Dry Brushing & Other Tools for Lymphatic Massage and Immune Support
I love dry brushing! It's one of the simple little things, that if we take time to do it, can make a big difference in how we feel. It might sounds a little strange...brushing you skin. But here are 5 reasons you should try it anyway.
1. The skin is our largest elimination organ. It's responsible for 1/4 of your body's detoxification every day. So when it comes to cleansing (not the soap and water kind, but the get the toxins and junk out of my insides kind) dry brushing gives the skin a huge assist. Improving the detoxification process frees up our immune system to more effectively work on other tasks. 2. Dry brushing helps enhance circulation. The skin receives receives 1/3 of all the blood circulated in the body so help keep it moving efficiently and effectively by dry brushing. 3. The skin is the last organ to receive nutrients in the body, but the first one to show signs of deficiency. This technique promotes healthy, soft skin because it aids in exfoliation and skin tightening/renewal while also helping to remove cellulite. Give your skin a little TLC and watch it shine. 4. Dry brushing helps stimulate all of the detoxification organs because it provides a very gently internal massage. It also, aids in cleansing the lymphatic system, which is part of the circulatory system and a vital part of the immune system. It's primary function is to transport lymph, a fluid containing infection-fighting white blood cells, throughout the body. 5. Supports positive body image. The act of dry brushing is a simple self-care technique that supports positive feelings about your body. Making time to care for yourself is a powerful way to increase positive feelings about your body and what it does for you!
Tips and Techniques: You want to dry brush DRY skin. This technique is most effective when performed daily and first thing in the morning before showering. Use long, sweeping strokes starting at the feet and brushing upwards. Move to the hands and brush up toward the shoulders. Move on to the torso and brush in an upward direction. Don't forget the neck and underarms. Use light pressure on thin skinned areas and more pressure on tough skin like the bottom of the feet. Do not dry brush areas where you have broken skin or a rash. Finish with a shower to wash off the impurities that are released during the dry brushing process and moisturizer with organic coconut oil afterward.
Important Note: Stroking away from the heart places strain on the lymph vessels, as they only have one-way valves. Therefore, ensure you always brush towards the heart, encouraging lymph flow to the main lymphatic ducts.
Another easy to use tool for stimulating the lymphatic system and supporting overall health and immune strength is Gua Sha. Gua Sha is a Traditional Chinese Medicine technique that uses repeated, pressured strokes over lubricated skin with a smooth-edged tool. Jade rolling is a variation of this. Both use a tool on the body or face to help release tension and increase circulation in the tissues.
Gua Sha and jade rolling are most commonly used to relieve pain, boost the immune system, reduce inflammation and nourish the lymphatic system. Gua Sha is also believed to amplify and firm skin tissue in the face and help the movement of fluids within the body.
It's important not to use a moisturizer or lubricant that is full of chemicals in this process because your goal is to flush toxins out...not allow more in! We like to use unrefined coconut oil or an organic vitamin c serum.
How To Do It:
Hold the Gua Sha tool with the curved side to your face or use the jade roller. Glide the tool gently upward and outward, starting with the neck and moving to the jawline, chin, and around the mouth. You can also glide the tool from your eyebrows up to your hairline or outward from the middle of your brow line. Repeat 3-5 times in each area. It is important to start with the neck as this wakes up the lymphatic system and ignites the drainage process.