Dry brush massage is very popular in Asian countries. The underlying premise is that we have defensive energy or ‘chi’ just under our skin; the chi becomes stimulated with brushing. This energy, termed ‘wei chi’ in Chinese medicine, is responsible for helping us fight off colds and flu. Dry brush massage can be self-administered, or given by a helper. All you need is a stiff loofah sponge or brush.
Using circular or ‘creeping’ motions, work over the surface of the entire body, varying the pressure and speed according to the tenderness of the skin. This can be done before one takes a shower or bath, or on towel dried skin after one finishes bathing, because the sponge or brush will not maintain its stiffness once it becomes damp.
Western traditions that use dry brushing instruct one to always brush on the body towards the heart. In Asian medicine, however, it is advised to brush following the paths of the meridians. If you do not know the paths of the meridians, use the former technique. Try doing this regularly, especially during the winter months, and see if you can tell a difference in your immune system.
Dry brush massage is also used for tics, various neurological problems, anxiety, and aches and pains (especially those involving the back and neck).