Introduction

Dry brush massage is a massage that uses natural soft bristled brushes of different sizes and shapes to rub the body.

Origin

Dry body brushing or skin therapy for beauty and health have been used by almost all historical civilizations including the ancient Egyptians, Indians, Greeks and Romans, Chinese, Japanese, Scandinavians, Russians, Turks and Native Americans.

Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love is said to have used the dry brush technique.

Cleopatra, the famed Egyptian queen also used dry brushing.

Types

Based on mode of application:

1.       Manual (applied by hand)

2.       Mechanical (battery driven mechanical brushes are used)

Based on the person applying:

1.       Self (applied by oneself)

2.       Employed (applied by a masseur/therapist)

Procedure

Pre-treatment:

1.       Take a detailed medical history of the client. Make sure that this procedure is not contra indicated for the client.

2.       Obtain informed consent before starting the procedure.

3.       Prepare a massage couch with all requirements like towels for draping, stools, cushions for support etc…

4.       Ensure personal hygiene of masseur and hygiene of the surroundings.

5.       Ask the client to lie down comfortably and ensure that the client’s comfort and privacy are not violated. Expose the body parts to be massaged. Cover the other areas.

6.       Position the patient in prone or supine posture, as required.

7.       This technique can also be practiced by oneself just before or during bath.

Treatment Proper:

1.       Use the brush for rubbing the body.

2.       Movements must always be towards the heart.

3.       Begin from the feet and proceed upwards

4.       Use long sweeping strokes and give friction movements with the help of the brush

5.       Avoid sensitive areas

Post-treatment:

1.       Dry brushing should be followed by a bath.

2.       Essential oils can be added to the bath water.

Precautions

1.       Support the sensitive areas of the body with cushions. (breasts and pelvis in women; pelvic region in men)

2.       Be aware of the privacy and modesty of the client

3.       Do not apply too much pressure on the brush. It may hurt if the bristles are hard.

4.       Take care not to injure the client.

Duration

It is given for a duration of 30 minutes if given for full-body.

Partial massage duration depends on desired effect and part massaged.

Benefits

  • Exfoliates and invigorates the skin by sloughing off dead cells
  • Good for muscle relaxation, increase flexibility of muscles, increase mobility
  • Increase blood circulation
  • Help tone the body
  • Facilitates detoxification
  • Improves skin texture reducing appearance of cellulite
  • Stimulates healing
  • Slows the aging process
  • Boosts energy and stamina
  • Improves overall health

Indications

1.       Musculoskeletal disorders

arthritis, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, neck pain, numbness, injuries, partial paralysis, sciatica, shoulder soreness, sprains, stiffness, strained muscles and tendons, whiplash pain

2.       Beauty or cosmetic purpose

3.       Rejuvenation and relaxation

Contraindications

1.       Cancer and active infections. (Increased blood flow will encourage the spread of infection and cancer cells)

2.       Pregnancy

3.       Women undergoing menstrual cycle

4.       Spinal injuries, such as a herniated disk, compressed disc, prolapsed disc etc

5.       weak and infirm clients

6.       sensitive skin, skin disorders like eczema, urticarial, psoriasis…

7.       Clients who have had recent surgery or open wounds