Question from Sam in Fontainebleau, France: I was wondering what do you think about dry brushing? I am worried I'm gonna scratch my skin all up. (I have rather dry skin.) Am I just being ridiculous? Should I get on the band wagon?
Sam, thank you for your question. First of all, France!?!? Providence, Rhode Island is ducking behind the sofa in shame.
I appreciate your question because I think it brings up a large issue of relaxation - finding time for it, sticking with something that works for you, and appreciating the relaxing moments you do have. I really need to get better at relaxing so I'd love for you all to share some ways you wind down. Read a magazine, take a bath, get a hair cut, arrange flowers, hit the open road? Do you make time for it every day? And how do you turn off your internal dialog which for me sounds something like "okay you have 15 minutes to relax...you better get started...oops could go clean the toys up...no relax!...oop I'll just quickly run over here and do this first..."? Although I'm very good at sitting in a quiet room drinking coffee.
But back to your question - short answer is if it's not enjoyable for you why do it? I'd suggest trying a hot towel scrub instead as the wet towel is less harsh and I always find heat really relaxing. Here are some details:
Hot Towel Scrub
Body scrubbing can be done before or after your bath or shower, or anytime during the day. All you need is a sink with hot water and a medium-sized cotton washcloth.
For the maximum effect, scrub your body twice a day: once in the morning and once again in the evening. Scrub for two minutes to 20 minutes, depending on how much time you have. The process of the hot towel scrub has a deeper physical, mental and emotional effect when done at the sink as opposed to in the shower.
- Turn on the hot water and fill the sink.
- Hold the towel at both ends and place in the hot water.
- Wring out the towel.
- While the towel is still hot and steamy, begin to scrub the skin gently.
- Do one section of the body at a time: for example, begin with the hands and fingers and work your way up the arms to the shoulders, neck and face, then down to the chest, upper back, abdomen, lower back, buttocks, legs, feet and toes.
- Scrub until the skin becomes slightly pink or until each part becomes warm.
- Reheat the towel often by dipping it in the sink of hot water after scrubbing each section, or as soon as the towel starts to cool.
- Reduces muscle tension.
- Reenergizes in the morning and deeply relaxes at night.
- Opens the pores to release stored toxins.
- Softens deposits of hard fat below the skin and prepares them for discharge.
- Allows excess fat, mucus, cellulite and toxins to actively discharge to the surface rather than to accumulate around deeper vital organs.
- Relieves stress through meditative action of rubbing the skin.
- Calms the mind.
- Promotes circulation.
- Activates the lymphatic system, especially when scrubbing underarms and groin.
- Easy massage and deep self-care.
- Can be a sacred moment in your day, especially if done with candlelight and a drop or two of essential oil, such as lavender.
- Creates a profound and loving relationship with the body, especially parts not often shown care, and especially for a person with body image problems.
- Spreads energy through the chakras.
Step up and ask away (firstname.lastname@example.org). I can't wait to hear from you!
Photographs from "now's the only time I know" and "Farbror Sid"