At my Macrobiotic Meetup last Thursday, a few of us decided to do a February Body Rub Challenge. The type of body rub I am talking about is a wonderful form of self-care and typically done once or twice a day. I try to do one regularly, but for the past few months I’ve had a hard time making it a priority. Yet, when I do it every day, I notice huge benefits. This is a body RUB, not to be confused with a body SCRUB. The technique works best when used in a gentle manner.
This body rub is basically done by taking a moist, hot 100% cotton washcloth and rubbing it gently over your body. I will go into further detail later in this post. The details are important for receiving the maximum benefits from this self-care technique. The skin is one of our main organs of elimination and a body rub helps it do its job more efficiently.
I first heard about the body rub from my teacher Dawn Pallavi while I was attending the Natural Epicurean Academy of Culinary Arts in Austin, TX. She encouraged us to do it daily and exclaimed that it helped her maintain great skin tone and detoxify her body. Since then, I have heard many different macrobiotic teachers talk about its benefits. It can help increase circulation, pull out toxins through your skin, decrease cravings for sweet foods, decrease tension and help you feel more connected to your body. People who do this daily for several weeks often comment on how their skin looks more radiant and that the texture is softer. Days that I do my body rub, people frequently comment on how nice my skin looks.
1. A body rub in the morning will tend to help you feel more energized, while one in the evening can help you relax. You can do it once or twice a day.
2. Use a 100% undyed cotton washcloth, organic is best.
3. Taking a hot shower first can help open your pores so more toxins can come out into the washcloth.
4. Rub gently, just with the weight of your hand. If you scrub and put too much pressure, it can be counterproductive because your pores will close up.
5. Fill the sink or a small basin with hot water and use that water throughout the whole body rub. As the toxins come out into your washcloth and then into the water, using that same water will attract more toxins and pull them out as well. Denny Waxman has noticed that those people who see the most change in their skin, use the same water the whole body rub. Those who use running water don’t experience the same benefits. If your water cools, you can pour out some and add new hot water, just don’t pour all of it out.
6. Some people fold their washcloth into fourths and use it that way, but I haven’t had much success with this. It will stay hot for longer, though. Dip the washcloth into the hot water and wring it out. Start with one area of your body and rub gently with the washcloth. There is no need to rub until the skin gets red. Over time, you will notice that certain areas of your body will start showing more color as the circulation in your skin is restored. This may not happen right away. As soon as the washcloth cools, dip it back into the hot water, wring and continue. Gently rub your entire body except for breasts and genitals. Focus especially on the hands, feet, joints and lymph areas like groin and armpits. Don’t forget your back!
7. This whole process can take between 7-15 minutes depending on your pace and attention to detail.
You are welcome to join us for the rest of February. I hope you try it. A body rub always makes me feel refreshed and ready to start my day.
Here is what Shauna at She Cooks Macro has to say about the body rub.