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The Magic of Dry and Wet Body Brush Massage
Written by Tracy Kaye Holly   

Dry and Wet Body Brush MassageI have wet and dry brush massaged for 35 years, since the age of seventeen. At that young and tender age, I had no idea how beneficial brushing actually was, but I knew that my skin felt like silk and that regular brushing gave me a sense of invigoration and well-being. It was, and still is, truly magical!

Body brushing the skin is an ancient therapeutic practice. The little-known benefits of body brushing are innumerable. Brushing exfoliates and tones the skin, slows down the process of aging, increases circulation, and alleviates muscle tension.  Brushing also increases blood flow and improves circulation. The action will tighten the skin, making it less prone to wrinkles. It’s a simple, reliable practice that keeps skin healthy and vital, and leaves you feeling healthy and strong. This proven practice is also known to prevent and reduce the formation of cellulite in the thighs and bottom area, where peroxidized lipids (fats), proteins, and waste products tend to accumulate.

One of the greatest stress-relieving benefits of body brushing is that it helps the lymphatic drainage system remove toxins. The skin is the largest eliminative organ and plays an important role in body detoxification; by dry brushing the skin you can clean out the lymphatic system. Lymph, the fluid transported by the lymphatic system, is a component of the immune system. Lymph consists of white blood cells (lymphocytes) and a special fluid that bathes our cells. This fluid works to nourish cells and remove their waste. All detoxification occurs first and foremost through the lymph; in fact, the blood that runs through our veins depends greatly on the lymphatic system for quality and life support.

Body brushing techniques

The tool used in dry brushing is typically a long-handled bath brush with soft, natural-fibre bristles. Other options include exfoliating gloves, a loofah sponge, or gloves made from raw silk. The advantage of the long-handled brush is that it allows you to scrub those hard-to-reach body parts.  For wet brushing, specialized brushes allow you to scrub in the shower with a gentle cleanser. For women this is useful after shaving legs, underarms, and bikini area, to help avoid ingrown hairs.

Whether dry or wet, brush massage is preferable first thing in the morning. A thorough skin brushing takes between five and seven minutes. You can brush head-to-toe or toe-to-head. What matters most for best results is brushing the entire body consistently.  Here’s your morning dry brush routine:

  1. Remove your clothing and perform a full-body dry brush massage. Using long or circular strokes, massage the skin and extremities towards your heart from the feet up and the neck and arms down.  Your skin may redden and start tingling as the body brushing increases the circulation in areas of greatest fat concentration. How firmly you press depends on how toned your skin and body are. Brush gently and easily at first. Your skin will soon become fitter and more toned. Soon you can brush more vigorously with even better results.
  2. After dry brushing your entire body, enter a lukewarm to warm shower. Wash yourself as usual, then slowly increase the temperature of the water to very warm or hot. Maintain the heat for several minutes.
  3. Next, turn the water to freezing cold and twist your body around slowly under the shower head. Try and stay under the water for around 30 seconds until you’re almost gasping for air.
  4. Dry off with a towel, preferably in an open area with direct natural light. This is called air bathing!
  5. Apply a natural moisturizer or your favourite natural plant oil such as almond, avocado, sesame, or a special mix.

Note: Avoid body brushing if you have eczema, psoriasis, broken or infected skin, or varicose veins. Don't do a dry or wet brush massage on skin that has a rash, infection, or wound.

The magic of dry or wet body brush massage will make you feel wonderful, completely refreshed, and ready to start your day! You’ll notice a difference the first time you incorporate this marvelous wellness habit into your morning routine. Give it a couple of weeks and your friends and family will notice the difference, too.

Tracy Kaye Holly -

Tracy Kaye Holly is a Certified Sports Nutrition Advisor and the author of The Athlete's Cookbook, Sports Nutrition for Kids and Simple Strategies for Living Lean and Staying Well. Tracy also teaches Latin, Ballroom and Bollywood dancing, judges and competes from time to time in Masters' level Ms. Fitness and Natural bodybuilding. www.coryholly.com

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