Dry Brushing...what's it all about and does it stimulate the lymph system?
I am sure many of you have heard of dry brushing and that it can help improve lymphatic drainage. I have some mixed thoughts on this topic. First off, have you tried it before? You are suppose to use a stiff natural haired brush for the exact purpose of dry brushing. Well I bought one of those brushes just to try it out and see what I thought. The verdict is in, I didn't enjoy it. The brush itself just seemed to scratch my skin as you are not suppose to use any massage medium or water during this technique. I also did not feel any lymph drainage like I would when I use my hands to stimulate my lymphatic system with a skin stretching technique. It did a great job of exfoliating my skin however.
I find that the internet has a lot of misleading information. Being that I am a certified lymphedema therapist and understand the lymphatic drainage pathways, some of what the internet states is concerning. Now, I don't think anyone can truly hurt themselves if they get the sequence wrong, but to be truly effective in stimulating the superficial lymphatic system, there has to be some sort of skin stretch. You can not just drag the brush over the skin or gently pet the skin, unless you are in fact getting a skin stretch when you are doing that technique. And to be even more effective you should be doing some sort of central clearing and working proximal to distal in nature, like digging a ditch to allow the water to run.
I encourage you to try it for yourself to see what you think, but in my professional opinion, I am not a huge fan. I have attached a great picture of the direction of flow from the book "Swollen, Bloated and Puffy" by Kathleen Lisson, CMT, CLT which I encourage you to use to make sure you are using the correct direction of flow if you do decide to give it a try.