Sunday, 4 October 2009

Brush Your Troubles Away

I’d forgotten all about dry skin brushing. I used to do it regularly when I was younger. Then I guess I just got lazy and let it go. That seems to be my pattern when it comes to doing yoga, going to the gym, juicing and just about everything that’s good for me. I’ve given up giving myself a hard time about it. I just start again from today.
Dry skin brushing is a technique that’s meant to detoxify the body as well as helping with lymphatic drainage. So particularly good for those of us who have had all our lymph nodes removed from under our arm and are at risk of developing lymphoedema.

It only takes about five minutes. Best to do it before your bath or shower so you can wash away all those nasty toxins that you’ve just brushed out of your skin.
Use a soft bristle brush with a handle, so you can reach your back. Make sure that the brush isn’t too stiff. You don’t want to scratch your skin.
The important thing is to always brush towards your heart. (You are actually brushing towards the thoracic duct where the cleansed lymph is returned to your blood supply. But the thoracic duct is near your heart.) Brush harder where your skin is tougher, like the soles of your feet and more gently where your skin is more sensitive, like your breasts. The brushing should feel invigorating but it shouldn’t hurt. Don’t do dry skin brushing if you have broken skin, eczema or other skin conditions.
Start by brushing the soles of your feet in circular sweeps. Then brush in long sweeps over the tops and sides of your feet, all the way up your calves, knees and thighs and over your bottom. Opinions differ on which way to brush your stomach. I tend to do it clockwise in circles. Brush from the palms of your hands upwards along the inside your arms, then brush the backs of your hands and tops of your arms. Brush across your shoulders and lightly down your chest. Then brush down your back. Use a hairbrush to brush your hair or, if you’re bald like me, just brush your head and the back of your neck with the body brush.
Don’t use the body brush on your face, it’s too rough. You can brush your face with a dry flannel. Brush from the middle of your forehead to the outsides, down your nose, from the sides of your nose across your cheeks, from your chin along your jaw line and then down the front of your throat.
Wash the brush once a week in warm, soapy water and hang it up to air dry.
As well as lymphatic drainage, skin brushing helps to prevent cellulite and promotes glowing, gorgeous skin. So nothing to lose, everything to gain. I think I’ll give it a go myself.


Ms Flathead said...

In the Southern Hemisphere, we tend to brush our stomaches anti-clockwise.