Skin brushing is a facet of health that takes only about 5 minutes of your time and returns benefits a hundred fold. We take the time to brush our teeth without recognizing that our teeth and gums are not the only parts of our body that need attention to daily brushing. Skin brushing has been around for thousands of years. The ancient Greeks utilized a form of skin brushing as did the Japanese. The Cherokees skin brushed with corn cobs and the Comanche Indians used sand from the river bottoms.
Tending to your skin (the largest organ of the body) by daily body brushing will bring you healthy results in a very short time. The exposed part of our skin, the epidermis has 5 layers and the top most layer is the stratum corneum (horned layer) consisting of dead cells (corneocytes) that lack nuclei and organelles. Inactive aging skin does not shed dead cells as easily as does youthful skin, so it is susceptible to cellular build-up which accounts, in part, for the dry, thick, leathery-look of older skin. By assisting the removal of this top layer of dead cells with the brisk upward movement of a body brush you not only accelerate removal of cellular debris but you energize the lymphatic system as well as the vascular system.
A simple hand held brush will do such an efficient job of exfoliating your dermis, assisting your body to maintain a more efficient lymphatic drainage and increase circulation. Good lymphatic drainage is a vital function of overall health. Superficial lymph vessels are close to the skin’s surface and when stimulated the connection to the deeper lymph vessels becomes less congested to promote a smoother lymphatic flow throughout the body from surface to deeper lymph vessels. Your blood circulates more actively when you stimulate the surface capillary highway and more waste is removed and the body is less burdened allowing more oxygen to flow through the vessels.
Start brushing with upward strokes from the finger tips upward. Before brushing the upper torso brush the auxiliary lymph ducts (underarms) to decongest them for more efficient flow of lymph from upper trunk. Brush from the mid breastbone outward and shoulders and neck downward. There are skin brushing instruction on the internet and books available that give you an accurate diagram of different methods, but basically you just want to brush toward major lymph ducts (decongesting those first) before you send the debris out to be cleared and recycled.
Repetition is key, and if you make it a practice to brush before morning or evening shower or bath and keep the brush where you can see it you will be rewarded with many healthful benefits, and like myself you will want to tell everyone you care about how this simple practice can create such positive change. Who doesn’t want better Chi, healthy skin and higher oxygen levels…and more?