There are a lot of ways I incorporate self-care into my life, big and small. It’s taken me a long time to understand the importance of these practices and make time for them, every day.
Instead of just rushing through my day mindlessly, I’ve made a conscious over the years to slowly start weaving in little practices that have added up to really helping me feel my best.
Everything from meditation to yoga. Making time for weekly chiropractic adjustments, massages, and infrared saunas. Down to things like gua sha facial massages each morning, and by brushing before my showers.
Each of these seemingly little things adds up. And I think that’s why at 42 I feel my healthiest and happiest to date.
So I wanted to share one of these simple practices with you – dry brushing.
Dry brushing is one the simplest, most cost-effective, and fastest ways you can help support your body in the detoxification process.
Our bodies work REALLY hard every day to cycle through and detoxify all of the “things” that move through our bodies. Our bodies (internally through what we eat and externally through our skin) are constantly being put under a toxic load, without us even realizing it. There are so many things in our food, in our everyday skin and household products, and even just in our air that are really harmful to us.
Our lymphatic system is the system in our body that’s responsible for MOVING all of these harmful toxins and just junk out of our bodies. But it can be a lot for our system (especially if aren’t mindful of what’s going “in”), but this process of dry brushing heps. It helps stimulate the lymphatic system and gives it an extra boost.
You’re doing a lot of things. You’re exfoliating your skin, turning over new cells. You’re increasing circulation and helping decreasing inflammation. AND you’re helping your lymphatic system drain and move. There is a multitude of benefits of dry brushing, but for the sake of simplicity, I want you to think of it as just a cleaning out.
HOW I DRY BRUSH
There are a ton of articles out there about dry brushing, all I’m sure which are more detailed than this, but sometimes I find that the simpler things are, the more likely I am to do it – so here’s what I do (in the most simplistic way).
– You are always moving TOWARDS THE HEART
– Using light, gentle strokes, start from the feet and work your way up your body
– Start at the ankle and work your way up. I like to do just 3-5 strokes at the back of my calf, then the sides & front.
-Moving up to my thigh. Making sure to get the back of your knee and of course my bum (so good for the glutes).
-Making sure to be even on both sides
-Moving unto my torso, tummy, back – again working in small gentle strokes moving up towards my heart
-Then moving into my arms, holding my arms up, I work DOWN each arm (think towards the heart) concentrating on the back of my arms.
-I love to finish dry brushing my arms with them still lifted, dry brushing very gently under my armpits and around the connective tissue between my arms/breasts. Being mindful to be gentle and always moving towards the heart.
-And then finally, finishing on my neck and chest. Again being VERY gentle here, with light strokes moving down my neck and around my breast bone
There are so many good dry brushes out there, you can find them just about anywhere. Don’t overthink it or worry about the brush…. they’re all doing the same thing. Here’s one I have that’s only $10. You can find them all over now (even amazon has some great ones).
The whole process should only take a few minutes. I love to do it right before I take my showers or baths and is now just second nature and not even something I think about.
The key things are to be gentle, don’t rush, and as silly as it sounds, try and bring a little mindfulness to it. Let it be a chance to just slow down for 2-3 minutes before rising into the shower.
So much of our life is about going, going, going – so let this be something you add into your day that grounds you for a moment.
Take a few deep breaths, visualize the energy you’re moving. Send a little love to your body as you’re doing it and allow yourself to enjoy this little ritual. It should feel good. You’re worth it