Chronic pain, Self-care

Massage Therapy Homecare – Dry Brushing

Homecare is an important part of my massage therapy treatment plans. Different homecare assignments are tailored to individual goals. Most of the time I assign a basic homecare plan of heat, cold, stretching and strengthening, but some of my assignments might seem a little more unusual. I have to admit, I was skeptical when I was introduced to dry brushing as part of massage therapy, but it is a fantastic tool to have available – especially in the middle of the night, when pain is keeping you from restful sleep. I usually use a soft body brush, available in the ‘spa’ section of drugstores near the sponges and bubble bath.

Goals with dry brushing

  • Stimulate circulation
  • Stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system (encourage relaxation, decrease pain, decrease muscle tone)
  • Encourage lymph flow
  • Help the skin shed old/dead cells


  1. Start furthest from the body (at the feet) and sweep slowly towards the heart, using long strokes, and very light pressure
  2. Repeat each stroke several (5-10) times
  3. Start on either leg, stroking from calf to knee on all sides, and then from knee to groin on all sides
  4. Repeat on the opposite leg
  5. Use circular motions in a clockwise direction on the abdomen
  6. Use halfmoon/rainbow shaped strokes on the glutes (bum) going down and outside
  7. On the arms, stroke from elbow to shoulder on all sides, and then from hand to elbow
  8. If desired, you can use your hand to sweep down the neck onto the shoulders, and finish with small circles along the jaw line, cheeks and forehead using very gentle pressure.



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