Dry brushing is a therapeutic health practice that originated in India thousands of years ago. Its simplicity and invigorating results have made it a popular practice in people young and old, providing natural skin exfoliation and activation of many of the bodies’ healing systems. The skin is the largest organ, and caring for is a basic-yet-effective practice.
What is Dry Brushing?
Dry brushing is the use of natural, stiff-bristled brush-stroked gently up the body to activate different biological systems. A dry brush can have a longer handle for hard-to-reach areas like the back, and there are different bristle styles available for more sensitive skin.
It is recommended you dry brush before a shower, to give yourself a chance to rinse away dead skin that is disturbed by the brushing. Start dry brushing at the soles of the feet and palms of the hands, always moving upwards in a gentle sweeping motion. Sweep towards the heart, taking time to feel the bristles and reflect on how your body is reacting. Gentle, circular motions are O.K. too.
Dry brushing should not hurt, although a slight pink reaction from the skin is normal. Go over every area of your body five-to-ten times, gradually building your tolerance for the brushing. After the dry brushing session and a refreshing shower, moisturize the skin with a high-quality lotion containing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, ceramides, fatty acids, glycerides, and glycols.
Benefits of Dry Brushing
Although there is little scientific proof for the whole-body benefits of dry brushing, the act of brushing is said to activate the lymphatic system, digestive system, and acupuncture points – all of which operate at skin level or very close to it.
People naturally shed the outermost layer of skin, and without exfoliation, the skin can build up and create a dull look. Dry brushing manually sweeps away the unwanted cells, unclogs hair follicles, and lets your skin ‘breathe’ better. Consistent dry brushing produces softer, shinier skin and has been said to reduce the look of cellulite, which is dimpled fat near the surface of the skin.
Stimulate the Lymphatic and Circulatory System
The lymphatic system is an unsung hero in the body. Made of lymph nodes, vessels, ducts, and more, the system is designed to move items throughout the body. A poorly operating lymphatic system may see fluid buildup in the arms and legs. Dry brushing towards the thoracic duct (located in the upper chest) can encourage this fluid to enter the duct and be removed by the bloodstream.
Dry brushing also stimulates small capillaries near the skin’s surface. Capillaries carry the nutrient-filled blood of the body and stimulating them can encourage more circulation, reducing inflammation.
Get a Boost
Almost like taking a cold shower or laying down on a spiky acupuncture mat, the rough dry brush can trigger the body’s acute stress response. This gets the heart rate up, energizing you!
Things to Remember
Equine stretches provide numerous benefits to horses, includingimproving their flexibility, preventing injuries, and enhancing their overall performance. Just like humans, stretching plays a key role in maintaining a horse's physical well-being. Horses, like any athlete, need aproper warm-up and cool-down regimen, which often includes a series of stretches. Integrating these stretches into a horse's daily routine can help maintain their suppleness, improve blood circulation, and reduce muscle tension.