Dry brushing is a healing method whose potential has only recently been rediscovered, yet it has ancient origins, deeply rooted in the archaic world of Asian Ayurvedic medicine. The benefits of Ayurvedic medicine are numerous; however, dry brushing is primarily used in one specific case: that of lymphedema and lipedema. In this article, we will briefly analyze these pathologies and then understand how dry brushing could be a valid alternative to invasive treatments for congenital lipedema and lymphedema. Read on for more information and details! 


Lymphedema and Lipedema: What Are They? Before delving into treating these specific pathologies, let’s take a scientific and global look at the etiology and clinical appearance of these medical conditions. Lipedema is an accumulation of adipose (fatty) tissue, often occurring during periods of hormonal imbalance, predominantly in the legs. It is not a simple accumulation of fat due to improper diet or lack of physical exercise; it’s not a normal form of obesity.

The buildup of fat has a genetic cause and can appear suddenly, even in a body that is not excessively fat or prone to obesity. The fat tends to accumulate especially in the legs and arms for the same congenital reasons that include lymphedema: both adipose tissue and the lymphatic system tend to prevail in these pathologies in the aforementioned regions. There are four clinical stages of lipedema, depending on the severity of symptoms and the temporal stage.

In any case, what is evident is always an accumulation localized to the limbs, extending to the feet but excluding them. In short, a pathology that determines many side effects, both physical (hypertension, diabetes, hormonal dysfunctions) and psychological, linked to the difficulties that almost all patients have in social relationships following the appearance of symptoms. 

Lymphedema has similar visual characteristics, but is based on a different fundamental principle: the accumulation of lymph in the homonymous lymphatic system. Unlike adipose tissue, lymph tends to accumulate mainly in the arms, but sometimes also in the legs. The appearance of accumulation is often due to a dysfunction in the drainage of body fluids, so a careful diet can significantly alleviate the symptoms. In particular, foods such as carbohydrates, which naturally retain H2O, are discouraged, while all fiber-rich foods like fruits and vegetables, which ensure perfect drainage even at the limb level, are encouraged. 

Lymphedema and Lipedema: How to Treat Them? However, a balanced diet and physical exercise cannot always overcome these imbalances, which often have hormonal origins and are therefore difficult to overcome. Against genetics, doctors can often do little, and surgery, such as liposuction, is often recommended in more severe cases. In cases where surgery is not recommended, for example, in less severe patients, or where preventive or milder intervention is needed, numerous other solutions are being experimented with. For example, the practice of dry brushing, which we all more or less know well, can prove to be a formidable ally. Numerous studies have proven that the use of a dry brush can bring the following improvements: 

The Benefits of Dry Brushing for Lipedema and Lymphedema Dry brushing helps the lymphatic system function efficiently. We know that the system deals with the removal of infections and toxins from body fluids, so prolonged exposure to external agents or internal hormonal charges produces lymphatic knots. Lymph nodes can be loosened or reduced precisely thanks to the practice of dry brushing. The same can be applied to adipose tissue, improving the appearance of cellulite, i.e., that annoying pathology that has the skin appearance of orange peel.

As experts inform, of course, the practice of dry brushing does not guarantee the total removal of cellulite, but, like a massage, it can help in the relaxation of the skin, in the restoration of an adequate skin environment, and also in the drainage of fluids: such consequences can only be beneficial both on the lymphatic system and on adipose tissue. 

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