Some of the simplest techniques for supporting your body’s elimination processes also happen to feel wonderful and can bring delicious relaxation in their wake. Your body is working hard to get rid of all that stored waste, so treat it gently and give it some attention. Your mind will benefit too.
Skin brushing is now frequently recommended by health practitioners and has a long history for health and healing in the annals of European natural treatments. It is a particularly helpful technique to use during a detox, and can do wonders for your skin used daily afterwards. Skin brushing acts both superficially to draw out wastes from the skin, and deeply by boosting lymphatic drainage (more of this later) and helping to break down congestion in areas where the lymph flow has become sluggish and toxins have collected. It improves the look of skin, helps eliminate cellulite, and tones the whole body. It is an extraordinarily gentle yet powerful technique, and it feels wonderful.
Using a natural bristle brush, preferably one with vegetable bristles and a long handle (available from pharmacies, natural beauty shops and health-food stores), go over the surface of your body once with long sweeping motions. Brush across the tips of your shoulders and upper back, then down over the neck and shoulders and down the arms and over the hands – always working in a downwards direction and covering the surface of the skin once. Now brush down over the trunk and tummy and down the back until you’ve covered every inch of your upper body. Then, beginning at the feet, brush upwards in the same long sweeping motions up the legs, front and back, and up over the buttocks. Do this slowly and enjoy the feeling of having the skin of your whole body gently exfoliated.
Always brush your skin with a dry brush and never brush your face. How much pressure you put behind the brush should depend on how strong your skin is, your age, and how much stimulation it is used to. Go easy to begin with. Your skin will soon become fitter and then you will be able to work far more vigorously. But you should never go too hard too quickly or you risk being counter productive and will miss out on the benefits of steadily increasing skin firmness and fitness. Skin brushing encourages better circulation, brings energy into ‘deadened’ areas of flesh, smooths and softens skin, and encourages better lymphatic drainage. You are also sloughing off dead skin cells with the brush, so encouraging new cells to come to the surface and make the skin of your whole body glow.
Being your body’s largest organ and one of the most important for elimination (almost a third of your body’s wastes can be eliminated through the skin), skin that is brushed regularly yields up the most amazing quantity of rubbish. You can check for yourself just how dramatic is the skin’s elimination of wastes by performing a practical experiment with the help of a flannel. Every day before your bath or shower, brush your skin all over for three to five minutes. Then take a damp flannel and rub it all over your freshly brushed body. Hang the flannel up and repeat the process with the same flannel the next day. After a few days, the smell of the flannel will be quite revolting thanks to the quantity of waste products that have come directly through the skin’s surface. Just think how much better off you are without them.