Brushing isn’t just for hair
By Nancy B. Loughlin
Published in News Press on January 14, 2014. Posted with permission.
The skin is your body’s largest organ.
About a quarter of the body’s detoxification is done through the skin which makes it “the third kidney,” after the kidneys and the lungs, of course.
If you make skin brushing part of your morning routine, not only will you will tighten the skin, remove cellulite and stimulate digestion, but you will also remove toxins from the body.
Your skin can become a storehouse for toxins due to off pH levels in soaps, skin creams and antiperspirants, and your skin absorbs the toxins from synthetic dyes and fibers from clothes.
Skin brushing with a natural-bristle brush or loofah mittens gently exfoliates the skin. Aside from creating a fresh glow, exfoliation is important for optimum function of this third kidney. A baby’s skin renews every 10 to 28 days. As adults age, it’s every 28 days. In fact, we shed about 40 pounds of skin in a lifetime, and it’s even estimated that as much as 80 percent of household dust is dead skin.
When new skin cells generate, they are plump and round. Over time, these cells are pushed closer to the skin’s surface, and they begin to flatten, hindering the migration of natural oils, perspiration and toxins from the body. By lightly brushing the skin, you can remove the old, dry cells and make way for the new. The skin can breathe.
Skin brushing stimulates your lymphatic system and circulation. Lymph fluids are under the skin and rely on body movement and exercise to propel the toxin-laden fluids toward the nodes so they can be flushed from the body. It’s why the massage therapist tells you to drink lots of water post-massage.
Here’s how to become a skin brusher:
Consider transitioning to an evening shower. At night, it’s important to lather up and rinse off the day’s toxins instead of carrying them to bed with you.
In the morning, brush the skin. Start with the legs, and place your left foot on the edge of the bathtub. Begin on the upper inner thigh, and gently brush toward the groin. Move around the thigh in a ring toward the hamstring. Drop another few inches and repeat. When you get to the ankles, brush in long strokes from foot to the top of the leg to sweep the remaining lymphatic fluid toward the nodes.
Next, brush from the belly button down to the groin and move around the back, sweeping forward. Above the belly button and on the arms, brush toward the armpits.
Brush gently. If you are leaving white scratches on your skin, you are being too rough or your bristles are too stiff.
After brushing your skin, perhaps oil the skin before jumping into a brief, cool shower. The brushes or mittens should be washed every eight to ten days.
Start your day clean and radiant. Why not? A little self-care can give you the energy and vigor for everything else in your day.