Points - Ask the Doctor

Q: I’ve been hearing about dry brushing. What does it do exactly?

A: Centenarians have long touted the popular technique of dry brushing the skin for its anti-aging benefits. Our skin is the largest organ in the body—it is the outmost layer of defense against pathogens like bacteria and viruses, so it only makes sense that if we take proper care of our skin, it will take care of us.

Our lymphatic system helps us rid our body of wastes that may be detrimental to our health and affect the appearance of our skin. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, unhealthy lifestyle habits, even chemicals in the environment, contribute to a buildup of toxins that can ultimately lead to weight gain, poor health, aging skin, and fatigue.

In Chinese medicine, the Lung organ system is responsible for nourishing and protecting the skin. When our skin is not properly nourished, it can become inflamed or develop rashes—an indication of the accumulation of toxins that can be detrimental to our health. Sun and aging can also toughen the outer layers of the skin, making it feel dry and itchy.

Dry brushing is a simple yet effective modality that improves blood circulation and promotes the movement of lymphatic fluids that drain and remove toxins from the body. Brushing also removes dead cells to reveal fresher, brighter skin underneath, and all you will need is one simple tool—a natural bristle brush that you will gently sweep over the surface of your body.

Dry brushing can also be used to increase skin flexibility and suppleness, strengthen tissue, and improve the appearance of cellulite. Spend about five minutes, two to five days a week, gently brushing your skin in the direction of your heart, preferably before showering or bathing. Start with your extremities, then move to your abdomen, upper chest, and as far as you can reach on your back.

Furthermore, at an older age, certain supplements should be taken. Vitamin C, A, and zinc are very good as antioxidants and are very

About our Doctors

This month's Ask the Doctor question was answered by:

Albert Vaca, L.Ac.,

Albert Vaca, L.Ac., a  California Board Licensed Acupuncturist, received his Master’s degree in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine from Yo San University. Having a background in martial arts and competitive sports, he was drawn to Sports Medicine and orthopedics. He completed a postgraduate training in acupuncture orthopedics at Cedars Sinai Hospital, and furthered his training by becoming certified as an Acupuncture Orthopedic Specialist from the Academy of Orthopedic Acupuncture.

Albert is a firm believer in integrative healthcare and has worked in women’s health, internal medicine and pediatrics with other medical specialists at the Venice Family Clinic and Being Alive HIV clinic. An educator at heart, he served as Dean of Clinical Education at Yo San University where he enjoyed sharing his clinical knowledge with interns. He is co-author of BACK to Pain-Free Health: Secrets of Natural Healing for Back Pain, and is fluent in Spanish.

Albert is dedicated to personal development and practices meditation and tai chi regularly. He hopes to empower patients at Tao of Wellness with his knowledge, and to help them activate their innate restorative abilities that promote healing and well-being.

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