Dry Skin Brushes Burlington VT
South Burlington, VT
South Burlington, VT
Brush Your Skin
By Barbara Hey
Ever watch your cat or dog roll around in the dirt? That’s the animal version of dry brushing—giving the body a water-free once-over to wake up and invigorate the skin. With humans, no dirt’s involved thankfully—just a brush and a little bit of self-indulgence.
Dry brushing, a way to purposively, gently stimulate the skin, enhances circulation in the blood and lymphatic systems, supports immune functioning, and exfoliates the skin. This practice crosses generations and cultures and occurs in one form or another in Africa, Scandinavia, the Middle East, and Asia. Native Americans used dried corncobs as the brush; the Japanese traditionally use a loofah-like sponge as the purifying prelude to a hot soak.
These days healthcare practitioners recommend dry brushing to promote skin vitality and as a means to promote healing. In addition, many spas include dry brushing as part of a skin renewal treatment to slough dead skin, stimulate circulation in the skin’s surface, reduce puffiness, and restore a healthy hue.
Katie Sheff, ND, with the Bastyr Center for Natural Health in Seattle, prescribes dry brushing for patients who are doing a detox or battling lymph issues (such as lymph fluid stagnation after surgery or a viral illness), and for people interested in adding a radiance-enhancing tool to their daily routine.
Dry brushing works best as part of the getting-ready-for-the-day regimen. Set aside five minutes first thing, before jumping in the shower. Use any kind
of brush, keeping in mind that a long-handled brush makes it easier to navigate the far-reaches of the body. Use a delicate touch—if you get too abrasive, the skin goes into defense mode. “It should be a touch that’s like a breeze,” says Sheff. The skin should perceive the contact as pleasurable, not as a clean-the-kitchen-floor scrub.
When dry brushing is part of a spa skin treatment, it can have a bit more oomph. But, says Linda Mullen a certified esthetician at The Heartland Spa in Gilman, Illinois, “the pressure depends on the person, the skin type, the degree of sensitivity.” Brushing works to remove the surface cells, but in a gentle fashion. “In the spa, dry brushing is used as the first step, to prepare the skin for what comes next, like a soothing body polish, or an alternative to more rigorous methods of exfoliation like a sea salt scrub.”
According to Sheff, do-it-yourself dry brushing should follow certain rules:
• Always brush toward the heart and with long strokes.
• Avoid tender areas where skin is thin and delicate, such as the face and nipples, and any irritated or cut skin.
• Start with the tops of the feet and brush the front and back of the leg up to the hip. At the belly, brush in a counter-clockwise motion, ending at the heart level.
• Next brush from the tops of the fingers up the arm and shoulder to the heart.
• Reach to the back (that long handle helps) and brush from the buttocks up the back and around to the belly.
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