Vital Chi Skin-Bruching System: Guidelines & Technique
(Excerpted from Dr. Berkowsky's Vital Chi Skin-Brushing System book)
My Vital Chi Skin-Brushing System which required hundreds of hours of research and experimentation to develop, evolved from my training and experience in anatomy and physiology and various bodywork disciplines as well as the Oriental healing arts. I designed this system to support blood- and lymph circulation, the immune system, the movement of Vital Chi along the acupuncture channels, all the major physiological functions of the skin as well as to enhance skin beauty and encourage the breakdown of cellulite. Yet, my system is quick, concise and user-friendly. The following excerpts from my book will provide some insight regarding associated guidelines and technique.
- Always treat the major lymph gland drainage site of a given body region before brushing said region, thus allowing for more effective regional lymphatic clearance. For instance: Brush armpit (site of axillary nodes which drain chest) before brushing chest.
- The body should be brushed in a strategic sequential pattern to allow for maximum drainage. For Instance: As the neck and head drains into the venous system in the upper chest, and to a small extent, into the axillary nodes, the chest and armpit regions should be brushed before neck and head regions.
- Brush-stroke direction always conforms to the route of lymphatic drainage. Example: The chest region drains into the armpit. Hence, the chest on each side is brushed from breastbone to armpit.
My Vital Chi Skin-Brushing System addresses the entire skin surface (with the exception of the breasts and genitals). The following excerpt from my book focuses on the chest region.
Brush Chest Region (up to, but not including, armpit) as follows:
- Above Breast (See Picture): Brush 7 times each side of chest from breastbone to armpit.
Note: The two major lymphatic ducts empty into the venous system in the left and right chest just below the collar bone. Puffiness above or below the collarbone is indicative of congestion in these ducts. Reducing lymphatic tension in the chest enhances tissue drainage of the entire body.
- Below Breast (See Picture): Using upward curving stroke (under breast), brush 7 times on each side from sternum to armpit.
- Sides of Upper Torso (See Picture): Brush upward 7 times along each side (in line with the armpit), from waist up to armpit.
Having studied and practiced classical naturopathy, or Nature-Cure, for 25-years, I have come to appreciate the great value of many of the traditional hydrotherapies and their particular synergy with my Vital Chi Skin-Brushing System. Hence, I instruct that a skin-brushing session should always be followed by an appropriate hydrotherapy. In addition to the Salt-Glow, described below, some of the other hydrotherapies which may prove of good service in this regard include: alternating hot and cold shower; full cold bath; blitz guss; epsom salt bath; cold ablution.
The Salt-Glow is a wonderful circulation-enhancing treatment. In Lectures to Naturopathic Hydrotherapy, Wade Boyle, N.D. and Andre Saine, N.D. list the following indications for salt-glow therapy: "...chronic conditions with inactive skin, including chronic indigestion, kidney disease, diabetes [if there are no skin lesions], sluggish circulation [especially in those who do not react well to hot or cold weather], low vital force, poor resistance, frequent colds, general weakness, neurasthenia, epilepsy, cancer [but not over a palpable tumor], joint problems [especially if followed by oil rub]."
- Wet a goodly amount of epsom salt (in unbreakable bowl) with sufficient water to create the consistency of wet snow. (Vigorous individuals may wish to opt for moistening the salt with ice water for extra stimulation.)
- Add a few inches of warm water - 98o F. to 100o F. - to bathtub, then sit in tub and hand-rub or washcloth-rub body thoroughly using this warm water.
- Stand up in tub (on non-slip mat) and apply moistened salt as follows: a) Begin with each arm, starting with fingers: rub vigorously until skin turns pink, or to-tolerance, whichever occurs first. b) Then, rub each leg similarly, beginning with toes, working up to hips. c) Rub salt into the rest of the body in the following order: chest, abdomen, back, hips and buttocks.
- Follow with a cool shower spray of 1- to 2-minutes duration, being sure to hand-rub the skin throughout.
- Finish with vigorous towel-rub by an open window in private area.
- Rest for at least 1/2-hour to 1-hour before initiating activity.