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    Monday, April 30, 2012

    Skin Brushing

    There has been so much debate about ‘detoxing’, and whether or not there are merits to this process. Some people have argued that our bodies naturally detox without the need for ingested herbs or special remedies. My belief is that, while our bodies do naturally release toxins, modern diets and lifestyles have added a lot more junk than our forefathers wrestled with, resulting in toxins that stay inside our bodies for longer than they should (or ever have historically.)


    Simply put, our ancestors didn’t eat McDonald’s so please don’t appeal to me with an ancestral argument about what our bodies ‘naturally do.’


    Like most people, I thought the best way to detox would be to drink lots of water and lemon juice to flush impurities out of my body, combined with a diet of fruits and vegetables. Maybe certain teas would aid the process, but, ultimately, my assumption was that detoxing required my ingestion of various healthy items. While a good diet is certainly beneficial, I was shocked to discover that skin brushing was one of the most effective ways to release toxins.


    Think of it this way: your skin is your largest elimination organ. It releases a pound of waste each day and will be the first organ to show symptoms of imbalance or toxicity. Some people call the skin the third kidney because it releases a quarter of the toxins from the body (the lungs being the second.)


    If skin is unable to release toxins, a person may experience rashes, acne, hives, itchiness, body odor, eczema, and psoriasis (and sometimes unpleasant body odour.) Dead skin, makeup, and pollution may clog pores, further inhibiting your skin from effectively letting the bad stuff out. When toxins are unable to escape through the skin they are stored in fat cells, contributing to cellulite and other fatty deposits, or they will be re-circulated back into the blood stream, overworking the poor kidneys, liver and other detox organs.


    Thus, it would seem that something simple (and maybe a bit strange initially) can have a hugely positive impact on the health of your overall body.

    • tighter, more radiant skin
    • increased overall blood circulation and lymph flow
    • strengthened immune system
    • stimulation of nervous system
    • toning of muscles
    • improved digestion
    • eliminated dead skin cells
    • stimulated hormone and oil glands
    • reduced cellulite
    For your skin-brushing purposes, select a brush that has natural fibre bristles and a long handle to reach your back. Initially, the bristles may feel too firm, but you skin will adjust over time. (Remember, it’s supposed to be stimulating. This is a mechanical process.)


    How the process works
    Brush your dry body before you shower or bathe, preferably in the morning. Be careful about brushing anywhere that you have a rash or cut. If you have sensitive skin, you can start with a dry towel instead of the brush. Use the dry towel to remove dead cells, then use the hot wet towel to stimulate and rejuvenate your skin and organs.

    1. Start at your feet and always brush toward your heart. Use brisk circular motions or long, even strokes.
    2. Brush all the way up your legs, then over your abdomen, buttocks, and back. If you have cellulite on your hips and thighs, you can concentrate on that area a little longer. Brush lightly on sensitive areas like breasts and more firmly on areas like soles of the feet.
    3. When you reach your arms, begin at your fingers and brush up your arms, toward your heart. Brush your shoulders and chest down, always toward your heart.
    4. Finish by taking a shower and if you choose, use cold/hot therapy to further stimulate the lymphatic system and improve circulation.
    5. Dry off and massage natural plant moisturizers into your skin such as almond, sesame, avocado, coconut, olive or cacoa butter.

    Skin brushes are available at most natural food stores. Give it whirl today and let me know if it makes a difference in your life!

    3 comments:

    Amanda Laird said...

    Okay, so basically I don't write a blog because you read my mind and blog for me! I have been skin brushing for a year and a half now and my skin has never been better. I have ALWAYS had skin problems, excema, unexplained rashes, those annoying little red bumps on my upper arms and thighs. But since I started dry brushing I have really noticed a change in my skin. Not to mention my immune system is a lot stronger and I rarely get sick any more (this is also because I sleep better, exercise more and eat better - not all because of the brush!).

    The thing with detoxing is that you can't just go on a 21 day cleanse and then go back to eating crap. Detoxing needs to be a part of your daily routine, so first get rid of the shit and then focus on optimal health.

    Jess Bennett said...

    I love this! :)

    Historically, I've always had those weird little bumps too, but the brushing makes a big difference.

    I think you make a really great point about detoxing generally - it's not a magic bullet solution. It's so true that it needs to be a part of a broader effort to take care of your body, from head to toe. Smart, smart!

    PS Let me know if you have any fun ideas in your brain! :)

    doris alonso said...

    These helps a lot in making the skin softer than it was. But there are times that your skin have conditions that already grew worse. I needed chemical peel in new york for my skin since it is sensitive and cannot actually be brushed.

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