practitioner about your individual concerns to rule out serious health issues, but dry brushing can be helpful.
Importance of a Well-Functioning Lymphatic System
The lymphatic system is a network of vessels that moves fluid and waste from the cells and tissues to the elimination organs such as the kidneys and the liver. It plays a vital role in the immune system via the lymph nodes, and the production of white blood cells. Connective tissue called fascia, attaches the skin to a vast network of capillaries which deliver blood throughout the body, it is a vital resource for optimal skin strength and health. Bacteria, toxins, and waste from our blood filter through the lymph nodes, where these substances are destroyed. Proper circulation is vital for the function of your skin to assist the body in the waste elimination via the sweat glands and the lymphatic system. If blood circulation to the skin is impaired, it slows down healing and tissue regeneration, which causes the skin to lose its vibrancy and glow.
Natural ways to help improve both your blood and lymph circulation include
Getting adequate exercise such as going for a daily walk, improves circulation. Moving your arms and legs helps flush the lymphatics, and assists in removal of excess fluid and toxins. Pilates, Yoga, Tai Chi and intentional breathing practices can also be helpful forms of gentle exercise.
Eating a healthy diet full of fresh fruit and vegetables will supply the body with the resources it needs to maintain a healthy heart. The heart pumps blood, which provides vital oxygen and nutrients to the all the cells in your body.
Dry Body Brushing directly assists in removing toxins and pathogens by stimulating circulation to the surface of the skin for cellular regeneration and assisting the detoxification process via the lymphatics. This strengthens our immune system and lessens our susceptibility to illness. It’s a great way to move the circulation for those that have restrictions on their mobility, and can't exercise for very long or at all. Just like taking vitamins in pill form are not a substitute for poor diet, but a supplement to it…Dry Body Brushing isn’t meant to replace exercise, but as a supplement to improve results, in combination with exercise. Dry brushing can be especially useful in combination with other manual therapy.
Manual Therapy such as Fascial Counterstrain, a service I’m specially trained in, can be highly beneficial in freeing up a sluggish lymphatic system, thereby further helping detoxify the body at the cellular level. This will also free up restrictions in any system of the body, to aid in lymphatic drainage, improve blood flow, quiet nerves, reduce pain, restore range of motion, strength and proprioception, and improve overall immune system function, lessening symptoms and restoring balance or mobility.
Call Janell Strupp PT, CPI to schedule your complimentary, 15-minute phone consultation.
Physical Therapist, Certified Pilates Instructor Cell Phone: 262-224-0913
Dry Skin Brushing Kits with step by step instructions, available for Only $10
A dry brushing kit may be beneficial for a variety of clients who struggle with inflammation, fluid retention, poor blood flow, sluggish lymphatics, or healthy detoxification, and can be easily incorporated into a home program.