By Jennifer Keirstead, Holistic Nutritionist at Mountain Trek
We’re told to brush our teeth, but what about our skin?
Healthy skin needs to breathe. Rid it regularly of dry skin cells and the body will react by producing new skin cells more rapidly. Your skin will immediately feel silkier and on the long term, will look healthier, loosing that dry, pasty appearance. –The Epicurean Table
Your body has a series of lymphatic vessels responsible for draining fluid (called lymph) from your tissues, then emptying them back into the bloodstream. It actually acts as a second circulatory system, which is responsible for transporting infection-fighting cells, removing foreign matter and cleaning up cell debris.
A dry brushing benefit is encouraging blood circulation and cell regeneration. Both of these actions promote internal detoxification which can aid in weight loss, cellulite reduction and the elimination of accumulated toxins.
Brushing your skin when it’s dry is the most important part. I’d always been scrubbing my skin in the shower with those scratchy, exfoliation gloves. This may be getting your skin clean but it just doesn’t have the same effect as brushing when your skin is dry. In fact, even after just three minutes of dry brushing, your skin will feel soft and as if it’s come alive. You’ll be hooked!
Dry Brushing Benefits:
- Accelerates toxin elimination
- Stimulates blood flow and circulation
- Aids in digestion
- Reduces cellulite
- Unplugs pores
- Enhances lymphatic flow
- Exfoliation and removal of dead skin cells
- Anti-aging through cell regeneration
- Polishes skin
- Stimulating both the sweat and sebaceous glands
How to dry brush the skin:
- Brush your body before you shower or bathe, preferably in the morning. Use a skin brush, loofah or dry face cloth.
- Start at your feet and always brush toward your heart. Use brisk circular motions or long, even strokes.
- Brush all the way up your legs, buttocks, and back. Then in a circular motion at your abdomen.
- Brush lightly on sensitive areas like breasts and more firmly on areas like soles of the feet.
- When you reach your arms, begin at your fingers and brush up your arms, toward your heart. Brush your shoulders and chest down, always toward your heart.
- Avoid brushing anywhere the skin is broken.
- Finish by taking a shower and if you choose, use cold/hot therapy to further stimulate the lymphatic system and improve circulation.
- Pat dry and massage pure plant oils into your skin such as almond, sesame, avocado, coconut, olive or cocoa butter.
–Instructions via “The Whole Body Detox”
Other Ways to Encourage a Healthy Lymphatic System:
- Drink plenty of clean, pure water (you can always use a filter).
- Eat a diet rich in fresh, colorful vegetables; providing a full range of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.
- Use dry saunas to promote enhanced detoxification via the skin, and stimulate lymphatic circulation.
- Get regular exercise. Start at the level you are at; do something you enjoy.
- Try contrast hydrotherapy. This can be done in the shower by alternating hot (3 min) & cold (30 sec) water in the shower, always ending on cold.
- The power of touch: Lymph drainage massage, self breast massage and dry skin brushing.
- Avoid exposure to chemicals, pollutants and toxic substances.
Undertake stress management techniques such as yoga, meditation and exercise to promote overall wellness. Simple practices such as deep breathing via intentional breathing exercises such as, “Alternate Nostril Breathing”.