I would love to share with you a health and beauty secret practiced in the spas of Europe and Russia, and that I have been doing regularly for years. The first is called dry brush massaging, and it is a stupendous way to care for your skin and other systems.

Dry brush massage, or dry brushing as I call it, is using a dry vegetable fiber brush to lightly scrub the dead skin cells off your body. Very much like a body scrub spa treatment here in the U.S., dry brushing is a way to stimulate the skin and remove the upper epidermal layer, leaving a fresh, rosy complexion to your body.

I like to use a vegetable fiber brush that you can get at most health food stores. In Los Angeles I like Erewhon Natural Foods near CBS on Beverly Blvd., which right down the street from my West Hollywood chiropractic office. You can also use a loofah or a coarse sponge if you have one lying around, but make sure it’s dry.

Starting with the soles of your feet, brush vigorously in rotational motions, and brush your entire body. When first starting the practice, go lightly, as your skin will be sensitive. You’ll want to be extra careful around the genitalia, axilla (armpits), and neck, which are very sensitive; and DO NOT brush the face (dry brush is too rough for the facial skin, and a good exfoliating scrub should do fine here). You want to brush until your skin becomes warm, glowing and rosy.

Five to ten minutes of dry brushing should be fine. The best time for dry brush massage is first thing in the morning or right before bed. I think dry brushing once a month is plenty, but I know some people do it more often. I do, however, think that more than once per week is excessive–moderation is key here.

The skin is the largest eliminative organ of the body (in size, not function). This surprises some to hear, but our skin is specifically designed to excrete impurities (along with its protective, sensory and other functions). When dead skin cells accumulate on the outer layers, the pores of the skin can become clogged, preventing the excretion of impurities and wastes. Further, vitamin D is produced in the deepest epidermal layers of the skin in response to sun absorption, so keeping the outermost layers as desquamated (sloughed off) as possible should help on this end too.

Finally, regular dry brushing can energize the lymphatic and circulatory systems, stimulating the movement of vital fluids. It will also stimulate the nervous system, helping you reconnect with the sensory receptors on the surface of your skin, and act as a vitality rejuvenator. Dry brushing also stimulates oil production from the glandular system, giving your skin a healthy sheen.

Dry brushing is a wonderful health and beauty practice sure to increase vitality, beautify your complexion, and improve your overall health. It’s a powerful natural anti-aging technique that I’ve been taking advantage of for years. Visit your local health food store and purchase a dry brush today. Dry brush for health, wellness and ageless beauty–you’ll be pleasantly amazed at the results.

*I refuse to entertain notions of cellulite removal from dry brushing as the suggestion of such is absurd.

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