Tuesday, April 21, 2009
I give myself a dry skin brush massage first thing in the morning before I take a shower. Of course I would be naked. Don't dry brush with clothing on! I would also spend more time and be more thorough in my dry brushing. Once my dry skin brushing is complete I hop into the shower and wash my body thoroughly to rid the skin of any toxins.
By allowing the lymph to flow properly it brings foreign particles through the body to lymph nodes to make antibodies. These antibodies will go through the body and clear any of that foreign material. If the lymph didn't flow then the body wouldn't know there was foreign potentially harmful material to start with!
Lymph transports important vitamins like A, D, E and K and since dry skin brushing increases the flow of lymph it helps us to absorb these vitamins where our body needs them the most!
3. Lymphatic System Detox.
Without a properly flowing lymph system the fluid becomes clogged with waste products. By helping along the flow of lymph it increases the cleansing abilities of the lymphatic organs like the liver.
Dry Skin Brushing is very invigorating first thing in the morning. When I'm groggy and not wanting to get ready for work I pull out my dry brush and start on my arms. It seems to awaken the skin.
5. Dry Skin.
By regularly exfoliating the dead skin cells off the surface of the skin dry brushing allows for fresh naturally moisturized skin to be at the surface. Throw out that lotion and bring on the dry brush!
A regular vigorous regime of dry skin brushing will over time break through cellulite buildup and tighten up the skin. It takes at least 3-6 months of regular brushing to see a difference. Dry Skin Brushing also triggers nerve endings at the surface of the skin which tones the associated muscles.
7. Prevent Cancer.
We have cancerous cells in our bodies all the time. A tumor grows when our body is unable to detect and kill these cells that have started to become poisonous to our bodies. A big function of the lymphatic system is to show foreign materials to the immune system. This includes parts of cancer cells. If the lymph is flowing the immune system can detect cancers early and clear them.
Dry skin brushing stimulates the hormone producing glands (pituitary, pineal, thyroid, parathyroid, thymus, ovaries, testes and adrenal glands). Hormones largely maintain metabolism, and levels of chemicals in the blood.
9. Skin Detoxification.
The skin is the largest detox organ of the body. Sloughing off the dead cells rejuvenates the skin and allows it to move more toxins out of the body
10. Quick and Cheap.
A dry brush can be found at your local health food store for ~$15. And the act of dry skin brushing takes only a few minutes. If you have extra time of course put more effort into it and increase strokes, but any bit of dry brushing will provide the benefits.
Why Dry Skin Brush?
Dry Skin brushing is a premium detoxification method of the skin and lymphatic system. The skin is the largest cleansing organ in the body and takes care of a quarter of the body’s detox requirements each day. Dry skin brushing stimulates the organs of detoxification through massage. It has a whole bunch of benefits. The superficial ones include: removing cellulite, tightening the skin to prevent premature aging, and removing dead skins layers! The deeper benefits of the dry skin brush technique are the improvements to lymphatic function. It strengthens the immune system, stimulates hormone producing glands, and stimulates circulation.
Why do I Care About the Lymph System?
The Lymphatic System transports important molecules to be cleansed by the lymphatic organs (spleen, thymus gland, lymph nodes, liver, and tonsils.) These important molecules include: fat soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K, foreign particles and microorganisms. As a Microbiologist I know that if the lymph system is not flowing properly then the immune system does not get a chance to kill invading foreign particles and microorganisms. This includes cancerous cells.
The lymph system does not have a system to drain its fluid. A good comparison is the circulatory system. The heart pumps the blood around our body to pick up Oxygen at the lungs, deposit it at our tissues and organs, and goes back for more. As long as the heart keeps pumping the blood moves around. And when it doesn’t we aren’t alive! Pretty important function! The lymph system doesn’t have a heart to pump its fluid around the body. It relies on external factors. A major external factor that moves lymph fluid is skeletal muscle contraction, or exercise! Vinyasa Yoga is an excellent modality to move lymph fluid since its movements contract alternating muscle groups allowing for optimal lymph circulation.
And of course a great compliment to daily exercise is a regular dry brush to keep the lymph system flowing!
What is a Dry Brush and where can I find one?
A dry brush is a brush made of dense stiff bristles. They can be found at any health store and grocery stores like Whole Foods Markets and Capers.
How to Dry Brush?
The lymphatic fluid only flows in one direction which is towards the heart, so it is important to dry brush in the same direction. If we dry brushed away from the heart it puts extra pressure on the valves within the veins and lymphatic vessels and can results in ruptured vessels and varicose veins. We sure do not want any of that! So make sure to dry brush up the legs, arms and body towards the heart. The back is the exception to the rule. Dry Brush from the neck down towards the low back. Try to use decent pressure in long sweeping strokes. This can be a little uncomfortable at first. I started with short light strokes and have worked up to long harder ones.
Always dry brush before you bathe to wash away any impurities from the skin after a good dry skin brushing session.
For a chart on where the lymph nodes of the body are located click here.
Image from www.lymphoma.org
For a chart on the direction of proper dry brushing click here.
Image from www.ibeautytip.com
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