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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