Detoxification Techniques

Wellbeing with Nutrition
Nurturing the Mind and Body

Dry skin brushing is a excellent technique to support detoxification. It stimulates the skin by removing surface skin cells and promotes movement within the circulatory and lymphatic system. Skin breathes, yet, in most people, this vital route of detoxification is operating far below its capacity as it is clogged with dead skin cells and un-removed waste excreted through perspiration.

When the skin becomes overloaded with toxicity, its elimination duties are forced upon the kidneys. Chemical analysis of sweat shows that it has almost the same constituents as urine.  If the skin becomes inactive, it becomes congested with dead cells, uric acid and other impurities.

Did You Know?

  • The skin is the largest most important eliminative organ in the body and is responsible for one quarter of the body’s detoxification each day
  • In the average adult the skin eliminates over one pound of waste acids each day, most of it through the sweat glands
  • That the skin receives one third of all the blood circulated in the body
  • That the skin is the last to receive nutrients in the body, yet the first to show signs of imbalance or deficiency
  • In the East the skin is known also as our third kidney

The dry skin brushing technique deals with detoxification of the skin. As the skin is the largest elimination organ, it makes sense to utilise it as fully as possible during a detoxification programme. Removing toxins through the skin avoids having them to pass through vital organs.

Dry skin brushing also stimulates the lymphatic system and circulation as it provides a gentle internal massage which stimulates lymph and circulation.

This technique was recommended by the Finnish Dr., Paavo Airola for his patients 30 years ago and is still popular in many spas today. The Russians, Turks and Scandinavians have used this treatment for centuries. Dry brushing is promoted to prevent dry skin and as a way to exfoliate the skin, thus stimulating skin renewal that is soft to the touch, but there are many other benefits as well:

Benefits of Dry Skin Brushing:

  • Removes dead skin layers
  • Cleanses the lymphatic system
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Stimulates circulation
  • Stimulates the oil-producing glands
  • Helps Tighten the skin preventing premature aging
  • Helps to improve muscle tone
  • Helps to remove cellulite AND
  • It’s easy, inexpensive and invigorating!

Dry brushing removes dead skin layers

Dry skin brushing helps shed dead skin cells, which can help improve skin texture and cell renewal. If toxicity builds in the skin it can result in imbalances like rashes, itching, fungal infections, acne, dry skin, eczema, etc.

Dry brushing helps to cleanse the lymphatic system

Lymph is considered part of our immune system and is made of white blood cells called lymphocytes and the interstitial fluid that bathe our cells, bringing our cells nutrients and removing their waste. All detoxification occurs first and foremost through the lymph, which can stagnate and become thick with toxicity and mucous. Skin brushing helps to mechanically move the lymph.

Dry brushing strengthens the immune system

Dry skin brushing helps to accelerate the clearing of toxins. It can help to support the immune system during illness. Dry skin brushing stimulates the lymph vessels to drain toxic mucous filled lymphatic fluid into organs of detoxification helping to purify the entire system. After several days of dry brushing, you may notice gelatinous mucous material in your stools.  

Dry brushing stimulates circulation

Dry skin brushing increases circulation to the skin, encouraging your body’s discharge of metabolic wastes. Increased blood flow begins entering the areas brushed and you may experience an increase in energy. By activating the circulation you can also help prevent varicose veins.

Dry Brushing helps to tighten the skin by increasing the flow of blood which, in turn moves toxins and lessens the appearance of cellulite. Our bodies make a new top layer of skin every 24 hours - skin brushing removes the old top layer, allowing the clean new layer to come to the surface, resulting in softer, smoother skin.

Dry brushing helps to tone the muscles

Dry skin brushing helps muscle tone by stimulating the nerve endings which causes the individual muscle fibres to activate and move. It also helps stimulate the movement of nutrients and wastes to and from the muscles via the lymph and circulation. Dry skin brushing is therefore a good technique to help improve muscle tone for people who are unable to exercise or are bedridden.

Dry brushing helps to reduce cellulite

Cellulite is a non-scientific term describing dimpled skin caused by deposits of subcutaneous fat material, retained fluid and fibrous tissue that are not able to be eliminated. These deposits most commonly occur on the thighs and hips of women. Cellulite can affect men and women of any body weight or size.  

What You Need To Do

To dry brush, use a soft natural fibre brush with a long handle, so that you are able to reach all areas of your body. One with a removable head with a strap for your hand is a good choice.

A loofah sponge or a rough towel can also be used. Most nylon and synthetic fibre brushes are too sharp and may damage skin. The important thing is to find something that is just right for your skin. Once your skin becomes “seasoned,” you can switch to a coarser brush.

How to Dry Brush

  1. Starting with right foot, brush soles of both feet
  2. Brush up from each foot to the top of legs
  3. Brush from buttocks up as far as you can go on the back
  4. Brush from lower abdomen up to the heart 
  5. Brush from hands up to the shoulders  
  6. Brush down from neck to shoulders and down to heart

Do not use brush on damaged skin or over varicose veins

After brushing, it is beneficial to follow on with the hot and cold showering technique. Take a warm shower with gentle soap, finish your regular shower by ending with three hot and cold cycles. That means turning on the water as hot as you can take it for several seconds, then as cold as you can handle it, then hot, then cold for three cycles. End with cold. This will further invigorate the skin and stimulate blood circulation, bringing more blood to the outer layers of the skin.

Tips for Dry Brushing:

  • Dry brush your skin before you shower or bathe because you will want to wash off the impurities from the skin as a result from the brushing action.
  • Do the brushing from toe-to-head. Use long sweeping strokes starting from the bottom of your feet upwards, and from the hands towards the shoulders, and on the torso in an upward direction helps drain the lymph back to your heart.
  • Use light pressure in areas where the skin is thin and harder pressure on places like the soles of the feet.
  • Skin brushing should be performed once a day, preferably first thing in the morning. A thorough skin brushing takes about 15 minutes, but any time spent brushing prior to bathing will benefit the body.
  • Dry brush areas of cellulite five to 10 minutes twice a day to help reduce cellulite but this technique needs to be done consistently for a minimum of five months.
  • Avoid sensitive areas like varicose veins and anywhere where the skin is broken such as areas of skin rash, wounds, cuts, and infections.
  • If you are constipated, avoid skin brushing until the colon has been given support as skin brushing will result in an extra mucous load for the colon to eliminate
  • Clean your skin brush using soap and water once a week. After rinsing, air dry your skin brush.