Updated: Nov 2, 2022
Dry brushing is a type of Ayurvedic medicine that has been around for centuries. It’s believed to have many health benefits. Some of the benefits may include:
stimulating the lymphatic system
exfoliating the skin
helping the body rid itself of toxins
increasing circulation and energy
helping to break down cellulite
Dry brushing works by exfoliating the skin. Practitioners of dry brushing rub a brush with coarse, natural-fiber bristles over their bodies in a particular pattern. The idea is that the coarse fibers will help to remove dead skin and improve the skin’s ability to eliminate toxins through the pores.
Lymphatic system and the removal of toxins The lymphatic system helps your body fight off infections. Fluids flow through the system and are filtered through the lymph nodes. If you’re sick or exposed to a lot of toxins, the system may become backed up and clogged. That is why your lymph nodes often become swollen when you have a cold. Dry brushing is thought to help the body release toxins through sweat. The course bristles on the brush stimulate the pores and open them up. This makes it easier for the body to sweat, which in turns reduces the amount of toxins flowing through the lymphatic system. Exfoliation The coarse bristles can brush away dry, dead cells from the skin. This can leave your skin more smooth and soft.
Relaxation Similar to a massage, dry brushing may make you feel relaxed. To make the most of this benefit, practice dry brushing in a dark, quiet space.
Cellulite Cellulite is a condition that mostly affects women. Areas affected by cellulite have a rippled or “cottage cheese” appearance. The cause is not fully known. Massage has been shown to temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite. Some claim that dry brushing can reduce the appearance of cellulite because it has similar effects on the body as massage.
“[Dry brushing] does exfoliate, which is fine if not done too vigorously,” says Dr. Carolyn Jacobs, a board-certified dermatologist and director at Chicago Cosmetic Surgery and Dermatology. “But it won’t help cellulite as that is due to fat and collagen bands in women.”
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