Our body has many different ways that it natural detoxifys, and there are also some things we can do to help it along. One alternative “detox” method commonly talked about is called dry brushing.
The thought behind this is that you’ll stimulate the lymph system to move faster, while it is normally quite sluggish.
“The lymphoid system is the part of the immune system comprising a network of conduits called lymphatic vessels that carry a clear fluid called lymph (from Latin lympha “water”) unidirectionally toward the heart.” – Wikipedia
This system also carries out toxins from the body, and it moves from the end of our appendages toward the heart. By dry brushing, what you do is take a body brush and starting at the end of your legs or arms, brushing in a circular motion toward the heart, stimulating the system to move faster and thereby helping toxins move more quickly out of the body. (the system empties near the heart) It’s “dry” because you do this before you would take a shower.
But is it effective and does it work?
I was recently asked my thoughts on this as a reader was not wanting to continue to “detox” her body, but enjoyed the dry brushing, and I thought since we talk about detoxification here at NKU every once in a while that I might as well discuss it here.
Awhile back I went to a local seminar on detoxification and cleansing, put on by our health food store and taught by a local naturopath. I was hoping he’d discuss this a bit as I’d tried it for a while but didn’t know if it was quite working. Let’s just say he basically poo-poo’d the whole thing.
I guess since the lymph system moves so slowly, it needs a lot more stimulation than simple dry brushing. He mentioned that it was much more effective if you actually used your hands and “squeegeed” toward your heart. So starting at your feet, you’d wrap your hands around your leg and while using a bit of pressure, you’d pull up and massage toward the heart. Taking extra pulls at joints since that’s where many of the lymphatic glands are.
But he did say that dry brushing was a great exfoliant. And that it was good for stimulating circulation, so it does have its benefits even if it doesn’t do as much detoxification as some would like. Plus it makes for healthier and prettier skin.
So what do you think of dry brushing? Have you done it? Have you noticed a difference in your body at all?