Dry Brushing 101
Dry brushing is a crucial, skin-detoxing step in our lymphatic drainage ritual. Apart from stimulating the lymphatic system, dry brushing also revives tired, dry skin & increases the body's overall circulation when used consistently. This powerful brush works to slough away dead skin that has lingered on the body's surface and has become clogged. According to Lisa Levitt Gainsley, Lymphatic Drainage Professional, our skin is one of the primary avenues that our body uses to detoxify and when clogged, it places an additional burden on the liver and other organs resulting in improper function. Implementing a consistent dry brushing ritual helps to unclog pores, remove dead skin cells from the top layer of skin, and boost your body's natural detoxification process.
- It plumps the skin: Dry brushing is an effective exfoliator that manually removes the dead skin cells from the top layer of the skin. It also improves the appearance of complexion and assists topical oils & creams to be more effective.
- It boosts circulation: When you dry brush your skin, you begin to increase blood flow which stimulates the circulatory system. When this happens you will often notice a slight redness to the skin. Don't be alarmed, it means you've kicked your circulatory system into gear!
- Aids in lymphatic drainage: Dry brushing works alongside your circulatory system in removing waste from the body. It speeds up the rate of blood pumping through the body and helps to get the lymph fluid moving, therefore removing toxins and pathogens more quickly.
- It detoxifies: Our skin is the largest and most important eliminative organ in the body. 60% of the toxins in our body exit through the skin each day and when we dry brush, we remove the dead layers of the skin and help the body to excrete in other ways, like sweat.
When To: We recommend dry brushing 2-4 times a week before you bathe so that you can rinse off the dead cells afterward.
A Tip: Like LDM, always dry brush in an upwards motion towards your heart. The strokes should be in a long movement with medium pressure.
Step One, Stimulate:
- Begin by manually stimulating the lymphatic nodes throughout the body.
- The first nodes, supraclavicular lymph nodes, are located at the base of your neck, right above your collarbones. Gently press the tops of your fingertips above the hallows of your collarbone and lightly massage in a down and outward motion towards your shoulders also known as the J-stroke. ( 5 to 10x)
- The second set of lymph nodes, the axillary nodes, are right beneath the armpit. Begin by placing your hand below the armpit and slowly pulsing it in an upward motion, moving the lymph fluid up. Repeat on both sides.
- To stimulate the stomach/colon, take 2 to 3 deep breaths through the nose and place one hand on top of another.
- The inguinal lymph nodes, located in the groin region are the last of the nodes to stimulate before dry brushing. The easiest way to start to stimulate these nodes is to gently lift each leg while massaging the activated points with your fingertips, clockwise.
Step Two, Begin To Dry Brush:
- Begin by brushing the tops of your feet to your ankles.
- Brushing from the ankles towards the knees in an upward & gentle motion, repeat in the same manner from behind the ankle, up towards the back of the knee 5 to 7 times. Use the same technique on your opposite leg.
- Brush in quick & upward strokes from above the knee towards the groin to stimulate blood flow. The quads are the largest muscle where we carry lots of blood vessels, so it is essential not to miss this body area. Repeat in the back of the quad to continue to bring blood flow towards the lymph nodes that live behind the knee & groin. Use the same technique on your opposite leg.
- Dry-brush your abdomen in clockwise circles. Be gentle with this area as you brush and use a softer pressure.
- Brush each arm in upward strokes starting from the wrist, towards the inside of the elbow, and moving from the inside of the elbow towards the underarms. Direct the lymph to drain through the armpit. Don't forget to repeat this on your opposite arm!
- Lastly, dry-brush your abdomen again to the midline of your body ending at the chest/heart. This final sweep helps to move any standing toxins.
- Post dry brushing, hop in the shower. This will help clean the body of the dead skin cells that have come loose during the brushing process. We also encourage you to rehydrate and nourish the skin. Your pores are open, and this is the best time to apply clean skin food, our Organic Coconut Shea Butter or our Body Oil Bundle to use with The Body Tool and finish your lymphatic drainage at-home ritual.
***While these statements are supported by my research and personal experiences, they have not been verified by the FDA or a medical professional. These statements are not intended to cure or treat any ailments or diseases. Please consult a qualified healthcare professional before starting any at-home massage or skincare regimen to ensure these techniques are right for you.