Many people have very little understanding of the great lymphatic system and the important role it plays in total body health. The lymphatic system is the drainage system for toxins and metabolic waste to be escorted from your body via you kidneys and the lymph glands are the "septic tanks" of the lymph system. When the body doesn't remove the toxins quick enough or is bombarded with too many to process (crappy Western diet) the glands (septic tanks) get backed up and can become hard an swollen, which can be painful, but worse - it can lead to illness and disease if left unchecked. Aside from reducing stress, a clean diet, and exercising (jumping is the best), a good way to aid in the elimination of toxins is skin brushing
The skin is the body’s largest organ, think of it as a third kidney, and like the kidneys, it is essential for removing toxins from the body. It sheds dead cells continuously, and the sweat glands flush out any excess toxins or minerals that have built up.
The following factors can cause the lymphatic system to work poorly:
- Lack of physical activity
A sluggish lymphatic system can show different signs in each individual, but common signals the lymph system is not functioning at optimum levels can include.
- Increased allergies and food sensitivities
- Frequent cold and flu infections
- Joint pain
- Headaches and migraines
- Breast tenderness
- GI issues
- Muscle cramping
- Skin breakouts
Dry Brushing Benefits
Some advantages of dry skin brushing include the elimination of metabolic wastes, improved circulation, eased muscle tension, and exfoliation of the skin and some claim dry brushing improves the appearance of cellulite, but the for most the it seems verdict is still out on that one.
Dry skin brushing is also easy to do and can be performed before any shower or bath and as soft as your skin will feel after the first brushing, you won't need another reason to continue. The practice is considered very enjoyable and relaxing by some, including myself, but for others it has resulted in an energy boost, so it's better to perform dry brushing earlier in the day and not before bedtime - just in case.
Follow these tips to begin your own practice.
- Start from the extremities and work toward the heart.
- Start low and work the brush in an upward motion.
- Brush at a pressure that feels comfortable, not painful.
- Pay particular attention to the armpits as many people experience lymph blockages in the armpits.
You can find a good brush at Walmart stores in the bath section. Just make sure it's a natural bristle brush and if you have a hard time reaching your back, you may want to purchase one with a long handle. I've seen good brushes for as little as four dollars.