The following is an excerpt from The Complete Book of Chinese Health & Healing, by Daniel Reid:
One of the best ways to cleanse the entire lymphatic system is by brushing the surface of the body with a soft dry brush made of natural vegetable bristles. The traditional Chinese version of this method uses the dried fibres of a gourd fruit called ‘silk squash’, known as loofah in the West, but natural-bristle brushes have proven to be far more effective. The brush should have a long handle, soft natural bristles, and always be kept dry.
Dry skin brushing stimulates the lymph canals to drain toxic mucoid matter into the colon, thereby purifying the entire lymphatic system. This enables lymph to perform its house-cleaning duties by keeping the blood and other vital tissues detoxified. Most people today have chronically toxic lymph fluids and swollen lymph nodes, a condition which promotes toxicity throughout the system by robbing lymph of its power to clean the blood and cellular fluids. In addition, skin brushing is highly stimulating to surface circulation of blood and leaves you feeling invigorated.
Skin brushing need be performed only once a day preferably first thing in the morning, and it takes only a couple of minutes. If you’re feeling sluggish, toxic, or ill, you may want to do it twice a day. The body should be dry and naked, and the brush should be swept once or twice in the same direction across every surface of the body except the face. Do not scrub, massage, or rotate the brush on the body; just sweep it across the skin in long smooth strokes in the general direction of the colon. Brush up the arms from the hands to the shoulders, up the legs from feet to hips, down the back and torso, up the buttocks, down the neck, and across the shoulders. After a few days, you may notice a gelatinous mucoid material in your stools: that’s toxic lymph that has drained into your colon owing to skin brushing.
For a thorough lymphatic cleansing, perform skin brushing daily for about three months. Thereafter, twice a week is sufficient to keep you lymph quite clean, but you should resume your daily brushing whenever you’re feeling ill.