Sunday, December 12, 2010

Dry Body Brushing

Dr. Adolfo recommended dry body brushing as a way to help eliminate toxins, refresh the skin and improve blood circulation.  When I hear about many natural, subtle health techniques, I ask myself, "Does this really do anything?"  Or perhaps, "How effective is this method?"  Well, I've learned that if I relax and enjoy the process, I benefit from small daily improvements.  In the West we often want immediate and dramatic results in order to prove effectiveness, but Ayurveda is centered on preventative health. 

Using a natural bristle brush with a long handle, I brush the skin in long strokes towards the liver (low right side of waistline).  Starting with the arms, I create a path and imagine "dumping" any toxins off for cleansing at my liver.  Then I brush legs and waistline, making sure to pass the lymph nodes.  Like many alternative health treatments, visualization and personal "buy-in" seem to be crucial in this subtle technique.

An article at states that, "Body brushing only takes about five minutes prior to showing or bathing. This process does several things:
1. stimulates the sebaceous glands which encourages natural moisturizing of your skin
2. removes the top layer of dead cells which leads to significant exfoliation and softer, silkier skin
3. improves circulation and increases blood flow to the surface of the body
4. activates the entire lymphatic system
5. aids in the detoxification of the body
6. encourages new cell growth
7. controls and prevents cellulite."

An article in the Yoga Journal reminds me that "In modern Western terms, we might call this a symbolic cleansing, or note that mindfully carrying out a physical process, like body care, can have a meditative effect," she says. Simply put, the benefits are more than skin deep."  One reason Ayurveda appeals to me is because it includes many spa-type beauty and health treatments.  Who wouldn't love that?  Here's a short video I found about body brushing from a spa in Colorado:

I hope to take full advantage of as many Ayurvedic treatments as possible this month!

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