How to Dry Brush —and Why It’s So Potent

If the lymphatic system is congested, it can lead to a build-up of toxins, causing inflammation and illness. Dry brushing stimulates the lymphatic system as it stimulates and invigorates the skin. Show more text

Stacked amongst the clear glass jars of homeopathic remedies, immune-supporting supplements, rose creams, and carrot cleansers on the sparkling shelves of The Organic Pharmacy on Bleecker Street in New York, you’ll find a long wooden brush that looks straight out of an especially well-made Norwegian sauna.

The brush is one of Margo Marrone’s—the London-based apothecary’s founder—favorite items. “It’s invaluable in helping with so many issues, but especially detox,” she says. Indeed, the practice of brushing the skin once or twice daily with a soft but firm brush is essential during a detox, but the benefits of simply making it a permanent habit are even more important: It’s said to boost circulation, sweep away dead skin cells, stimulate the lymph nodes, improve digestion, improve the appearance of cellulite, and help the cells and body in general remove waste.

Stimulating the lymphatic system is at the core of all its benefits, Marrone says, which is why dry brushing is prescribed along with the company’s bestselling 10-day Detox program. “The lymphatic system is responsible for collecting, transporting to the blood, and eliminating the waste our cells produce,” she explains. “If the lymphatic system is congested, it can lead to a build-up of toxins, causing inflammation and illness. Dry brushing stimulates the lymphatic system as it stimulates and invigorates the skin.”

A long brush like Organic Pharmacy’s allows you to get at hard-to-reach spots like the middle of your back; the shorter one from Aromatherapy Associates fits in your hand perfectly, making it incredibly easy to use. 

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