Here at Haynes Acupuncture Gold Coast, our qualified acupuncturists practice traditional medicine based on more than 2,500 years of Chinese medical practice.
Within acupuncture care, self-care advice is not seen as an ‘add-on’ but rather as an integral and interactive component of a theory-based complex intervention.
In Chinese medicine, the skin is considered so important that it is referred to as the third kidney that conducts vital Qi (energy). In Chinese medicine, dry brushing is most definitely not a fad or a gimmick. It is an age-old beauty and health technique and the Chinese traditionally used loofahs. Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine have known for a long time that dry brushing stimulates the lymph canals to drain toxic matter into the colon, thereby purifying the entire lymph system.
The Benefits of Dry Brushing
Increases circulation: The lymphatic system is a significant part of our body’s immune system. Our lymphatic systems clear cellular waste products from our tissues and transport them to our blood for elimination. This process is referred to as lymphatic drainage. When the lymphatic system is congested, this stagnation can lead to inflammation and illness. Dry skin brushing stimulates lymphatic system circulation, allowing toxins to be brought to organs of elimination, which ultimately aids in detoxification.
Exfoliates: The process of running a firm, bristled brush over the skin helps loosen and remove dead skin cells, naturally exfoliating the skin. Not only does it exfoliate, but it also clears oil, dirt and residue from the pores, allowing your skin to breathe.
Reduces cellulite: Cellulite is stagnant fat deposits that have accumulated just beneath the skin. Dry brushing may help to soften these hard fat deposits by breaking down trapped toxins and eliminating them, naturally diminishing the appearance of cellulite.
Supports muscle tone: Another advantage of dry skin brushing is that it stimulates the nervous system. This activates muscle fibres and improves muscle tone. Dry brushing is particularly beneficial to people who have been looking to tighten up sagging skin.
Relieves stress: Similar to massage, dry skin brushing is a self-care technique that can decrease stress. When in a state of relaxation, your body can function optimally and heal faster. Chronic stress eventually leads to an imbalance in hormone levels that can increase inflammation and result in poor endocrine system functioning.
Dry brushing can be done daily over the whole body, preferably in the morning before showering. Start with a gentle brush and soft pressure. Work up to a firmer brush and more firm pressure over time.
Here’s How to Dry Brush the Skin:
- Starting at the feet, brush the bottoms of your feet and up your legs in long, smooth strokes. Brush each section of skin at least 7 times. For lymph flow, always brush toward the heart/chest area where the lymph system drains.
- As a good rule of thumb, always brush toward the body’s centre.
- Repeat the same process with the arms, starting with the palms of the hands and brushing up the arm toward the heart. Again, brush each section of skin at least 7 times.
- On the stomach and armpits, brush in a circular clockwise motion.
- Repeat the process on your abdomen and back, and then switch to your face with the more delicate brush.
To move fluids more effectively, it’s important to use gentle pressure on the body’s soft areas,where lymph nodes are typically clustered. Always avoid any areas of broken skin or acute inflammation, and consult your physician if you have concerning health conditions that may be contraindicated, including serious kidney problems or congestive heart failure.
Note: Don’t brush too hard! A soft and smooth stroke often works best. The skin may be slightly pink after brushing, but it should never be red or sting. If it hurts at all, use less pressure!
Replace the brush every 6-12 months, as the bristles will eventually wear out. Also, wash the brush every few weeks to remove dead skin cells.
© Haynes Acupuncture ™ Gold Coast 2020