Points - Ask the Doctor

Q: What does dry brushing do for your health?

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.

About our Doctors

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

Albert Vaca, L.Ac.

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