I’ve been doing dry brushing lately. What is it? It’s brushing your whole body with a natural bristle brush, not wet in the shower, but dry. Most often it’s suggested that you do it in the morning, before you shower. But sometimes I’ve done it before bed.
The dry brushing has helped soften my skin. It sloughs off dead skin, which I have plenty of now that winter is finally here. It makes my skin softer and seem more pliable. Then some “hydrotherapy” in the shower, moisturizer afterwards, and you’re good to go.
I’ve also noticed that the brushing affects the little dimples and bumps most of us accumulate with time, the stuff that some people still insist on calling cellulite. It really does smooth those dimples out a bit, at least in my case so far. When you’re stimulating the skin, changing the blood flow, why wouldn’t it have an effect on the bumps?
I like it! Besides just feeling good, dry brushing is supposed to have all kinds of benefits that make sense to me. And any kind of beauty or health-regimen change has to make sense, right? Some of the other benefits are said to be: increased blood circulation, stimulation of the lymphatic system, and strengthening of the immune system. All of this makes sense to me biologically; not to mention, humans have been doing it for a long time. European women have been known for dry brushing (not to mention birch leaf swatting! but that’s another story). Brushing, as well as oil massage, is also recommended by those who subscribe to the Ayurvedic tradition.
One last thing, perhaps the most important: self-care. The older I get, the more I understand how difficult but important self-care is. Most women will spend endless amounts of time on everyone other than themselves. But spend time with yourself to take care of yourself? That does not come at all easily—even though we know that caring for ourselves fosters mental health and wellbeing in general. So that’s another benefit.
How do you do it? Some instructions say to start at the soles of your feet. They tell you to brush up towards the heart; and they tell you to brush the abdomen clockwise, in the direction of the colon. All of this makes sense to me, but I think if you just brush the way it makes sense to you and it feels good, that’s ok too. For more information and to check out a brushing diagram, click here. They also show a picture of a special raw silk glove they say is traditional. I do love the idea of raw silk, but I use the brush pictured below.