Christmas is over….all that planning, excitement, spending…..and in just a few short days its all over leaving us perhaps feeling a little worse for wear and with not always very much to look forward to. With cold, dark January days stretching ahead what can we do to put a spring in our step and help to shift wintry sluggishness?
Obviously ‘detox’ info is everywhere and now is a great time to start afresh and revitalise our lives. We all know that more water, less alcohol and more fresh fruit and vegetables are good for us, but asking our bodies to start shifting stagnation or toxicity when our routes of elimination may be impaired is quite unrealistic and could end up making us feel worse.
So what can we do? Our largest organ of elimination is the skin – so this is a good place to start when supporting the body’s natural healing process.
One technique that can aid the body in eliminating toxins is dry skin brushing. This is a safe and easy way to invigorate the skin and stimulate the body to naturally detox and purify.
Dry skin brushing removes the uppermost layer of skin, which holds some acidity and toxicity. Brushing this layer away makes available a whole new surface area through which to excrete toxins. Skin brushing also promotes movement within the lymphatic system, and can have a similar effect to taking exercise making us feel more refreshed and alert, especially first thing in the morning.
If you are constipated, begin gently with skin brushing as it will create more material needing to be eliminated via the bowel.
Skin brushing is applied to dry skin to ensure the scurf layer is easily removed.
1.Begin by brushing the outermost parts of the body (hands and feet) towards the centre of your body. So from the foot up the entire leg – then the other foot/leg.
2.Brush from one hand up to the shoulder and then the other hand up to the shoulder.
3. Always brush towards the heart, as this is where the lymph enters the bloodstream.
Do not brush the face or head.
Do not apply skin brushing to varicose veins, painful rashes or open wounds.
The entire process should only take 1 or 2 minutes.
Shower after brushing to remove exfoliated skin.
Use a dry body brush with soft natural bristles available from health stores and internet health sites. Best to keep it dry so it maintains its effectiveness.
Another great technique to help detoxify is ‘hot and cold showering’, this creates movement within the circulatory system, which in turn stimulates the flow of lymph.
When the body is subjected to cold external temperatures, the flow of circulation/blood is directed inward towards the internal organs to keep the vital inner organs warm. Wherever the blood goes the lymph will follow. As the outside temperature increases, the flow of blood (and lymph) goes outwards towards the skin to release excessive heat. The alternating hot and cold increases activity within the circulatory system, and therefore within the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system helps to carry waste and pathogens from cells, playing a major role in defending the body from infections. When lymph is stagnant and blocked symptoms such as frequent colds, sore throats, infections and joint pain can occur.
1. Have a wash in a normal warm shower.
2. Turn the temperature to cool or cold (depending on your tolerance) and remain in the shower until your body feels cool or cold.
3. Turn the temperature back to warm or hot and remain in the shower until your body feels warm again.
4. Repeat this process twice (i.e. 3 times in total) – be sure to finish on a cool or cold shower.
Don’t be surprised if you feel invigorated after hot and cold showering, its particularly good for those with a low body energy as it is able to supply energy to the body to get the system started and begin to move the stagnation.
There are many more techniques that are great for giving our bodies the kick start they may need – but these 2 are a good start.
Happy January!! 🙂