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Skin Brushing and Contrast Showers

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Updated January 13, 2008

Skin Brushing

Skin is considered to be the largest organ of elimination. Alternative practitioners use skin brushing, the technique of very gently brushing the skin with a soft, natural bristle, dry brush to help skin do its job. It's believed to enhance elimination by removing dead skin cells and enhancing the circulation of blood and lymph.

Skin brushing is simple. To try it, use a soft, natural bristle brush. It should be dry.

Start brushing at your feet and brush in the direction of your chest, since it is important to follow the flow of lymphatic fluid. Then go to the fingertips and brush up the shoulders and toward the chest. Use small strokes and light pressure.

Do not brush over broken, weak, irritated or infected skin. Avoid the face.

Skin brushing can easily be incorporated into a daily routine if done before showering or bathing.

Contrast Showers

Contrast showers are a home remedy for preventing colds, but also for improving circulation, which some alternative practitioners believe can help promote detoxification.

To try it, start with three minutes of comfortably warm water in the shower, followed by less than one minute of cool water.

This hot-cold cycle is repeated at least once. For example, three minutes hot, one minute cold, three minutes hot, one minute cold, three minutes hot, one minute cold. It's recommended that people always finish with cold water.

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