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What's the Deal with Dry Brushing?

Dry brushing is a hot topic these days, especially in the spheres of health and aesthetics. But do they really work? And how?

To see full dry brush tutorials of the face and of the body, scroll down. If you're interested in learning tips and tricks for the dry brush, read on!

These brushes come in all shapes and sizes and are often made of boar bristles but can also be made out of plant materials, such as agave and sisal. Boar bristle brushes tend to be softer than the plant-based materials. I recommend boar bristle for those with sensitive skin and for any dry brushing that you do on the face.

Frankly, there is very minimal peer reviewed evidence that supports the efficacy of dry brush. There is, however, a plethora of anecdotal evidence in support. Many people swear by the dry brush to help exfoliate the skin, stimulate the lymphatic system and help decrease puffiness and bloat.

Of course, the physical act of brushing the skin is an obvious exfoliant. No question there. But how does it work the lymphatics? The dry brush effects the superficial lymphatic capillaries that lie just beneath the surface of the skin. Using dry brush techniques in the proper order, in the proper direction can theoretically move lymphatic fluid through the system which overall supports immunity, decreases swelling and bloating and cleanses the overall cellular environment of the body.

In order to use the dry brush safely and effectively, it's important to have a basic understanding of the lymphatic system. Before even picking up the dry brush, it is essential to open up the 6 major areas of lymph node clusters, always starting at the neck. Gently rub each area of nodes for about 15-20 seconds with the hands. This is sufficient to begin stimulating the system. This will kick-start the system to begin draining so when fluid starts to move from the dry brush application, all that fluid will have a place to go.

The 6 major areas of lymph node clusters are:

  1. The neck

  2. Behind the ears

  3. The armpits

  4. The abdomen (specifically just solar plexus area)

  5. The hip crease

  6. Behind the knees

After you've opened up the lymph nodes, you can add in the dry brush!

Here are some tips for the dry brush:

  • Always start with opening nodes with the hands

  • Start with gentle strokes down the neck

  • Use strokes in the direction of lymph node clusters

  • When working the limbs, start closest to the body then move down the limb

  • Use small, gentle strokes

  • Only dry brush 2-3x/week. Too much dry brushing will over exfoliate the skin

Check out these step-by-step tutorials for dry brushing the face and body:

Fascial drybrush:

Body drybrush:

Hope this helps! Happy brushing!


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