Skin-brushing is an old and well-proven European technique for getting rid of toxic wastes from the body: both because it stimulates lymphatic drainage and because it increases the quantity of waste which is eliminated directly through the surface of the skin - a staggering one third of our wastes can be eliminated this way.
I first learned the technique more than fifteen years ago. It was taught to me by a West Country physician named Phillip Kilsby who used it in conjunction with a high-raw diet as part of a program for healing many kinds of illness - from migraine and arthritis to high blood pressure and depression. When he first told me how effective it was in eliminating wastes and toxins from the body I did not believe him. He suggested a little experiment by which I could prove to myself just how effective it was at eliminating rubbish through the surface of the skin.
He said, `Take a washcloth or flannel and wet it then wring it out well. Now brush your skin dry using the directions below. When you have finished rub the flannel over the surface you have brushed all over just once. Then hang the flannel up and don't use it again until tomorrow when you perform exactly the same routine. After three or four days smell the flannel.' That was all the proof needed!
I use skin-brushing regularly, year round, several times a week. Many of the natural techniques for detoxifying the body are more effective if your body is not allowed to become accustomed to them by doing them every day. Skin brushing can be done steadily for three weeks with a week's break before resuming it again. After even a week of skin-brushing you will also notice an improvement in the look and feel of your skin. After a few weeks it even seems to improve muscle tone although I have never been able to figure out why this should happen.
You will need a natural vegetable-bristle brush (the long-handled kind is best) but a hemp glove will also do. Such brushes and gloves can be found in most health-food shops or good chemists.
The brush should be kept dry. It is best to brush first thing in the morning before you shower. Brush the entire skin surface, except for your face. Begin with your feet, including the soles, then move up your legs, front and back, with firm sweeping strokes. Brush from your hands up your arms and across your shoulders, then brush your back and buttocks. On your front, brush a little more gently—your neck, chest and abdomen. In the abdominal area use a clockwise circular motion. To begin with brush fairly gently, increasing the firmness of the strokes as your body becomes more accustomed to it.
After brushing take a shower. If you are brave you can alternate with warm and cold water (always beginning with warm and ending with cold). This is an excellent way of getting the circulation going and speeding up elimination.