A couple of months ago, I decided to give body brushing a try. I’d heard a lot about it but if I’m honest, I judged it as the domain of those with too much time on their hands. Then suddenly I had a lot of time on my hands and figured why not try it? Turns out, I didn’t really need the time, but my body did need that body brush... I was hooked.
There are many purported benefits of body brushing, from getting rid of cellulite to evening out skin tone. I can’t vouch for all of these, but I want to share the benefits I’ve seen and experienced myself:
My Skin is a Lot Smoother
The bumps on the backs of my arms have disappeared and my skin generally feels much smoother. It’s a much nicer canvas for my moisturizer!
My Legs are Less Dry
I used to have a lot of dry skin on my legs, and the body brushing has been exfoliating the area and getting rid of the dead skin.
My Sinuses are Awake
This one really surprised me, but after doing a bit of research, it makes sense!
Body brushing stimulates the lymphatic drainage system, which amongst other things is the body’s ‘trash collection’ service. The lymphatic system basically sweeps the body for anything that shouldn’t be there: toxins and waste.
Lymphatic fluid moves around the body in a similar way to blood, but crucially, whereas blood moves around with the help of the heart and the muscles in the walls of the blood vessels, the lymphatic drainage system has no muscles of its own, and relies on the body’s movements to keep the fluid moving (yet another reason--if you needed one--why exercise is so good for us). When we body brush in the right way, we give our lymphatic system a helping hand, which can stimulate better lymphatic flow. Since the sinuses provide a route for congestive material in the face to move, getting my lymphatic drainage system can help movement in the sinuses too.
It’s recommended to start with every day for a month and then continue to do it three times a week. I have to admit, I’ve become addicted and I’m doing it every day because I was totally wrong about it being for people who have too much time on their hands: it really does only take three minutes. I’ve incorporated body brushing into my shower routine. Mine is a dry brush but you can get wet brushes too that will save even more time as you can do it in the shower.
- Brush from your feet up towards your hips, paying special attention to the backs of knees where there is a cluster of lymph nodes.
- Brush from hands to my shoulders (this way you can reach the backs of your arms).
- Brush your back, from bottom to top, as far as I can. If you can’t reach the whole area try buying a brush with a long handle.
- Brush across your chest from the shoulders towards the heart.
- Brush the stomach gently in a clockwise direction.
- Follow with a great moisturizer to re-hydrate your smoothened skin.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rachel is a qualified yoga instructor with a passion for helping people to discover the benefits of yoga and meditations for their own needs - be they sleep, relaxation or energy. She is a lifelong learner with an interest in holistic health, and understanding how we can best support both body and mind to be strong, healthy and happy.