Jul 31 2009
Skin brushing has been around since ancient history in many cultures such as the Greeks, Japanese and American Indians etc. to keep the body healthy. The Comanche Indians for instance were known to scrub their skin with sand they took from Texas river bottoms. It has been said that the Texas Rangers followed their example.
The skin is the largest organ of the body and some of its main functions are:
- Eliminating waste and toxins through perspiration.
- Protecting the body’s internal organs and fluids.
- Assisting the immune system by acting as a barrier to outside pathogens and foreign substances.
- Helping to regulate body temperature.
Skin brushing for detoxification
The body’s process of eliminating waste and toxins is called detoxification. The liver, lungs, kidneys and colon are some of the other organs who have the job of helping the body get rid of waste products. The skin is another organ of elimination that helps the body carry away some of this waste through our sweat. Our bodies are constantly perspiring, and the skin eliminates an average of 1 to 2 pounds of waste through this perspiration process daily.
The benefits of skin brushing
Skin brushing stimulates the skin and keeps the skin pores clear so that the body can perspire freely. This is important to health because if the pores get clogged and the body can’t perspire freely the waste will back-up. That backed-up excess waste and toxins get trapped and become a burden to the skin, body and the other organs of elimination.
Brushing your skin also stimulates oil glands that are in the second layer of skin, bringing this oil to the skins surface. This oil helps to protect the skin and increases the skin’s health, suppleness and elasticity. Skin brushing also stimulates blood circulation, balances fat distribution and increases nerve function throughout the skin organ.
Brushing the skin also has a positive effect on the immune system
Another benefit of brushing the skin is that it assists the movement of lymph, which is just under the skin, throughout the body. Lymph is a clear fluid that "circulates" throughout your body via the lymphatic system. This lymphatic system is separate from the blood’s circulatory system. Lymph carries the white blood cells of your immune system throughout the body to attack and neutralize viruses and other infectious substances. Lymph also carries nutrition to, and carries away waste from all the cells in the body even those that cannot be reached by the blood. This lymphatic system and its white blood cells are the main defense system of the body and the lymph is its carrier.
Your blood’s circulatory system of 15 pints has a heart to pump it around the body. The lymphatic system on the other hand has 45 pints of lymph and no pump to move it. It depends on surrounding muscle movement to push the lymph through the lymphatic system. Breathing and movement are what circulates your lymph.You can see different types of exercise bikes and work with one of those. That is why exercise, deep breathing techniques and skin brushing can enhance the function of your immune system and improve your health. So the addition of skin brushing significantly helps the movement of lymph which enhances the health of your immune system and your whole body.
Wet and dry skin brushing technique
If you are new to skin brushing, start with a loofah or a coarse natural fiber brush glove. Use those for a while to let your skin get used to the brushing sensation. Then move to a skin brush. A skin brush has natural vegetable bristles. Since they are becoming more and more popular, you can find them pretty easily at just about any health food store. The ones with the handles I talk about in this article are easy to use, can reach your back and are easy to maintain.
Perform dry skin brushing before your shower or bath because that will help to stimulate your skin and wash away the flaked skin. Then do wet skin brushing while in your shower or bath. Always stroke towards your heart for the most benefit to your circulation.
- Start on the sole of your right foot, generally using long, light but brisk strokes. Get your ankle, shin, calf and knee.
- Then do the same on your left foot and lower leg. It helps if you can sit down.
- Standing up, next brush upwards on your right and then left thigh from the knee up. Move over to your abdomen, brushing that with a circular motion.
- Brush each arm, starting with the palm and brushing inward towards your heart. Gently brush the chest area in a circular motion, women avoid the breast area.
- Brush the neck area by starting at the back of the neck and stroking with the brush towards the front (avoid your face).
- Use the handle to get your back or better yet, have your mate do it for you.
This should only take about five minutes, especially once you get the hang of it. Of course, take as much time as you want and enjoy yourself!
A few skin brushing tips
If more than one person in your family practices skin brushing for health, each person should have his or her own brush. Keep your brush visible near the shower. Mine has a little hole in the handle, so I hammered a nail into the wall and hung it near the shower so I can grab it easily. Having it where you can see it will help you get into the habit of using it regularly. Avoid brushing areas with skin cuts, wounds or rashes. Avoid the facial area. If you have any type of cancer, please check with a competent healthcare provider to find out if skin brushing is okay for you.If you want to know how this affects an ectomorph please check out the official website.
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