Sophie introduces the technique by explaining the benefits of completing this exercise on a regular basis: ridding the body of excess dead skin, aiding the lymphatic system, etc. Apparently people have been doing this in Europe for some time now.
She calls for a "Soft, natural fiber brush with a long handle (available at most health food stores)," but I wasn't about to go buy a new one; I have one from Target already, and I can almost guarantee the fibers are not natural! Even still, it's soft enough and I figured it would get the job done. Here is what my brush looks like:
I know, my poor brush, with some of its bristles missing and all..hopefully it's got some good life left in it!
Anyway, the process is basically to brush your skin in small circles all over your body. She outlines a specific process, working your way from the bottom up. I'm sure this has something to do with the way your lymphatic system is laid out in your body. You start with your feet, go up your legs, brush your hands in circles, arms in long strokes from your wrists to your shoulders, back (circles again), shoulders, and neck. Then for your belly, make sure your circles are in the correct direction. I always get confused with clockwise and counterclockwise (I know, it's stupid of me), so here is a crude drawing to demonstrate:
From what I've been told, it is possible to create all kinds of digestion problems by rubbing/brushing in the wrong direction. You can actually create a "back-up" in your digestive system! Certainly no one wants that..so brush your belly in circles following your natural digestive pattern to make sure you're helping move things along. (As a side note, this is probably why it feels so nice to have someone rub your belly/rub it yourself when you have a stomachache - - it's probably actually helping to move whatever irritant is in there along its path out of your body!)
From there, you'll move up and lightly brush the chest area. Then, if you have someone available to help you, have them brush up from the lower and middle back and down from the neck and upper back. If not, this is why you're using a brush with a long handle!
Now, this is the interesting part. I'm not sure why this is necessary, but I'd guess it has something to do with loosening the dead skin you just brushed..? The next step is to take a hot shower for three minutes washing with a gentle soap, then rinse in cold water for 10-20 seconds. Repeat two more times. Or you can just take a warm shower.
Well, I tried the hot/cold method, and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. If you do it, I recommend staying in the water while it transitions from hot to cold and back. I think this took a lot of the shock factor out. I also only did a quick once-over with soap the second and third times; I don't think a vigorous washing would be necessary that many times. Then do a rub-down with a sponge or a towel; this actually removes the dead skin. I was quite ready to be out of the shower by the end of this whole process, so I just dried off with a towel, paying a bit more attention to rub every part.
Sophie recommends to use one of her many oil treatments after brushing, but as I mentioned before, I don't have any of those oils yet. So I just used my
toxic, chemical-ridden regular body lotion.
I have to say, my skin feels amazing! I don't usually exfoliate, so I'm sure this has a lot to do with it. But the reason I don't is because I hate getting all greasy and buttery feeling using store-bought exfoliants, not to mention the price tag! I will definitely be adding this to my regular beauty schedule; I'm thinking once a week should be good. And it won't cost me any money until my brush decides to go bald!
The one downside is that it made the skin on my belly turn red until long after I was out of the shower. It didn't hurt or anything. My skin is also very sensitive, so it does get red a lot from various things, but it wasn't very nice to look at.
Overall, I'd give it an A grade. Nice results, quick process, and cheap.
If anyone else out there tries it, please leave your thoughts in the comments!