Dry Skin Brushing

The skin is our largest route of elimination, excreting more than 2lbs of waste each day, and taking in air and sunshine. Our skin breathes! And yet, in most people, this vital route of detoxification is operating far below it's capacity, because it is clogged with dead skin cells and the un-removed waste excreted through perspiring.

It is estimated that one third of all body impurities are excreted through the skin. If the skin becomes inactive and its pores choked with millions of dead cells, uric acid and other impurities will remain in the body. The other eliminative organs, mainly the liver and kidneys, will have to increase their labour of detoxification because of the inactive skin, with the result that they will be overworked and eventually weakened or diseased. Toxins and wastes will then be deposited in the tissues. Thus, you must realize the great importance of always keeping your skin in perfect working

In addition to its eliminative work, skin has many other vital functions. The body actually breathes through the skin, absorbing oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide, which is formed in the tissues. Also, certain nutrients are absorbed into the body through the skin. It has been long known, too, that vitamin D is absorbed into the system through the skin.

Draining the Lymph
The lymph is the interstitial fluid that bathes our cells, bringing them nutrients and removing their waste - all detoxification occurs first and foremost through the lymph. Our bodies contain far more lymph than blood, and yet the lymph is dependent upon outside forces for it's circulation around the body; the lymph has no heart to pump it!

Consequently, the lymph relies upon exercise and massage for it's vital circulation, two things that are lacking in most people's everyday lives. For many years, the only way to drain the lymph was through lymph drain massage. Dry skin brushing prompts the body to release it's toxic deposits into the lymph, whilst simultaneously cleansing the lymph itself, through it's return to it's two plexuses, or centres, near the heart. Because of it's ability to release the skin's detoxification potential and to cleanse mucoid deposits from the cells directly into the colon, dry skin brushing is considered by many to be an essential part of any intestinal cleansing program. In order to maximise the lymphatic benefits of dry skin brushing, the skin should be brushed according to the locations of the two lymph ducts.

The majority of the lymph in the body drains into the thoracic duct, located near the heart, but the lymph from the upper-right quadrant of the body (the right-side of the face, neck and chest, including the right arm, and following the line of the ribs down) drains into the right lymphatic ducts, located above the liver, under the right breast.

The skin should therefore be brushed in long, firm strokes up the legs and in towards the heart, except for the upper-right quadrant, which should be brushed down towards the liver (under the right ribcage) and the right breast. Of special note are the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet, both of which are reflexive maps of the body, meaning that they are linked - via nerve pathways - to every part of the body.

Here's how to do dry skin brushing: 
Buy a natural bristle or plant fiber brush for yourself (not to be shared). The size of your brush should be larger than your hand, preferably with a handle to let you brush your own back. Brush gently at first from the soles of your feet upwards toward the heart. Brush hands, arms, head and neck towards the heart. Vary the brushing pressure to accommodate varying sensitivity of the skin of different parts of the body - face, medial thighs, abdomen and breasts are more sensitive. Never brush irritated, damaged or infected skin. When your skin is "seasoned" you can use more pressure or a coarser brush.

Brush dry skin before showering until it becomes warm and rosy for 5-10 minutes, and then shower away dry skin particles. You may finish the routine with a light moisturizing oil or lotion that doesn't contain mineral oil which can clog the pores.

Contrast Showers: 
The contrast between hot and cold water increases circulation, promotes detoxification and strengthens the immune system. This helps bring nutrients, oxygen and immune cells to damaged and stressed tissues and carries away metabolic waste, inflammatory by-products and other toxic substances. Start with three minutes of hot water followed by less than one minute of cold water. Repeat this pattern at least once, always finishing with cold (e.g. 3 minutes hot - 1 minute cold - 3 minutes hot - 1 minute cold).