What is Dry Brushing and How Do You Do It?

May 11, 2022
What is Dry Brushing and How Do You Do It?

Have you ever heard of Dry Brushing? Are you curious how it may be able to help? I am currently learning about how Ayurvedic self-massage, like dry brushing, can improve circulation and help drain your lymphatic fluid of toxins.

If you haven’t heard of this before, I realize this may sound strange. But, read along to see how this simple daily routine can make a positive impact on your health through manual lymph drainage of toxins, improved energy, and increased oxygenation of tissues, and how it may even help the appearance of cellulite!

DISCLAIMER: Keep in mind as you read along that I am NOT Providing MEDICAL ADVICE, diagnosis, or treatment. The information shared is for informational purposes only. NO material on my podcast, my website, or my coaching practice are intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of YOUR physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding medical treatment.

What is the function of Lymphatic system?

There are two major functions of the lymphatic system. The first is to drain interstitial fluid and maintain the fluid balance between blood and tissue fluid. The second is to fight infection and facilitate immunity.

Lymphatic circulation is necessary for homeostasis since it maintains the fluid balance between tissues and blood vessels. This role becomes obvious when there is an injury to a lymph node. Water retention, also known as lymphedema, in a limb is one of the side effects of a blockage within a lymphatic vessel or node. This is especially true after cancer treatment since surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy can injure this intricate network. Lymphedema can be mild or severe, sometimes even leading to the thickening of the skin and compromised immunity.

How does dry brushing help?

Dry brushing helps the lymphatic system by stimulating and moving the fluid towards the heart.

The reason the lymphatic congestion in the first place is that your lymphatic fluid works on a manual pump. The means unless you are actively moving your lymph, it stays stagnant.

Since most people sit most of the day, you can begin to see how easy it is for waste to get stuck and pool in your body.

Even traditional medicine in many countries pays close attention to the lymph nodes and considers their optimal functioning as crucial for the maintenance of good health.

How do you do dry brushing?

First, you’ll need a pair of raw silk gloves or a dry brush. It’s recommended to do dry brushing right before you shower in the morning to stimulate and move the lymphatic fluid.

As long as you always keep the dry brush strokes light and moving in the direction towards the heart, you’ll be getting benefit. Be sure to brush gently on all sides of the body.

Lower Body

  1. Use the dry brush for all strokes against your skin and apply light, even pressure, moving from ankle to knee
  2. You can use straight strokes towards the heart or circular movements
  3. Pick the brush up after the stroke is complete and start again
  4. Stroke 3-7 times in one area before moving to the next spot
  5. Begin at your kneecaps and stroke up towards your groin
  6. Continue to move from kneecap to groin all around your thigh until the whole upper leg is finished
  7. Repeat on the other thigh and buttocks (towards lower back)
  8. Next, stroke from your ankle up to your kneecap just like you did with the upper thigh. Repeat on the other side
  9. Now, stroke up from the ankle to your groin in one long even movement over the whole leg

Upper Body

  1. Use the same technique as the lower body
  2. Raise your arm above your heart and stroke from your wrist to your armpit
  3. Repeat on the other arm
  4. Use the long handle brush to stroke from your lower back and upper shoulders towards your armpit. 5. Gently brush your chest towards your centerline or armpits
  5. Use the brush in a clockwise direction on your stomach making 7 circles around your navel (belly button)
  6. Place the brush down and use your fingertips with light pressure to stroke down your neck from your jawline to your clavicles (collar bones)

And finally, the million dollar question everyone wants to know: Can it actually help cellulite?

According to my research, I found a study in the National Library of Medicine that “A novel treatment for cellulite was evaluated in 14 patients aged 19–36 years. The only inclusion criterion was clinically diagnosed cellulite, and the exclusion criteria were history of edema, obesity, or any other disease diagnosed during the physical examination.

The researchers did standard measurements at the gluteal fold, 5 and 10 cm below the gluteal fold for both legs, and 5cm and 10 cm below the navel as well as photographs.

The patients were submitted to a treatment regimen of 1.5 hours per day adapted for the treatment of cellulite, consisting of manual and mechanical lymph drainage and cervical stimulation using the Godoy and Godoy technique. After 10 sessions over two weeks, the patients were evaluated again.

Results:

Reductions were identified at both points below the navel, the points on the thighs, and at the gluteal fold (P < 0.0001). 

Conclusion:

This technique of lymphatic system stimulation is effective in the treatment of cellulite.”

Now isn’t that cool?? To read more about this study and how the lymphatic system is linked to cellulite, you can read the study for yourself in the National Library of Medicine. 

How to help yourself? Get your dry brushing set and start your daily routine. Here's a link to purchase as set for yourself: https://amzn.to/3kWhVaK . (Please note, as an Amazon affiliate, I may earn a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you.)

How to help others? Consider a dry brushing set for a self-care gift.

How to dig deeper on the topic? Read The Rain Barrel Effect by Dr Stephen Cabral.

 

Sources: 

https://biologydictionary.net/lymphatic-system/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3114606/

“The Rain Barrel Effect” by Dr Stephen Cabral