Dry Brushing.... Yessss!
This is absolutely one of my favorite topics & hands down my best demo at... well any gathering it comes up. I have a few rules when it comes to dry brushing but nothing you can’t handle.
- Use a brush with a natural bristle, nothing synthetic please!
- Take the time to learn which direction to brush the skin... generally moving towards the heart. It makes a huge difference & can lead to complications if ignored.
- Be gentle, loving & kind to yourself. Once this becomes routine you will enjoy the feeling & the benefits.
I keep saying I am going to start a YouTube channel & this will be my first video. Someday maybe, but for now it’s the old fashion way. I do have a laminated poster you can purchase on my website, or email me & I would be happy to send it to you to print at home.
Now for the guidelines.. not rules so much as a small list of important things to increase your success.
- Brush Skin Dry, Before Shower
- Begin on the left side of the body.
- Make 3-7 passes in each area.
- Circular motions stimulate the lymph best.
- Avoid brushing varicose veins of open sores.
- Having a water filter on your shower is a bonus if you have city water.
Herbal remedies that support and nourish your lymphatic system usually possess lymphagogue action, or the capacity to stimulate the activity of your lymphatic system and organs. ~ Burdock (Arctium lappa), Calendula (Calendula officinalis), Cleavers (Galium aparine), Red Clover (Trifolium pretense), & Echinacea. Introducing one or two of these is a helpful addition to dry brushing.
Now for some LDB talk!! It’s important to understand why we do things before doing them. We all know that we have a lymphatic system, but do we understand that it works in conjunction with our cardiovascular system? That it essentially takes out the garbage after our fresh blood supplies us with nourishment, or brings in the groceries so to speak. It’s a simple way to explain an elaborate process... but it gives a good picture.
Now for a more technical explanation. The lymphatic system consists of the tissues and organs that produce and store cells that fight disease and infection. They include the liver, bone marrow, thymus, lymph nodes and spleen, as well as the channels that carry lymph. There are a series of vessels and glands (lymph nodes) that comprise the lymphatic system. They are spread throughout the body, in a similar way to blood vessels. The lymphatic system has three main functions: Fighting Infection, Draining Excess Fluid, Lipid (Fat) Absorption.
The heart pumps your blood through your veins, making it effortless for us. Nothing moves the lymph other than gravity & what help it gets from us & frankly isn’t given enough attention.
I mentioned above that it’s important to brush the correct direction. We do not want to brush the opposite way as the lymph moves because there are one way valves located within the process to help it move it along. Forcing the lymph the opposite way can cause edema, or swelling due to fluid being trapped in the tissues of the skin.
I also mention that you need to start with the left, then move to the right side of the body. Remember that energy enters through the left & exits through the right side. Honor this movement by following the pattern. We are also working within what we refer to as watersheds... part of our understanding of the lymph is that it is located between the layers of skin, it does not travel the same as our blood in our veins. When the lymphatic fluid travels from one part of the body to another it goes through tiny one way valves that are like small waterfalls allowing the fluid to drop down into the next layer or location of the body. Now we divide the body intI halves (left & right) but also into thirds to work within these watersheds. The top (head to just below the armpit) then the middle (just below the armpit to the groin area) and finally the bottom (legs, feet & buttocks).
- Start by brushing the left side of the face. Beginning at the center of the forehead following the hairline, down the neck toward the collarbone. Make a few passes covering the forehead & traveling down the bridge of the nose & cheeks to the chin & neck. Make sure not to brush the sensitive skin around the eyes. When you brush the neck, slightly lift the chin & brush down from left to right, then move to the right side of the face. I switch brushes for my face & breasts... especially because the armpits are next!
- Now start making circular motions in the armpit clockwise to the count of 15, then reverse.
- If you have time you can brush the fingers on each side, top of hand, palm, and wrists before moving to arm.
- Brush from wrist up arm, stopping just before armpit or top of shoulder. Place brush on backside of shoulder & brush forward over the top of shoulder & into the armpit.
- Then move from the center of the back over shoulders towards the collarbone as you move towards the neck, covering the entire upper back & left shoulder.
- Brush breasts from center out, protecting the areola.
- Place brush at the base of the neck and brush across the neck, over lymph nodes & toward the heart.
- Brush from upper back, over shoulder, around breast, and up into the armpit.
- NOW DO THE RIGHT SIDE...armpit, hands, arms, shoulder, upper back & breast!
- Move to the back and brush from lower back up and over the shoulder blades as much as possible. Then from the middle of the back toward the sides just below the shoulder blades on both sides.
- Start at navel and make circular motions around it getting larger as you go in a clockwise motion, then reverse.
- Brush from groin toward hip bone....small circular motions.
- If you have time brush the bottom of the feet, then the top moving towards the ankle.
- Start from the ankle and move up the leg, making sure to follow over the buttocks toward the sacrum.
- NOW DO THE RIGHT SIDE... groin, foot, legs, buttocks!
- Finally close it out by brushing up the side body from hip up and over the armpit, then around toward the heart... left then right side!
Super Interesting Facts:
- There is three times more lymphatic fluid then blood in the average body.
- Vitamins A,D,E & K are assimilated in the lymphatic system.
- If your lymphatic system breaks down, you will die in under 48 hours.
- Your skin is like another kidney... it absorbs & is effected by everything put on it.