Health Hack #3, Dry Skin Brushing

Our skin is our biggest organ (yes, I said organ!), and is one that plays a huge role in our health/wellbeing.  Not only does our skin produce antibacterial substances to protect us from infection; it allows our bodies to produce vitamin D when exposed to the sun, and supports detoxification.  However, if our skin is heavy with dead cells, it cannot perform the chore of detoxification very well.  Enter.....dry brushing.

If you don't have a dry brush (not the same thing as a hair brush), get online and google, or go to Amazon.com and choose one that looks good to you...just make sure it's made of natural fibers.  That's what I did.  I chose a brush from Spaverde, and I'm sure there are others that are fabulous, too.  

I brush most days before my morning shower.  Use a firm (but not harsh) pressure, start at your feet, work up, and always brush towards your heart.  Stroke each part of your skin a few times and then keeping going up.  This will move the lymphatic fluid.  **Use mild soap on your skin in the shower post brushing....you want to clear and open the pores, not clog them with soaps and gels.  Most dry brushes come with instructions on HOW to brush, as well.    

So, after you've figured out how to correctly brush your skin, you might be wondering:  "Why the heck am I doing this?"  Allow me to share my top 5 benefits of dry brushing:

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1. Stimulates Your Lymphatic System                                                                                               Your lymphatic system gets rid of cellular waste products, but when it's not working properly, waste and toxins can build up and make you sick. Lymphatic congestion leads to inflammation and disease. Use dry brushing to stimulate your lymphatic system release toxins!

2. Exfoliates Dead Skin                                                                                                                         As we get older, it is helpful to exfoliate once or twice week to help renew the skin and remove those dead skin cells so that we have a fresher appearance.  Exfoliating too much or too harshly can also dehydrate the skin, so be gentle.  

3. Reduce Cellulite                                                                                                                              Dry brushing may help to soften hard fat deposits below the skin while distributing fat deposits more evenly. This may help to diminish the appearance of cellulite.  Umm....yes, please.  

4. Stress Relief                                                                                                                                    Dry brushing can reduce muscle tension, calm your mind, and relieve stress. Many compare it to a light whole-body massage.  Massage therapy is fabulous, but can be expensive.  Keep dry brushing in mind as an amazing alternative.  

5.  Decreases Bloating                                                                                                                           By helping the body shed excess water and toxins through massaging the lymph nodes, bloating may decrease. 

It's such a simple (and inexpensive) way to help your body!  Give it a try and stay tuned for next week's Immune Boosting Blog!