Mmmmm…. The smell of hot cocoa and cinnamon, enjoying the quiet roar of a beautiful fire safely framed in its nesting place, the chill of a cold brisk breeze while taking a long walk… All the things that surround winter here in the Midwest. Now don’t get me wrong it’s not all glitz and snowy glamour… as we can also have our days of severe cold and freezing rain or possibly a large snowstorm that can shut roadways down and making it difficult for my poor little pups to do their business outside. Not a pretty sight. It’s at this time of the year when I think we should be more like the plants that lay dormant or the animals that go in hibernation… A resting state that prepares us to bloom with energy in the spring.
It seems like the beginning of every year we are all encouraged to strive for fresh and new beginnings. For some that might mean a goal to lose weight, start an exercise plan, be more organized, strive to reduce stress, or try to balance work and personal life better. As I get older, and hopefully a bit wiser, it is at this time I rest, reflect, and prepare my mind and body for a peaceful and healthy year. Part of this process, besides choosing a good book to read, is allowing myself to not only detox mentally but also physically.
An easy and largely important practice that aids your body in releasing toxins is one that is so often overlooked or never heard of….. so what the heck is it …. DRY BODY BRUSHING If you’ve never heard of it or only recognize the term in passing, it means to brush the skin in a particular pattern with a dry brush, usually before showering.
In dry brushing, the skin is normally brushed toward the heart starting at the feet and hands and brushing toward the chest. Now I know some of you might be thinking “why in the heck would I do that?”
Think back to your human biology class… minus the traumatizing exam… and answer these questions:
What is the largest organ of the body? What is One of the most important elimination organs in the body, playing a large role in daily detoxification? What organ receives a third of all the blood that is circulated in the body? When the blood is full of toxic materials, what organ will reflect this with problems? What organ is the largest to receive nutrients in the body, yet the first to show signs of imbalance or deficiency? If you answered the SKIN to all of these questions, then CONGRATULATIONS… you have scored 100%!
There are many benefits to Dry Body Brushing:
- For all my lady friends… Increasing the circulation to the skin could possibly reduce the appearance of cellulite. Cellulite of course is that toxic material that accumulates in your body’s fat cells. So why not utilize the dry skin brushing technique to help break down these unwanted toxins.
- Dry body brushing helps shed dead skin cells and encourages new cell renewal. This results in smoother and brighter skin. It can also help with those pesky ingrown hairs.
- It also assists in improving vascular blood circulation and lymphatic drainage. By releasing toxins, it encourages the body’s discharge of metabolic waste so the body is able to run more effectively.
- Not only does it feel pretty great, but dry skin brushing stimulates nerve endings in the skin rejuvenating the nervous system.
- It helps with muscle tone and it gives you a more even distribution of fat deposits. Yay!
- It also helps your skin to absorb nutrients by eliminating clogged pores.
Of all the benefits, stimulating the lymphatic system is at the core! The lymphatic system is responsible for collecting, transporting to the blood, and eliminating the waste our cells produce. If the lymphatic system is congested, it can lead to a buildup of toxins causing inflammation and illness. YIKES!
So, the good news is dry body brushing is simple and easy and you can do it at home. All you need to do is purchase a natural bristle brush. One with a long handle is always a plus as it means you can reach all areas of the body with ease.
The directions are pretty easy:
- It is recommended to start on dry skin before bathing… However, I like to spray Neal’s Yard Remedies Detox Toning Oil on my brush before beginning …which in that case I body brush after bathing. https://us.nyrorganic.com/shop/gracemarshall/area/shop-online/category/base-oils/product/1401/detox-toning-oil-3-38-fl-oz/
- Work in a gentle circular, upward motion, then longer, smoother strokes.
- Always begin at the ankles in upward movements toward the heart… The lymphatic fluid flows through the body towards the heart, so it’s important that you brush in the same direction
- Your back is the only exception to the preceding rule, brush from the neck down to the lower back.
- After you have finished with the ankles, move up the lower legs, thighs, stomach, back and arms. Be cautious of softer and sensitive skin around the chest and breasts, and never brush over inflamed skin, sores, sun burnt skin, or skin cancer.
- Dedicate at least 3 to 5 minutes to brushing. If you have dry brushed without using any oil, then following brushing enjoy a nice shower followed with a nourishing organic moisturize to help nourish the skin. https://us.nyrorganic.com/shop/gracemarshall/area/shop-online/category/creams-butters-and-lotions/
BOOM! This simple treatment does the mind and body good while helping to reduce your toxic burden. I would have to say it is a wise and simple act to ease you into a peaceful and healthy spring.
Keep it REAL