The History of Dry brushing August 20 2020


Dry Brushing is an incredible and invigorating self-care ritual that has been around for ages. This ritual of stimulating the skin by dry brushing has been used in several cultures from Ayurveda (an alternative medicine system with historical roots in the Indian subcontinent) to Ancient Egyptians, Romans, and traditional Chinese medicine. Here are a few examples of dry brushing in history.

The Ancient Egyptians were the pioneers of extraordinary beauty rituals. They were said to have used the dry body brushing technique going back thousands of years; exfoliating with natural enzymes from sour milk and wine for soft, supple skin.

Ayurveda is India’s 5,000 year old holistic health care system. Ayurvedic dry-brushing, called garshana (pronounced gar-shun-uh) was used to stimulate circulation and blood flow. Garshana is traditionally done using raw silk or linen gloves, though many prefer to use a natural bristle body brush.

Traditional Chinese dry brushing uses the dried fibres of a gourd fruit called silk squash, commonly known as a loofah. Externally, luffa can be used either alone or mixed with sesame oil to remove dead skin, stimulate circulation and is associated with the Lung, Stomach and Liver meridians.

The Ancient Greeks and Romans used strigils (a bronze instrument with a curved blade) with olive oil, to remove dirt, sweat and oil before they bathed. The famous ancient physician Aristotle – the Father of Medicine was said to be a fan of the strigils. Many people in these times were buried with their strigils.

Finnish nutritionist and naturopathic physician Dr. Paavo Airola popularized contemporary dry brushing 30 years ago. He stressed its function to increase digestion and support and to revitalize our organ systems. He incorporated objects like sand, sticks and other raw materials to support exfoliation.

There is no denying that dry brushing has been around for a while and there is a good reason for it. Here are just a few of the benefits of adding regular dry brushing to your morning routine:

  • Soft Skin: Dry brushing gently exfoliates and eliminates dead skin cells, leaving skin feeling soft and helping the skin renewal process. This encourages cellular turnover and can be really helpful for avoiding ingrown hairs and keratosis pilaris.
  • Tone and sculpt: The motions of dry brushing help to sculpt and tone muscles and tissues below the skin’s surface. These same motions boost circulation, creating supple, rejuvenated, glowing skin.
  • Lymph Love: The lymphatic system lies just below the skin’s surface. Daily dry brushing can stimulate these nodes, vessels and glands to aid in the body’s natural detoxification process, improving immune function and helping keep skin healthy and glowing.
  • Bye Breakouts: By encouraging cellular turnover, stimulating the lymph and unclogging pores, dry brushing helps to keep breakouts at bay. This works exceptionally well for painful cystic breakouts.

Learn more about our Daily Glow Dry Brush here.

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