By Lisa Audy, Nutritionist at ClubSport Fremont
Many of us spend a fair amount of time getting ready in the morning, and if we compared our routines, they would probably be quite similar: shower, blow dry, brush teeth, a little touch of make-up, and off we go. But there is something I discovered while training as a nutritional therapist that has become part of my morning ritual. It’s called dry brushing, and to borrow a phrase from Martha Stewart, it’s a really good thing!
Dry brushing has many potential benefits related to detoxifying the body. For starters, your skin benefits from thorough exfoliation, helping it feel healthy and allowing it to breathe and absorb more nutrients as the pores become unclogged. After some time, your skin will even feel soft without the need for lotions and oils.
Even more important than healthy skin is the boost dry brushing provides to the lymphatic system, which plays a major part in the body’s immune system. The lymphatic system is made up of lymph nodes, ducts, and vessels that transport lymph — a colorless fluid containing white blood cells that bathes the tissues and drains through the lymphatic system into the bloodstream — throughout the body. Many of these lymph vessels run just below the skin, so as you brush, blood circulation to that area increases. This, in turn, enhances the flow of lymph through the body and helps to remove damaging toxins.
A third benefit of dry brushing is that it helps with the removal of cellulite. Poor circulation is one of the root causes of cellulite formation. Dry brushing exfoliation stimulates your skin to produce new, fresh skin cells while removing older, dying, and dead cells. By removing waste and toxins, your cells function better and get the nutrients they need, thus reducing cellulite.
Want to give dry brushing a try? It’s easy — just invest in a natural bristle brush with a long handle which can be found at your local department, health, or food store.
The process is very simple:
- Stand in a bathtub or tiled surface (naked, obviously) to catch the falling skin.
- Begin brushing by starting at your feet and moving in long sweeping motions toward your heart.
- Always brush toward your heart. This is where the lymph and the circulatory systems meet.
- Brush several times in each area, overlapping as you go.
- Armpits and groin areas should be brushed in circular motions.
- Brush carefully over more sensitive areas. Your skin will become less sensitive over time.
- Once you’ve brushed your entire body, jump in the shower.
The bottom line: Dry brushing has many benefits that range from exfoliation to naturally helping the body detoxify. It’s relaxing, won’t cost you an arm and a leg, and will help you feel healthier and more energized. Give it a try — you have nothing to lose … except maybe some waste and toxins.
Meet Christine Fitzgerald
Christine Fitzgerald is a two-time published author, a certified nutritionist, and holds a Master’s in Nutrition. Christine specializes in hormone education, testing, and balance; weight management; athletic performance; and recovery. She holds quarterly nutrition seminars across all ClubSport clubs.