The Benefits of Dry Body Brushing
Apr 30, 2016 07:54PM
● By Sheila Julson
Dry brushing, a spa technique commonly used for exfoliation and the reduction of cellulite, is also becoming widely popular as a simple and affordable way to detoxify. Dry brushing can stimulate the lymphatic system, thus draining toxic lymph fluid from the body. The technique only requires the purchase of a long-handled brush with soft, natural bristles, and a time investment of 10 minutes or less per day.
Gail Lentz, a registered nurse and owner of the Spa at Willow Pond, says the body has 3,000 lymph nodes, but no natural “pump” (such as how the circulatory system has the heart) to help rid the body of lymph fluid, which can trap toxins. She has offered dry brushing at her spa for over 10 years, and she also teaches clients how to care for themselves at home through dry brushing. “Dry brushing is not just a women’s therapy. It’s just as important for men to dry brush,” she advises.
Lentz says lymph nodes are primarily located in the groin area, legs, neck and chest and also behind the knees and around the navel. She adds that when dry brushing, the body is eliminating toxins, so it is important to drink more water.
Danielle Todd, owner of Spa La Vie, touts the esthetic benefits of dry brushing. “It can exfoliate dry skin on areas like knees, elbows and ankles, and body brushing promotes tighter skin and cell renewal, as well as a smoother complexion,” she says. “We love it because it’s one of the easiest and most effective things you can do for healthier skin.”
Todd notes that one can also dry brush areas of cellulite for five to 10 minutes, twice a day, to achieve great cellulite reducing results.
How to Dry Brush
Experts advise to dry brush before showering. Using a dry brush on dry skin, start at the inner aspect of the ankle and brush up toward the groin, using long, gentle, upward strokes, toward the direction of the heart.
From behind the knee, brush up to the groin. Brush the groin thoroughly up to the bottom of the belly, then brush this area toward the heart. From the neck, brush down toward the heart, then brush the armpits toward the chest. Lastly, brush the chest toward the heart.
Be sure not to brush too hard; the skin should be stimulated and invigorated, but not red and irritated.
Local resources: Spa at Willow Pond, 1487 Old Lancaster Pike, Reading. 610-507-9004; Spa La Vie, 3031 Columbia Ave., Lancaster. 717-295-4523; Aqua Blue Detox, 50 Keystone Ct., Leola. 717-656-8615; Pathways to Healing, 1817 Bernville Rd., Reading. 610-373-7935; Integrative Healing Arts Studio, 632 Penn Ave., West Reading. 610-451-9577.
Sheila Julson is a Milwaukee-based freelance writer and contributor to Natural Awakenings magazines throughout the country.