A dry-brush a day …

Ellen SymonsBy: Ellen Symons
Ellen is a registered massage therapist, the owner of Body Poets and a dedicated daily dry-brusher.

Do you ever have dry or rough skin? Acne? An itchy back? Do you get colds? Do your ankles or feet swell? Do your hands or feet feel cold?

Seven months ago, I would have said ‘yes’ to all of these. But dry-brushing my skin for three minutes a day has changed these things and more. I feel healthier than I have in, well, in seven months!

I think of myself as a healthy person, but with a low-performing thyroid and Raynaud’s Disease (insufficient blood flow to hands and feet, triggered by cool temperatures), I had a few symptoms I wanted to change. Plus, as I get older (I’m 51 now), I notice my skin is drier each winter. So on February 2, 2013, I started a daily dry-brushing routine. The results have been dramatic, and it’s one of the easiest things I do for my health.

Why dry-brush your skin?Dry brushing - ottawa massage blog

1. Better skin health
2. Better lymphatic function (reduce swollen ankles, for example)
3. Better immune system function

How to dry-brush?

1. Get a natural-bristle brush, a rough wash cloth, or a mitt (not a loofah, it collects bacteria). Dry-brush tools are easy to get at dollar stores and pharmacies.
2. Always brush toward the heart: from the legs, go up; from the arms and chest, go down.
3. Brush before showering, so skin is not plump full of water.
4. Brush once per day, or twice if you are sick.
5. Start on bottom of left foot, brushing in small circles or straight lines, 5-7 times.
6. Work up through the leg in segments, especially back of knee and inner thigh, then the other leg, the buttocks, low back, belly, and full torso, then each arm starting at fingertips up to shoulders.
7. From upper shoulders and neck, brush down toward the heart.
8. Include the face using light strokes with your fingertips out from the centre, from chin up to forehead.
9. All strokes should be light, so that your skin feels gently tingly but not painful.
10. Follow with a shower to wash away dead skin: alternate cool and warm temperatures for best immune-system results.
11. Finish with a natural moisturizer (coconut oil is a good choice) to keep your skin nourished and supple.
12. Wash brush or gloves weekly in hot soapy water and let air dry.

How dry-brushing works

It takes about 30 days to start seeing healthier skin. After 90 days, you will see improvements in your immune system, such as fewer colds. After six months, other changes will become obvious: for me, a more even body temperature has been one of those.

Dry skin brushing exfoliates skin, stimulates your Lymphatics - ottawa massage blogimmune system, and increases your metabolism to improve your cells’ health. The skin is the largest organ in the body, and brushing keeps it healthy. The lymphatic system, which is responsible for our immunity, doesn’t have a pump (like the heart) to move it through the body: it relies on our breathing, exercise, and manual therapies like brushing, to move it effectively. Dry skin brushing is common in many countries, and is becoming more known in Canada as a simple and effective self-care technique.

You Tube video

Here’s a six-minute video that shows a basic dry-brush technique: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ANy_2xWLAo. Remember to do the bottoms of your feet, your palms, and your fingers and toes!

After seven months of daily dry-brushing, I actually get more excited about this part of my routine each day. It’s an easy, effective health care tool that is having great results for me.

This entry was posted in Exercise or Self-care Tip and tagged , , , , , , by Body Poets Massage Therapy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Body Poets Massage Therapy

Three-time nominee and 2016 winner of Top Massage Clinic in Ottawa! At Body Poets Massage Therapy, we are committed to excellence in client care. We provide therapeutic, sports, pre- and post-natal, wellness, cupping, hot stone, ART, Thai massage, and more in a convenient, peaceful, downtown Ottawa location with free client parking. We are FSCO-registered and can bill your auto insurance company directly for treatment after a motor vehicle accident. We also bill directly to Great West Life and Green Shield. Our flagship office at 504 Kent Street in Ottawa is close to the Queensway and easy to reach by car, foot, bike or bus. Our satellite clinic in Almonte, Ontario is cozy and charming. Our online booking system makes it simple for you to reserve your appointment at any time. And our network of like-minded health professionals means we can refer you to practitioners in other fields who meet your needs for quality care. Step into the circle of care, at Body Poets. http://bodypoets.com, http://almontemassage.com, http://ottawamassageblog.com

7 thoughts on “A dry-brush a day …

    • Hey, Michelle, I’m really happy you found this useful. Please check back in a few months and let me know how it’s going! I almost pooped out at 3.5 months, but I’m really glad I decided to stick with it. And this week, I felt as if I was getting a cold so I brushed twice daily for four days, and the cold never took hold.

      Best wishes! Ellen

  1. I am back at dry brushing and I am starting to feel what I felt for 3 months. It sure does make a difference I am glad I started again. It has been 2 weeks now

  2. Pingback: Brace yourself for cold and flu season! | Body Poets Massage Therapy

  3. Pingback: A dry-brush a day, Part 2! | Body Poets Massage Therapy

  4. Pingback: A dry-brush a day, Part 2! | Body Poets Massage Therapy

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