Dry brushing the entire body before a shower is a wonderful, invigorating habit to include in your daily routine. For some, ‘daily’ might be too much and every other day would be a better routine. My skin is currently very dry and I play it by ear. If it is itchy or there are any super dry patches (sometimes on my lower leg) I either brush very gently on that area or skip a day or two. If you have something as severe as eczema or psoriasis, dry brushing may not be for you as it could exacerbate the issue. On the other hand, normal to dry skin will become fresh and glowing after a good dry brushing. It may seem too scratchy at first, but you will get used too it and know just what pressure and type of stroke feels right.
The main therapeutic advantage to dry brushing is the stimulation of the Lymphatic system. This little diagram shows the direction of the brush strokes starting from the extremities and working in towards the heart. The reason for this is explained in this definition of the lymphatic system:
The Lymphatic System is a part of the circulatory system and a vital part of the immune system, comprising a network of lymphatic vessels that carry a clear fluid called lymph directionally towards the heart.
This stimulation of the circulatory and lymphatic system is obviously a helpful and fairly simple routine to establish as part of your own health and maintenance program. And as an added bonus, your skin will feel excruciatingly soft!
The brush pictured at the top is the one I use but some people prefer one with a long handle to make it easier to reach the middle and upper back. But the routine itself is pretty basic: before you jump in the shower, take your brush, start at your ankles with easy circular motion then some swift straight brush strokes and cover the body as shown in the diagram. After that jump in the shower and wash off that dead skin. After the shower I would recommend a body oil which if your skin is as dry as mine is right now, I follow up with a body lotion. It will take a week or two to get in the swing of this but hang in there. The payoff is healthy, soft skin and a healthier circulatory, lymphatic and immune system!