Category Archives: body

healthy body
tinkering, ayurveda, pampering, rub-a-dubbing.

why try: dry skin brushing

lymphaticSystem

Earlier I wrote about the Oil Pulling Method, which is part of the Ayurvedic tradition, today I want to share Dry Skin Brushing, which is also part of Ayurveda.

Our skin is the largest organ in our body, and I find it thus deserves some love and attention. With dry skin brushing we stimulate the lymphathic vessels and the lymph nodes.

The lymph nodes are small bean-shaped nodes in our body, they are linked by the lymphatic vessels. Lymph nodes filter or trap viruses, cancer cells, bacteria, and other unwanted substances. They do pretty wonderful work for your health!

When we brush our skin with a dry brush, we are stimulating these lymph vessels and thus engaging the excretion of unwanted substances towards the lymph nodes.

The benefits of Dry Skin Brushing:

  • Removes dead skin cells
  • Stimulates blood flow and lymph flow
  • Detoxifies the skin
  • Reduces cellulite
  • Stimulates the hormones and oil glands
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Helps digestion
  • Stimulates the nervous system
  • Tones muscles
  • Tightens the skin

The only utensil you need is the brush, and you should only use one that is made with all natural bristles. This gentle brushing of the skin stimulates the lymphatic system, which I think is the most important benefit from the above list, because this system is of vital importance to our health.

Step 1. Legs

1. Start out with either the right or the left leg.
2. Begin with the bottom of your feet, which you brush in small circular motions.
3. Then you brush in either small or longer strokes upward from the tops of your feet towards your knees.
4. Brush the knees in circular motion.
5. Then brush the upper legs towards the inside of your thighs and hips.
6. Brush your bottom by brushing from under your cheeks towards your lower back.
7. Repeat all steps with the other leg.

Step 2. Front torso

1. Brush with small strokes from your hips and pelvic region, and from below your breasts and sides towards your navel center.
2. In a slow and large circular motion brush around your navel all across your belly.
3. Brush under and above your chest (breasts) towards your armpits.
4. Brush from behind your neck, along your jawline, then down your neck towards your collarbone in a couple of streaks along each side. As though you’re writing an S from the back of your neck to your collar bone.

Step 3. Back torso

1. Brush your lower back softly with upward motion in multiple streaks.
2. Your upper back should be brushed softly in a downward motion towards the center of your back.

Step 4. Arms

1. Start out with one arm.
2. Brush down all of your fingertips.
3. In a slow circular motion brush your hand-palms.
4. Brush along the back of your fingers and back of palms towards wrist.
5. Your lower arms should be brushed from your wrist towards your elbow.
6. Brush your elbow in circular motion.
7. Then brush from your elbow towards your shoulder and arm pit.
8. The armpits should be brushed softly in a slow circular motion.
9. Repeat with the other arm.

There are a few different ways you can do this brushing, but this is how I like to do it. You can do it for as long as you like, but I like to brush for about 5-15 minutes per time. Try and keep it in your shower routine by making it a habit, it’s best to do this as often as possible. It’s important to shower afterwards so that you wash off any toxins and/or dead skin cells that have surfaced due to the brushing.

My experience is that this keeps skin so soft and healthy, and the feeling that you’re activating your very important lymph nodes and vessels makes me feel as though I have massaged my body and my mind.

After showering with warm water I like to follow it up with a blast of 30 seconds with ice-cold water. This is also great for your skin and lymph nodes. After showering I like to massage some coconut oil on my skin which is antibacterial and deeply hydrating.

Image source:
Wikipedia

the oil pulling method

The Oil Pulling Method
The Oil Pulling Method

Recently I started the Ayurvedic Oil Pulling method. This method consists of putting a spoonful of cold pressed oil (I prefer coconut) in your mouth and swooshing it around for 10 minutes. Don’t swoosh too hard, just let it flow around your mouth, through your teeth and the back of your tongue – but don’t gargle! It’s best to do so on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning or after brushing your teeth later in the day. Be careful though, supposedly swooshing the oil might make you want to gag or swallow it and that’s not a good thing since it’s laden with bacteria. When you spit the oil out it should be a white color – if not; you didn’t swoosh it in your mouth long enough.

The supposed benefits are:

  • Activation of the metabolism; the toxic waste comes into your saliva via the mucosa in your mouth
  • Bowels will function better
  • More energy
  • Blood flow is better
  • Detoxification
  • Whiter teeth & teeth are more firmly placed in the gums than before
  • Cleaner mouth

Who would have thought that swooshing some oil in your mouth daily would have such great benefits other than a cleaner mouth?! The clean mouth thing I would’ve guessed, but more energy?

Well, I’ve been doing it for a little while now, and I must say, my skin looks great, I feel great, but you never know if it can be attributed to this alone, or other things that I have added to my routine recently.