The BSL protocol, otherwise known as Brush, Scrape, and Lather, is a simple and straightforward process. It involves dry brushing your skin to stimulate your circulation and lymph canals, scraping your tongue to remove toxins and to massage the tongue. Finally, the “lather” portion of this easy detox system is exactly what it sounds like: lather up with some nice, chemical-free soap during a shower or bath, which serves to further detox your body, depending on the soaps you use, improves circulation, and removes dead skin cells.
We collect tons of toxin on the surface of our body along with dead skin cells. Dry brushing loosens those skin cells and toxins so we can shower them off, and also stimulates the lymph canals that lie just below the skin. When you dry brush, your skin will be clearer, have a nice rosy glow, be soft and smooth, and you may even notice fewer pimples, ingrown hairs, and bumps. The process can help reduce cellulite, stimulate certain acupressure points, improve your circulation, and stimulate your immune system.
Improperly-shed toxins can cause acne, eczema, rashes, itchiness, psoriasis, body odor, or hives. Environmental pollution and excreted wastes can build up on your skin and clog your pores, which stops your body from releasing those toxins effectively. Dry brushing can help remove those built-up pollutants and wastes to allow your body to release those toxins.
To dry brush, you can use a natural loofah, a towel, a dry skin brush, or those massage mitts you can buy at most health stores. Whichever you use is up to you; try a few different types and pick which one you prefer. The best materials are jute, sisal, hemp, and loofah.
How to Dry Brush:
- Dry brush in the morning before a shower. This will allow the loosened skin cells, pollutants, dirt, and wastes to be washed off afterwards.
- Start at your feet and work your way in towards your heart in circular motions or long strokes. Go gently at first until your skin acclimatizes towards the sensation. You may be able to press harder later on.
- Go up your legs, then do your abdomen, posterior, and back. You can spend more time on areas with cellulite. Go lightly on sensitive areas and harder on less sensitive areas.
- When you do your arms, start at your hands and brush towards your heart. Brush your shoulders and chest down towards your heart again.
- Use a soft washcloth to do your face and neck.
- Never brush on rashes, areas of infection, or broken skin.
- Finish with a shower, even doing some hot/cold therapy (also called contrast hydrotherapy) if you are so inclined to further stimulate your lymphatic system. Dry yourself vigorously.
Do you have a white film on your tongue? If so, that’s millions of bacteria living in your mouth, creating bad breath and inhibiting dental hygiene. It’s also one of the major routes for toxins to leave your body. The Charaka Samhita says that “The dirt which is collected at the root of the tongue creates obstructions in respiration and produces a foul smell, hence one should scrape the tongue.” It’s quite easy to scrape your tongue, especially if you have an actual tongue scraping tool. Buy one made from a natural material like metal instead of plastic.
It might seem awkward or strange-feeling at first, but you’ll get used to it.
How to Scrape Your Tongue
Scrape after you’ve flossed and brushed your teeth.
- Hold each end of the U-shaped scraper with your hands and stick out your tongue.
- Place the scraper as far back on your tongue as you can reach.
- Gently but firmly press down and pull the scraper towards the end of your tongue. Do this several times until the white film is gone. Rinse the scraper off with water between each pass.
- Rinse your mouth out with water.
- Wash the tongue scraper with clean water and dry before storing. You may want to clean it with peroxide or baking soda to keep it clean.
When it comes to toxins and toxic substances, what you put onto your body matters as much as what you put in it. Added to what you use for personal care products is environmental pollutants that forms a layer on your skin. A lot of your body’s toxins are expelled through your skin, too. It’s important to wash off those expelled toxins, accumulated environmental pollutants, and dirt. Lathering also has the added benefit of removing dried, dead skin cells and stimulating the skin.
Try to reduce your use of toxic personal care products; check out any products on EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database (http://www.ewg.org/) to see how safe your products are, and to choose ones that are safest.
When you do bathe, it’s important to use a safe soap. The very best ones will have limited ingredients, no artificial colors, and no artificial scents. Choose those that are made from natural ingredients. A regular bar of soap like Irish Spring or Zest has many chemicals including SLS, a foaming agent that can penetrate your skin and affect your health.
Some natural brands you can try include Dr. Bronner’s bar or liquid soaps, Kiss My Face, Tom’s of Maine, and many artisan home-made bars of soap that you can buy online. Just make sure you read the ingredients!
How to Lather
This action doesn’t really take much explaining; simply shower or bathe as you would, using soap with safe ingredients. For the ultimate in cleansing experiences, use a natural sponge or loofah. Make sure you rinse yourself well, and pat dry.
Detoxing your body is as simple as brushing, scraping, and lathering. If you follow the BSL protocol, you’ll go a long way towards keeping your body free from toxins and being healthier!