by Dr. Bridgett Simon, ND LAc

We often hear that our skin is our largest organ and it is true. It protects us physically from the elements as well as bacteria and microorganisms. Energetically and metaphorically skin also acts as a boundary.  During energy work, I am often creating protective boundaries for people’s energetic system. These keep our energies separate from that of others around us who may be anxious or angry for example. When energetic boundaries are crossed, there may be rashes on the skin as well. Reiki and advanced energy work can help with this. Skin brushing is a way to clear out waste in our bodies using the energy of the friction of the brush moving over the skin. I would also argue it strengthens our energetic boundary as well because of the mental benefits. In the following paragraphs you will find a description of skin brushing, how to apply the technique and some of the major benefits that can occur.

dry brushing            To start this healthy regimen, get a brush made of natural materials. They are everywhere now and look like a shower brush. Long or short handled is fine. Start at the feet and rub the skin enough to get the color and warmth going until it is pink, not red and painful. This is often done on dry skin for good effects, but I do it in the shower as well if time is a factor. Work up toward the legs, brushing in strokes toward the heart to increase circulation.  Move on to the chest, arms, and the back of your body.  Avoid the face unless you want to get a softer brush which is nice too. Use firm pressure, enough to stimulate the vessels underneath without hurting or harming the skin. This can take about 20 minutes but it feels good and your skin looks great after.

A major benefit of skin brushing is increased circulation. When you stroke over the skin toward the heart, it wakes up the circulation and also moves it toward an area like the heart which is a pump station where the blood can eventually go to be cleaned out in the liver and kidneys. This way you get rid of waste materials in the body. The lymph vessels are stimulated as well as the blood vessels and this gets rid of additional potentially toxic materials in the body.

dry brushing 2           Skin beauty is another benefit of skin brushing. Exfoliating the skin makes the skin glow, revealing healthy skin underneath. I find the skin looks younger like this as well because the fine lines are smoothed away. The Korean spa I go to does a really good job of this because you soak in hot tubs and steam rooms before you get a skin scrub. For the youthful benefits, I recommend heat like sauna or steam first.  The friction of the brush may also reduce cellulite as it breaks up molecules causing the adhesions that create the curled cellulite look.

The last couple of benefits I wanted to mention were improved digestion and stress reduction. Interestingly, stress reduction often goes along with improved digestion.  IBS improves with less stress often for example. Rest and digest is a famous saying for a reason in medical school. Skin brushing is relaxing and invigorating. You feel less anxiety and get recharged at the same time, try it for yourself. One also gets the added benefits of increased circulation leading to blood flow to the liver and kidneys which improves digestive performance, especially when the brushing is applied over the stomach area.


Enjoy skin brushing, an affordable way to take care of our health, our energy and our good looks.