Your lymphatic system is the often overlooked, hidden star of your immune system. And yet, our lifestyles have changed in a way that makes it hard to impossible for this sophisticated network to do its job. Dry brushing is one of the ways in which you can support this incredibly important system.

Let’s understand what exactly the lymphatic system does, how dry brushing works and how you can maximize the results of dry brushing for your lymph system!

Related: How to detox a clogged lymphatic system: 11 easy tricks
Related: 10 simple tips for staying healthy during the holidays

Disclosure: Some of the links below are so-called provision links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I can earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

What does the lymph system do?

The lymph system is basically the housecleaner of your immune system.

Obviously, anything that’s toxic, unwanted or simply plain waste needs to get out. And the lymphatic system transports those in a clear fluid called “lymph”. Sounds almost like blood, right?

But unlike your blood, your lymph doesn’t have a pump to transport it through your body. Instead, it relies on your movement to do its work.

And our lifestyles can lead to the poor lymphatic system being overloaded in two major ways:

  1. There are so many more things in our food, cosmetics, and environment that the lymph system needs to take care of.
  2. We move way too little. Sedentary lifestyle. You know.

Related: How to easily improve your diet with Dr. Greger’s daily dozen

Symptoms of an overloaded lymphatic system

Of course, if our lymph system gets congested, this has quite some impact on us as well. Some typical symptoms of an overstressed lymph are:

  • Brain fog
  • Sluggishness, constant tiredness
  • Bloating
  • Skin problems like acne or dryness (My hormonal acne was proving this one to me!)
  • Cellulite
  • Chronic inflammation

And what does dry brushing do?

Clearly, we need to get our lymph moving. No one wants those symptoms!

So what does dry brushing do, exactly?

Basically, dry brushing works on your body like a massage. It exfoliates your skin, improves blood circulation, is even supposed to help with Cellulite and – you guessed it – gets your lymph liquid moving.

So the answer to “Does dry brushing really help the lymphatic system?” is yes, it does! It’s not the only thing that can help, but it does create the friction and massaging movement that your lymph system needs.

The important thing is that you follow a few easy rules when using your dry brush so that you optimally support your lymph.

How to dry brush for your lymph system


Dry brushing for your lymph system is really quite easy. Get a dry brush with a handle, like this one* and start brushing on dry skin.

But there is one thing that needs a tiny little bit more explanation. And that is:

Which direction do you dry brush?

To support your lymph system in the best way possible, you want to make sure to dry brush in the right direction.

For that, I have a few dry brushing instructions for your here, step by step. The lymph fluid flows towards the heart, so you want to keep that in mind.

  1. Always start at your ankles, brushing upward in gentle circular motions. With time, you can turn those into longer strokes. You want to feel the pressure, but it shouldn’t hurt.
  2. Move on to the upper legs and thighs, then your stomach. For sensitive areas, adjust your pressure.
  3. After that, you’ll brush your back. This one gets a tiny little exception from the “brush towards the heart”-rule. Here, you brush down from your neck to your lower back with nice, long strokes.
  4. Finish by dry brushing your arms, from your wrists to your shoulders.

How many times a week should you dry brush your skin?

Now you’ll probably wonder how often you should do this routine.

Well, ideally, you do this every day. It only takes a few minutes and can be a nice self-care activity during your morning routine, directly before the shower.

If your skin gets a little sensitive though, dial down on the frequency and make sure you don’t use too much pressure.

Do you have to shower after dry brushing?

As dry brushing is basically a whole body exfoliation, you remove a lot of dead skin cells during a session. So to make sure you won’t get itchy and uncomfortable, it’s a really good idea to shower after.

Just make sure to stay away from very hot water temperatures and any shower gels with harsh chemicals. We wouldn’t want to clog our lymph system right up again, would we?

What side effects can “lymphatic dry brushing” have?

If your lymphatic system hasn’t seen movement in a while or is brimful of toxins, you might notice a few side-effects after the first few times your dry brush. Once all that stuff gets moving, your body needs to deal with it, and that rarely feels nice.

Some side effects people have reported are:

  • Queasiness
  • Lightheadedness, and
  • Skin irritation

The skin irritation is unrelated to your lymph system and can easily be solved by dry brushing less often and with less pressure. The other effects should go away after a few times. If you keep feeling sick after dry brushing, definitely see your doctor about it!

Will you try dry brushing for your lymph system?

Are you super excited now to get your lymph system moving again? Will you try dry brushing or have you already tried it? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments. And, as always, make sure to share this with someone!

Do you have symptoms of a blocked lymphatic system? Dry brushing can help you with that. When done properly, it helps to detox and cleanse your lymph through massaging your entire body. Find out how to do it here!

*These links are so-called provision links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I can earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.