Dry brushing is another of our treasured rituals, along with beditating and the daily PBR, dry brushing is incredibly effective, benefitting your whole system, inside and out, and it’s nearly free… In Ayurvedic medicine dry brushing is known as Garshana.
This trendy ritual has been around for more than 5000 years, and essentially is a form of personal massage. Our predecessors used dry husks of plants, sand and even rocks to stimulate the lymphatic system, increase vitality, exfoliate and support skin health.
Now, with the use of a natural bristled brush the practice is undoubtable more enjoyable.
The benefits of dry brushing your body are numerous:
- Increased and improving the luster and glow of your skin – the skin, our largest eliminative organ, and it is tasked with the responsibility of detoxifying our system by removing waste through sweating. Using a dry brush daily will greatly improve circulation by increasing blood flow to different layers of your dermis and epidermis. In addition, the brushing amp’s up cellular turnover and that will reveal a more even and firm tone, brighten and add a reflective quality to the skin.
- Dry brushing stimulates the release of feel good endorphins, which are hormones gives you feeling of happiness, and when done mindfully, can be a wonderful addition to your meditation practice. Daily brushing is a signal to your body to get ready for a full day and will help perk you up in the morning.
- Likely toe most important benefit of this daily ritual is that it will improved your lymphatic circulatory system – thereby eliminating undesired stagnant edema (puffiness). Our lymphatic system does not have a pump, however, it does need to journey around the body for your immune system to function properly. Lymph moves in one direction and is circulated through the body by daily movement, exercise, massage and dry brushing. If Lymph does not move properly it can create some edema and pool in certain areas. Gently brushing your body each morning will dramatically improve fluid retention and move stagnant lymph along.
So… What is lymph and the lymphatic system exactly? The lymphatic system is a complex network of thin vessels, valves, ducts, nodes, and organs. The organs that are part of the Lymphatic system are:
- Lymph fluid itself is formed when the interstitial fluid (the fluid which lies in the interstices of all body tissues) is collected through lymph capillaries. Lymph is clear or milky in color and is made up of white blood cells, especially lymphocytes, the cells that attack bacteria and other pathogens in the blood.
The Lymph nodes are soft, small, round- or bean-shaped structures. They usually cannot be seen or easily felt, unless inflamed and tender. When bacteria are recognized in the lymph fluid, the lymph nodes will make more infection-fighting white blood cells. This causes the nodes to swell, the swollen nodes are sometimes felt in the neck, under the arms, and groin.
They are located in clusters in various parts of the body:
- Inside the center of the chest and abdomen
- Lymph helps to protect and maintain the fluid environment of the body by producing, filtering, and conveying lymph and by producing various infection fighting blood cells. Lymph nodes play an important part in the body’s defense against infection. The nodes themselves filter the lymph fluid and remove foreign material such as bacteria and cancer cells.
As with any ritual, proper technique will give you the best results
- Purchase a body brush with firm, natural bristles – such as this one…
- Start at your feet with long smooth gentle strokes upward on your legs toward your groin. Brush the abdomen in clockwise circular motion to promote health digestion and elimination. On the sides and back of your body, brush toward your heart and around your breasts. Moving up the body, starting at the hands and wrists, again use long smooth gentle strokes up your torso. Use a light and gentle hand to nurture your skin and stimulate the lymph flow, brushing too vigorously will irritate the skin and bypass the lymph all together.
- Shower and follow with a lovely lotion or coconut oil combined with your favorite essential oils.