“Why don’t you start taking French baths?” suggested my healthy living guru, brushing his luxurious long hair aside, a testament to his wholesome lifestyle.
I immediately imagined something erotic when he said French because this is just how my mind works.
“What’s that?” I asked, fully present to the conversation, sipping the green smoothie he had whipped up with a dozen ingredients I had never heard of.
“A French bath is one without water—skin brushing, with a dry brush. It invigorates the lymphatic system and makes our skin beautiful!” He proceeded to show me his array of natural bristle brushes, how they were used and gave me a complete pseudo demonstration of the process. Clothed, mind you.
As he spoke, I continued thinking that this could be part of some erotic love ritual.
And there is something erotic about being healthy and vibrant, participating fully in life and finding ways to give back to the body we live in.
A French bath, or dry skin brushing is not to be confused with the other meaning for French bath, washing only the essentials at one’s sink with a washcloth. This was a common practice in earlier times, akin to washing in a cabin in the woods without running water.
Here is the quick run-down on how to take a French bath.
It’s easy to do in the morning (but doing it in the evening is okay too). Sometimes I do it before I head out for my early morning hike, and I shower later. It didn’t take long before I became addicted to this feel-good practice, much like oil pulling or brushing my hair 100 strokes before bed.
Healthy rituals are an enriching way to be present with ourselves on a daily basis. It is a gift to the hard working body—our sacred vessel.
It’s been 20-odd-years since I first started skin brushing, and my skin is still glowing and velvety at 56 years old. (Other benefits are listed below.) Every time I skin brush, I feel my body responding with a grateful rush of energy. Try it—you’ll love it!