The skin is the largest organ in the body. Utilise this organ to effectively detox the body, by the ancient therapeutic ritual of body brushing.
Body brushing is a simple, inexpensive treatment you can carry out in the comfort of your own home. It’s a budget friendly, not overly time consuming, effective and I believe quite essential treatment, which everybody should carry out.
Many people have heard of body brushing and know they should do it, but aren’t quite sure of the benefits. Let me tell fill you in; Body brushing;
Removes dead skin cells – making a great exfoliation method, leaving your skin smooth and soft. Cell renewal and cell regeneration will take place, leaving you not only feeling but also looking fresh and revitalised all over. It is extremely useful for those suffering with ingrown hairs. Body brushing, particularly the few days coming up to your next waxing appointment will help any ingrown hairs dislodge and should remove more easily when waxed. It preps your skin before your spray tan, ensuring a more even application and longer lasting tan every time.
Aids the lymphatic system – as you work in the direction of the lymphatic nodes in a vigorous motion, you help move toxins to the lymphatic nodes and from the body excretes toxins through the circulatory system. In doing this it also strengthens the immune system, making us healthy from the inside, out. That is why the skin is often referred to as the third kidney for a reason; it eliminates a quarter of the toxins from the body.
Improves the appearance of cellulite – Cellulite is a common complaint and unfortunately one of the most difficult complaints to combat. With regular, vigorous body brushing, dead skin cells are removed, cell regeneration is encouraged and new cell growth occurs. This will not “get rid” of cellulite, but often greatly improves the appearance, which is like music to many ears!
Improves circulation – the dry brings more blood to the surface of the skin. The extra blood brings more nutrients again aiding in cell renewal and regeneration and more collagen is produced. This improves the overall tone of the skin, leaving you with a healthy glow.
Tones the muscles in the body – Yes you heard it right. By making vigorous movements with the brush, you stimulate nerve endings in the skin. This in return activates the muscle fibres and helps tone the muscles and regenerates the overall condition of the skin.
Stimulates hormone and oil glands – The skin sweats to detoxify the skin. Sometimes the skin’s pores get clogged. Regular body brushing unclogs pores, allowing the skin to better absorb nutrients.
With all of this in mind, you can see how a simple daily routine can improve the body’s digestion of food, elimination of waste; improve the body from the inside out while also improving the appearance of the body’s largest organ throughout.
Aside from the physical benefits, body brushing has a strong mental effect on us. Self-nurturing is something we see in nature all the time. The domestic cat continually grooms himself or herself. We too need to self-nurture. We feel so much better both mentally and physically after a hot shower or relaxing soak in the bath. Take that extra step and introduce body brushing to your daily routine, or at least a few times a week.
Although a simple procedure there are a few key points to consider. The direction of the brush strokes can and will have a huge impact on the overall results of body brushing. Always work in the direction of the heart. Use firm, rhythmic strokes from neck to toe, working more gently on the décolletage area, covering each area several times. The whole process should take about four to seven minutes.
Following this; shower as normal. Many people think they should shower and then body brush. This is incorrect. By showering after you wash off any loosened skin cells from the exfoliating, brushing technique and having done this your pores will be open, encouraging you body to get rid of toxins and waste. Just before you get out of the shower, if you can handle it, turn the water to cold and stay under the cold water for at least thirty seconds. It is a bit of a shock to the system but great for the skin and an instant wake up call, which will set you up for the day ahead.
Having showered, then moisturise from head to toe and enjoy your silky smooth skin, knowing that you have thoroughly cleansed both inside and out.
Don’t worry if you notice a few breakouts on your body when you first start body brushing. This is the body’s natural detoxifying process and is actually a good result. The breakouts will settle with time once your body has gone through the detoxifying process.
So, now you are totally sold on the idea of body brushing, but what brush will you buy? There are many options out there, which can often make it confusing to body brushing rookies. Here is a little advice in purchasing the correct brush for you. Opt for a natural brush. They are more gentle and will not scratch the surface of the skin Unless you are a bit of a contortionist or have somebody to willingly do your back, choose a brush with a long handle to get to those hard to reach places such as your back and back of legs.
Remember to use your body brush on dry skin. Do not use your dry body brush on wet skin or in the shower. Never brush over sensitive areas such as the nipple area. Avoid body brushing if you have eczema, psoriasis, broken, sore or infected skin. Remember to work in sweeping motions, always working towards the heart. The abdomen should be done in counter clockwise motions. This can help stimulate the digestive system, which is helpful to those suffering with constipation. Don’t forget to even brush the soles of the feet. Not only will you feel thoroughly exfoliated and soft but the nerve endings in the feet affect the whole body too. It is a complete sole to soul practice.
Lastly remember to take care of your tools. If you do not regularly clean your brush you will most likely spread bacteria, brushing it back onto your body. Your body brush should be washed every few weeks in warm water and left out to dry naturally. You may us a gentle (preferably natural) anti-bacterial spray for extra protection. You can create your own with a few drops of tea tree oil in water in a spritz bottle. Tea tree oil has excellent anti bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and antiseptic properties. Make sure your brush is fully dry before putting it away as a damp brush makes the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. The sun will perfectly dry it out and kill any bacteria, which may be present.
The power of body brushing is magical. Although widely known it is not always put into practice and if put into practice, it is often carried out incorrectly. Follow my advice and with time you will notice a huge improvement both internally and externally. You will feel completely refreshed, revitalised from head to toe, detoxified and smooth. Get into the habit of it and soon it will become a part of your daily routine, which you wish you started sooner!