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I’m gonna be honest with you: if there’s a cooky new fad that is fairly easy to try and that purports to be good for your health, I’m usually game to give it a shot. I won’t do extreme things like only eat grapefruit or sleep upside-down. But if it’s not hard, I’m on board. Such was my attitude going in as I commenced my Google search for something I recently heard about: “What is dry brushing?”
Spoiler alert: I love it!
Dry brushing is pretty much what it sounds like, only instead of brushing your hair, you are brushing your skin. There are special brushes that are ideal for dry brushing of the skin, and they are very easy to find onine or even at places like Bed, Bath and Beyond. They are also affordable (mine was under $9).
Brushing your skin is supposed to really help your lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is one of the major ways that your body gets rid of toxins. It is a series of vessels all over your body that absorb and trap bacteria so that white blood cells can attack them and eliminate them from your body. Basically, you want your lymphatic system to be highly functioning for optimal health, and people who practice dry brushing seem to think that this is a great way to make sure that’s the case.
How It Works
I’ll refer you to some other posts online to get a sense for exactly how this works. I printed off the dry brushing graphic available from Green Smoothie Girl and pasted it to my bathroom wall so that I can easily follow the directions during each brushing session. You can find many other sets of directions online, and there is some variation out there about how to do it, though there seems to be consensus that you are brushing toward your heart. It’s also advised to do this before you hop in the shower, and that you should think about having a filtered shower head (that’s the one I bought) so that you aren’t washing toxins right back over your body as soon as you stimulated your lymphatic system to eliminate others.
After I get out of the shower I apply a natural lotion (Honest Company is a good choice) and I add 2-3 drops of essential oils to the lotion before applying them. I have a rather fierce collection of oils, so I do switch up what I apply depending on the time of day or my mood. I think a safe bet for anyone would be lavender or for a less floral scent, try Cedarwood. Just remember not to choose citrus oils if you are doing this in the morning and will be exposed to sun, as most citrus oils are phytosensitive.
What I Have Noticed
I have been dry brushing for 2 weeks now, about 3 times each week. I can most definitely tell that my body is trying to eliminate some built up “ick” that has been trapped in my lymphatic system, because I’m experiencing a higher degree of tiredness, which is a common side effect early on in the process. I’m also experiencing a change in, how do I word this, bathroom habits. Nothing is going on that is keeping me glued to my house (or to my toilet seat) but without being too detailed, let’s just say that I can tell my body is eliminating more junk than it normally does. I have also read that this is not an unusual experience, either.
Based on my lack of energy and my extra time spent in the bathroom (for dry brushing and otherwise) you might be surprised to hear that I am really enjoying this new practice. But I am! For one thing, I know that these unfortunate side effects will subside soon and that my energy level will start to pick back up and surpass what it used to be on a typical day. I also know that my body is going to be running more efficiently and effectively once the junk that’s been stored up in there has been removed.
Also? Dry brushing seems to be having some great effects on the appearance of my skin! I have Keratosis Pilaris, which is that condition where the skin on your arms and parts of your legs is bumpy. The dry brushing does seem to be causing my arms to feel quite a bit smoother, which is a really nice effect. I also think my skin looks a bit more radiant. And folks who have been doing dry brushing for some time seem to report back that cellulite can be improved with regular practice of this technique. I can’t report back on this, yet, but if I’m already enjoying the practice and this might be a benefit down the road, I’ll take it!
My costs to get started were just under $40 (brush and new shower head) and for me, it has been money well spent. It takes me about 10 minutes to get through the entire dry brushing routine, and I use that time to watch part of an episode of Friends on Netflix. I suppose I could use the time to be reflective and quiet, but frankly, watching Friends is super fun. 😉
Have you tried dry brushing? I would really love to hear about your experience, or if your interest is piqued after hearing about what I’m doing.