Dry Body Brushing
Dry body what? Yes, you read that right. Dry brushing of the body before you take a shower or bath.
Dry brushing of the body can help exfoliate the skin as well as get the lymphatic system moving. The lymphatic system is part of the immune system which helps to keep us healthy. It is said that a vigorous 10 minute brushing of the skin is equivalent to walking 5 miles (exercise wise to get the lymphatics moving).
What is the Lymphatic System?
In the human body there are hundreds of lymph nodes located in places like around the lungs, heart, under arms, groin and neck. Organs like the spleen and parts of the body like the appendix, tonsils and adenoids all have lymphatic fluid running through them.
The lymphatic system carries white blood cells needed to fight infections. Lymphatic tissue has also found to encourage growth of some beneficial gut bacteria. It is important in digestion and immunity. Unlike the circulatory system in the body that has a pump (the heart), the lymphatic has no pump to push the fluid around the body. Exercise, movement and deep breathing can help to do that.
According to wikipedia.com "The lymphatic system is part of the vascular system and an important part of the immune system, comprising a large network of lymphatic vessels that carry a clear fluid called lymph (from Latin, lympha meaning "water") directionally towards the heart. One of the main functions of the lymph system is to provide an accessory return route to the blood for the surplus three litres. The other main function is that of defense in the immune system. Lymph is very similar to blood plasma: it contains lymphocytes. It also contains waste products and cellular debris together with bacteria and proteins."
We need to keep our lymphatic system going to circulate and keep us healthy. Anything that's stagnant is the body isn't helping us in any way.
Signs of a Stagnant Lymphatic System
I know a lot of these can apply to many different issues and areas of the body. However, if you aren't moving around or up and exercising on a daily basis, anything to get the heart going, chances are you have a stagnant lymphatic system.
Enlarged lymph nodes, swollen glands
Stiffness of the muscles and joints or feeling sore, especially in the morning
Swelling of the breasts with each menstrual cycle
Water retention, especially swelling of the fingers where rings are tight
Stubborn or excess weight gain
Chronic sinusitis, infections, sore throats, colds, or ear issues
Cold hands and feet
Swelling in hands, feet, and ankles (but not limited to)
Digestive disorders including constipation
Skin conditions, including itchy and dry skin
Increased colds and flu
What can you do About it?
Deep breathing is very beneficial,
exercise and dry brushing can help too. I have a dry brushing video on Facebook, if you want to watch it, watch here. Also, here is a diagram of how to directionally brush. Make sure you are naked with no constricting clothing or jewelry. Don't forget to brush the backs and palms of your hands and the tops and bottoms, including the heels of your feet. Since starting this I don't need to use a pumice stone or anything to get callouses off my feet.
When you start out dry brushing, start slow. I wasn't kidding about when I started and how painful it was. When I'd get in the shower, under the warm water it felt like I had a severe sunburn for the first week or so. Now that I've been doing it for before every shower or bath for over 2 years, it doesn't bother me.
One added benefit of dry brushing is the glow my skin has. It's so soft, silky and I rarely get a pimple or blemish. Couple dry brushing with adequate water intake and you should be able to remove any body moisturizer. I still use it on my face and hands during the winter but I don't use any lotion on my body any more. It can trap toxins and stop you from sweating.
My body brush from amazon (click the picture and it will take you to the brush)
And my face/neck brush from amazon.
Should you have any questions, please reach out to me via email at email@example.com. Have a wonderful day, let me know how the dry brushing is going!
Love and light,
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