By Kirby Edwards
Dry brushing for the skin is exactly that, brushing your skin without water. It can help to detoxify the body more effectively and can be performed at home.
The lymphatic system is an integral part of the immune system and is helpful to defend against infections. A bit of a waste disposal really consisting of a few parts including lymph nodes which are located around the body. One of its main tasks is to balance fluid levels of the body by draining any extra lymph and other fluids from the body tissues and return it to the blood to leave the body. If it was not drained by the lymphatic system, this extra fluid would build up in the tissues and make them swell. This can lead to stagnation or inflammation.
A previous blog goes into much more detail about the lymphatic system https://www.hmcosteopaths.com/blogs/the-lymphatic-system-clearing-the-bodys-sewerage-system-to-promote-natural-immunity
By improving lymphatic circulation, we can promote better body detoxification and reduce swelling. Other benefits may include reduce bloating, decrease instances of constipation, energy increase, improve immune function, decrease inflammation and clearer skin.
A couple of key things to remember when you start dry brushing-:
-You may not notice any change straight away, but consistency is key. So perhaps it is worth developing a quick dry brushing routine before you shower.
-A general rule of thumb of dry brushing is start at the extremities and towards the heart, the lymphatic system can be quite complex once you delve into it but a general rule is to the heart.
-A warm (not hot) shower afterwards is encouraged to wash away the old/dead cells, especially if you use a brush.
-You can use a roller or a brush if you like, or you can use a hand towel or rag or just your hand can also be effective. Some people use a jade or rose quartz roller on their face and neck. You generally do not need firm pressure for lymphatic work.
-Start at your feet, sweep with a light pressure in an upward motion toward your inner thighs, there is often a collection of lymph nodes there working hard.
-When working on your arms you can use strokes up your arm to your arm pit area (more lymph nodes) using light pressure.
-If you start at the head, it’s almost like you are washing your face without water and then brushing gently down the side of the jaw and neck to the collarbones (you guessed it, more lymph nodes)
-When you get to your torso, you can use circular motions to massage your torso area, chest, stomach and backside.
So what does this have to do with osteopathy?
Well, these kinds of habits of self care can help to keep your treatment lasting longer, decrease inflammation and swelling. These can help to continue to maintain your treatment as well as continue to optimize your body and immune system!
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