Please don't tune out. I know I did when someone first mentioned this seemingly "woo woo" practise but it's now one of my favourite things to do... but only when I feel like it (this part is key).
So what is dry body brushing?
Well, essentially, it's the act of using a hard/medium brittle brush to create circular motions up and down the body towards the heart in order to enhance blood flow and increase circulation.
All you need to do is buy yourself a sturdy shower brush with a detachable handle (around $15 from any homewares or health stores). Stand butt naked (I do it in front of my bathroom mirror) and work your way up the body, starting with the feet, calves, thighs, tummy, hands, arms, upper chest and even upper back. Firmly (but not to the point of pain), rub the brush around the body in circular motions. It takes no more than 5 minutes.
What's the point in it?
For me it's two-fold, but for you it may be different.
1. I dry body brush when I feel like I need a reminder of how much of a miracle my body is. I tap into my physicality and appreciate all my lumps and bumps for what they are. I'm not a big yogi (though I wish I was) and I rarely find time to sit in stillness. This one act every now and then is my form of meditation. Uninterrupted and personal.
2. I am naturally a sluggish person, often when I'm stressed or run down, I feel like I'm losing steam and my digestion slows to a halt much like a freight train coming to a stand still. This is when I need this most. Immediately after dry body brushing, particularly when I focus on my abdomen, I feel like I've shaken things up and given my body a bit of a nudge!
Why you might like to try it:
It improves circulation, particularly via the lymphatic system, which helps reduce fluid retention and transport oxygen and nutrients around the body. So if like me, you're a bit sluggish and you can feel bloated then this is perfect for you.
It may help reduce cellulite. The act of massaging the body with a dry body brush will help agitate cells in the body and redistribute fat stores that are sitting pretty under the skin. Fat stores are what appear as cellulite.
It is a lovely, ritualistic way of exfoliating dry and dead skin. Rather than standing in the shower and scrubbing your body with an abrasive stone under hot water, take time to slowly exfoliate the skin.
It can help to encourage healthy body image and self esteem. You'll learn to appreciate your body for what it is. This does take practise. But it will happen.
It's a really gentle way of waking you up and preparing you for your day. Much like your morning cup of tea, it's an act that leaves you feeling comforted and ready to go.
The Most Important Thing.
I only ever do this when I have the time and when I feel like it. It's not written into my morning routine. It is simply something I do when I want to. That may be once a week, twice a day or every few months. Right now, I do it on a Saturday morning before my clinic because it's the only day where I'm not in a rush to get to work.
Try it for yourself. It may not be right but it could change your world. Either is ok.