If you’re looking to improve circulation and also boost your skin and mood, dry brushing could be worthwhile.
Dry brushing involves giving yourself a short, daily massage with a dry, stiff-bristled brush.
Brushing your skin can help get the blood moving in a similar way to massage. By stimulating different areas in the skin and just under, it promotes blood flow to the area you’re focusing on. For people concerned with circulation, it could be a good supplemental tool.
Dry brushing can promote lymph flow and drainage, exfoliate your skin, and provide a little extra glow. And it can help you feel good, too. It stimulates the nervous system and can leave you feeling energized and invigorated, much like a massage.
So, what makes a dry brush so special? It can have a long handle so you can get good access to hard-to-reach places like your back and legs. Getting circulation to the legs is particularly important for people who are overweight, have diabetes, or don’t get much activity.
The bristles are typically rather stiff to provide a massage-like experience.
It’s best to dry brush daily, either in the shower or immediately after. Start from your feet and work your way upwards using long, fluid strokes that cover your limbs.
After you’ve done your ankles, legs, and arms, move the brush in a circular motion on your back and torso. It might be a little too much for sensitive areas like the abdomen, neck, and chest, so lighten up for those parts if you need to.
A few overlapping swipes per area are all you need. Any more, and you can end up with some irritation or bleeding.
If you have sensitive skin, it is still possible to dry brush. Instead of using firm bristles, try a plain, dry washcloth. But if you notice any redness, swelling, or inflammation, stop right away.
Never dry brush over moles, warts, or raised bumps. Also, don’t do it over broken skin, scrapes, lesions, sores, or even sunburns. Also, avoid dry brushing over infected, irritated, or inflamed areas.
Dry brushing is not the number one thing you can do to improve circulation, but it can be a valuable tool in addition to lifestyle measures like a healthful diet and increased activity.