The body uses the kidneys, lungs, bowel and skin to help detoxify what is ingested or breathed. If the kidneys, lungs and/or bowel are stressed, and/or if a person is ill, the skin can be used to help take a load off of these organs and can help immensely in the healing process.
The skin is the largest eliminative organ of the body, in fact, it is sometimes called the third kidney. Optimizing the skin as an organ of elimination is an inexpensive way to enhance health and restore vitality and well-being.
Good elimination is ESSENTIAL to good health.
Your skin eliminates a couple of pounds of material daily. In fact, perspiration has basically the same composition as diluted urine.
Your skin is so important as an organ of elimination that if your skin is not carrying out normal elimination, your lungs, bowel, and kidneys will function poorly. Conversely, anything you can do to improve skin function will improve the activity of your lungs, colon, and kidneys.
In addition, greater elimination through your skin will literally improve the function of every other organ in your body. The skin even exerts an influence over the acid-alkaline balance of your system.
Your skin is the barrier separating the internal environment with which you come in contact. Your skin functions as a protective organ, yet you must take some care in protecting your skin since it absorbs material very readily. In an experiment, a man’s feet were placed in baking soda and within one minute, baking soda could be detected in his urine.
Treating your skin is one of the finest, fastest, simplest, most effective, and least expensive means available to improve your health and vitality. The greatest expense incurred in skin treatment is simply purchasing a washcloth and/or a natural, vegetable fiber brush with a handle.
Make sure the bristles are reasonably soft. (Ask at your health food or body care/herb store to help you find an appropriate brush. Whole Foods sometimes carries a Yerba Prima or Bernard Jensen skin brush, which works well.) You are now ready to begin.
The following are two techniques of skin brushing. If you are ambitious or have a serious illness you can do both methods or alternate methods.
Dry Skin Brushing
If skin brushing is new to you, it literally means to scrub down your skin each morning, first thing, while your skin is still dry. Brush down your entire body from head to toe as if your brush were a bar of soap. Use a variety of motions, including circular motions.
Be careful at first, since your skin will more than likely be in poor condition and overly sensitive. Skin brushing removes the top layer of dead skin cells. It stimulates the oil-secreting glands, moisturizes your skin, and can often clear up a dry skin condition in one week.
It stimulates the circulation, invigorates and “wakes you up.” Over the long haul, it will help your kidneys, bowel, lungs, and blood. A couple of weeks of skin brushing brings an increase in energy level and an improved feeling of general well-being.
There is a definite relationship between your skin and bronchial or mucus problems, stomach and bowel problems, and kidney problems. Skin brushing actually removes large quantities of waste material that would have to be carried by your blood for removal through the bowel or kidneys.
So, skin brushing actually acts as a blood purifier.
Skin brushing can also be a good muscular workout if you take the time to bend and reach all parts of your body. And exercising will bring more toxins to the skin level for removal by skin brushing.
Skin brushing will help you endure weather conditions more easily. You will need fewer visits to the doctor because you will be aiding your body’s elimination. Your complexion will improve–often dramatically.
If you suffer chronic fatigue, skin brushing will help. And if you’re overweight, skin brushing helps to maintain muscle activity of the skin allowing for less loose skin with weight loss.
Even if your problem is nervousness, this technique will help to stabilize the nervous system.
How to Dry Skin Brush
- Using your right hand, gently slide the brush along your right jaw line starting from your earlobe to the underside of your chin 7 times .
- Place the brush at the hairline on your neck and gently pull around the right side of your neck to the Adam’s apple 7 times.
- Hold the brush with your right hand at the bottom of your neck (where it joins the top of your back) and bring it around your neck to the right and down along your right collar bone and end up between your collar bones 7 times.
- Stroke your breastbone in a circular fashion 7 times to stimulate the thymus gland. Carefully brush the right breast in a circular motion 7 times. Do steps 1a,b, and c on your left side holding the brush with your left hand.
- To stimulate the pituitary gland, hold the brush on the back of your head near the base of your neck and rock the brush up and down, then side to side, both 14 times.
- Hold the brush in your left armpit with your right hand and rotate it counterclockwise 7 times, then clockwise 7 times. Repeat on your right armpit with your left hand.
- Brush upward 7 times from your upper right thigh to your right armpit. Repeat process on your left side.
- Brush back and forth over the navel and around your waistline 14 times. (like passing a basketball behind your back)
- Brush in a circular motion over your navel, counter-clockwise 7 times, then clockwise 7 times. Finish brushing the front of your body in any direction starting at the bottom and brushing all the way up 14 times. Very little pressure needs to be applied to the genitals and breasts because the skin is sensitive.
- Brush up and down your spine from the base of your neck and down as far as you can 14 times. Finish your upper back by stroking it around toward your sides.
- Brush your spine from tailbone up as high as you can reach 14 times, holding the brush with two hands or with the detachable wooden handle. Finish your lower back by stroking it around toward your sides.
- Brush the entire area of the buttocks 7 times. Brushing the buttocks and thighs helps rid them of cellulite.
- Hold the brush in the right groin with both hands and rotate it 7 times counter-clockwise, then 7 times clockwise. Repeat with the left groin.
- Brush from right knee to right hip 7 times. Work all the way around your leg continuing to brush upwards (towards the heart).
- Brush up from right ankle to right knee and work all the way around your leg, brushing up towards your heart. This improves blood circulation, firms skin and helps reduce cellulite.
- Brush around your right ankle 7 times.
- Brush back and forth over the top of your right foot from toes to ankle.
- Brush across your right toes on top and underneath 7 times.
- Brush the bottom of your right foot heel to toe 7 times.
- Repeat 11 a-f for the left leg and foot.
- Brushing upward from right elbow to your armpit and shoulder, cover that entire area 7 times.
- Brush from your right wrist to the elbow in the same manner 7 times.
- Repeat 12 a and b for left arm.
- Lightly brush the webbing (or junction) between your left thumb and index or pointer finger on the palm side 14 times, then on the non-palm side 14 times.
- Brush your left palm from wrist to fingertips and back 7 times.
- Brush the back of your left hand the same way 7 times.
- Brush each left hand finger individually back and forth 7 times on the areas that have not been brushed yet.
- Repeat 13 a – d for your right hand.
Anyone can utilize skin brushing. In fact, babies often need a modified form of skin stimulation. If your baby is having trouble gaining weight or is not growing as fast as should be expected (and other probable causes have been exhausted), consider the skin. Parents are notorious for wrapping up their babies in lots of clothes and blankets to keep them warm. But other than the precautions your doctor or midwife will advise for the early newborn days, a normal, full-term baby’s skin needs invigorating exposure and stimulation, just as adult skin does. If your baby is having trouble with weight gain or overall growth, take a look into the infant’s eyes. If you see a dark circle around the edge of the iris (colored portion of the eye), try stimulating your baby’s skin. Simply expose baby’s skin to clean, fresh air and rub the skin gently but briskly (with your hands, not with a brush). This will increase circulation and will remove debris and dead skin cells. A couple minutes each day is sufficient. Judge your results by measuring weight gain and watching for improvements in the eyes.
Skin Brushing with Hot/Damp Towel
Use the following technique routinely to induce deeper sleep or when body is highly toxic or after exposures.
A daily body rub or scrub stimulates good circulation which helps the body to discharge toxins. If too tight the body can’t discharge toxins easily. If we open up bowels and skin to discharge then pressure is taken off the detoxification organs. For optimum results there needs to be both attraction (based on differences) and communication (based on similarity). The attraction based on differences is the damp cloth and the dry skin. The communication is based on the principle of like resonates with like – drawing of toxins are increased because of the communication between the water in the basin together with the toxins on the cloth. As the cloth is used to scrub the body, then dipped back in clean water the water becomes dirty from toxins in the skin. As the water becomes soiled and cloth is dipped in that water there is more attraction to toxins in the body. There is communication between like – the toxins in damp rag communicate with the toxins in the body. Doing the Body Rub before bed helps you sleep better, helps bone metabolism, and is good for blood pressure. The Body Rub penetrates more deeply with a soft cloth than a rough one. Cover entire body in orderly manner, feet, legs, hands, arms, torso. It takes 10-15 minutes to do it well. The object is to make your skin red. If your skin does not get red in the beginning, it will over time as your condition improves. The skin scrub deeply cleans your skin and activates circulation and energy. This can be made even more effective by grating a handful of ginger into a pot of water and simmering it for 15 minutes – do not boil – and then dipping skin scrubbing towel in hot ginger water.
How to Do A Body Scrub
- Fill sink or container – large bowl with hot water or hot ginger water. This technique is easier if done in the shower or bathtub before or after showering or bathing.
- Take a soft cotton cloth and dip in the hot water.
- Wring cloth out in container and rub all over skin. The soft cotton penetrates and absorbs toxins.
- As dip cloth back in hot water, some of the toxins are left in the basin. As the level of toxins left in the water increase the more the attraction between the cloth and toxins in the body.
- Start with the left foot – all individual toes, left ankle, then right foot – all individual toes, then right ankle, then left leg, right leg, lower torso, upper torso, armpits, left arm, left wrist, left hand and individual fingers, right arm, right wrist, right hand and fingers, neck, and head.
- Pay special attention to the wrists, fingers, ankles, toes, armpits, bottom of feet, coccyx, and central line.
- Finish with a repeat of only the left foot.
- This charges the meridians. Should be separate from bath or shower. Can be done before or after shower. After shower – the skin is more open.
- Do body rub twice a day. Can increase to three times a day.