The lymphatic system is often an overlooked component of our health. In this day and age, our immune system is of great importance, and since the lymphatic and immune systems work closely together, it’s time we start diversifying our wellness routine.
One very easy and very cheap option is dry brushing. This ancient practice of brushing the skin with a natural, soft-bristled brush has countless benefits. Let’s get into why this could be a new, life-altering habit you add to your wellness toolbox.
- Your skin is your largest organ, therefore the largest organ of elimination. When it comes to the our typical definition of “skincare”, we usually think of ADDING sh*t to our bodies: lotions, perfumes, fancy soaps, and other crap we’ve been programmed to buy. Though naturally moisturizing your skin is necessary — especially in the dry seasons like fall/winter — we should remember that detoxing, clearing blockages, and eliminating is equally as important… Enter dry brushing.
- This practice calms the nervous system, at the same time as it stimulates and energizes it.
- When your body is calm (even if your mind isn’t), your stress hormones are regulated and lowered, which in turn helps you sleep better, have more energy, and can help you lose weight. What a glorious thing it is to be balanced.
- Blood flow = life flow, and this practice not only will help vital nutrients + oxygen move through your body, but it will also flush waste and toxins out!
- Let’s talk EXFOLIATION, mama. As you brush and flush out the yuckies on the inside, you reveal the GLOWING GOODNESS on the outside! Yes, that means softer and smoother skin. Think of a baby’s button, J-Lo’s skin, and a bottle of sunshine.
- When skin is cleared from external crap (be it environmental toxins, chemicals, “beauty” products, etc.), you allow nutrients like Vitamin D to absorb better. Vitamin D has countless benefits — helps to prevent cancer, is excellent for cardiovascular health, aids in weight loss, boosts energy-levels, reduces depression, and more. Google more benefits if you’re still not convinced.
- Brush on dry skin, preferably before bathing.
- Follow with a natural oil — argan, olive, coconut, avocado, etc.
- Don’t use too much force… be firm, but keep it chill.
- Don’t brush over any rashes, sunburns, cuts, or other skin irritations.
There are a couple different methods of dry brushing, and we are not doctors, so do what your heart/mind/body tells you, and maybe even ask your doc. When it comes to brushing for the lymphatic system though, there are some commonalities. Upward movements towards armpits and groin seem to be pretty across-the-board “yes”s.
**Here are a couple videos on techniques and tips that we found helpful:
From a Lymphedema Therapist @cancerrehabpt — Technique + Special Info:
From Dr. Mindy Beck — Technique:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqKPaG0gAnk&list=TLPQMjExMjIwMjDgKn7eve56EQ&index=1