Healthy Living

Ayurveda 101: Dry Brushing


Ayurveda… the ancient wisdom of life, where the connection of body, mind and soul meet and create a healthy or unhealthy being. It teaches that when there is disharmony in any one of those areas, it manifests in a corresponding part of the body. Oftentimes, it begins with our consciousness and what we believe to be true.

180360_DryBrushBetween my studies in yoga and my ongoing urge to live a holistic lifestyle, Ayurveda is the natural progression towards whole healthiness. It has been a passion and an interest of mine for some time now, but only recently have I started to truly implement it in my daily life. I’d like to share some of what I’ve learned…

Several years ago, I had an Ayurvedic spa day which included Shirodara, Dry Brushing, and Abhyanga. I always like to try different therapies whenever I go to the spa, but I found the dry brushing to be excruciating (think nails-on-a-chalkboard mixed with torture!) It wasn’t until last year I tried it again and fell in love with how it felt when I did it myself. It has become addictive, energizing and my skin quality has greatly improved. 

Considering skin is the largest organ, it tends to be the most overlooked and perhaps most misunderstood. Generally, people spend more time focusing on the skin on their face while neglecting the other 8+lbs that cover their bodies! Our skin protects, absorbs, repels, stimulates, transmits, regulates and manufactures. It’s also a good indicator of our overall health. I’ve been making some major changes to the way I treat my skin, starting with dry brushing. Here are some of the main benefits:

  • Invigorates circulation
  • Exfoliates skin
  • Encourages lymphatic drainage
  • Promotes healthy, soft skin
  • Removes toxins
  • Stimulates glands
  • Reduces cellulite
  • Boosts immune system

I purchased this brush and have been really happy with it. I like the strap and how it fits in the palm of my hand. The key is to use a brush made from natural bristles as opposed to synthetic. (Some people prefer to have a longer handle to reach their back.)

Here’s how it works:

First, it’s recommended to dry brush in the morning before a shower due to it’s energizing qualities. However, I usually shower at night, so I do it then. Starting at the bottom of the feet, brush the soles and tops. Then moving up the body, use long, sweeping strokes going towards the heart. (This is important because the brushing helps the blood flow back towards the heart and aids drainage of the lymph fluid which eliminates waste and toxin build up.)

I break it down into parts; feet, lower leg, upper leg, buttocks, stomach, arms, back, neck/chest. The pressure should be medium firm — not light but certainly not painful. The skin should feel tingly and good, like an invigorating massage – not red or irritated. Follow with a shower and body oil.

Have you or would you ever try dry brushing?