Happy Humors: Dry Brushing, Lymph-love and Cellulite
Do you know:
• What organ receives one third of all circulating blood?
• When the liver is stagnant and a backflow of waste fills the blood, which organ bears the burden?
• What organ is the last in line for needed nutrients and the first to announce bodily imbalances and deficiencies?
Our skin is the sentinel of our health. Only 1 millimeter thick, the skin streams with blood vessels, hormones, lymphatic capillaries, healthy lipids, waterproofing oils, and beneficial flora. It breathes and absorbs sunlight, spinning the warm rays of the sun into vitamin D. Deeply connected to our brain, our skin is a vast interface between the outside and inside of the body. It defines for us what is "out there" and what is "in here." Our stalwart skin does all this, and it is beautiful.
We tend to take our skin for granted, trespassing and compromising its health with indiscriminating choices: lethal lotions and polluted potions, fake food and tainted tap water, chemical crèmes and synthetic sun-screens. In lieu of this, let's take a moment to attune ourselves to our amazing skin.
The ancient Greek and Romans thought highly of the skin; their legendary baths are monuments to the importance of skin care for good health. The bathing ritual was luxurious and relaxing, consisting of soaks in hot and frigid pools and saunas. The very first stop for a bather was the strigling room. A strigil is a metal spoon-like tool that was coated in oil and brushed across every inch of skin. This process cleaned the skin and readied it for the rest of the baths.
The Two Minute Health Boost
I enthusiastically embrace this ancient brushing ritual, though I have swapped the metal strigil in favor of brushing my skin with natural bristle brushes. Dry brushing involves coating a dry brush with a drop of botanical oil and then very gently brushing every inch of skin, like butterflies on the skin – a very light touch. Always brush in the direction of the heart, and avoid brushing damaged or inflamed skin.
Get the Fluids Flowing
Dry brushing is so worth the 2 minutes it takes before a bath or shower. It is a time-tested technique of keeping the humours happy, and it may be the best defense against sluggishness and slowing down. The dry, stiff bristles of a brush gently sweeping across the skin are just what the body needs to restore your verve and vigor.
Botanical oils are an awesome way to enhance dry brushing. Living Libations Verve Tonic fortifies your flow and venerates your vitality. The reviving essential oils in this rousing elixir quicken and clarify so that you may launch into the play of your day.
Laurel essential oil is the vital vivifier in Verve Tonic. In Advanced Aromatherapy, Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt states, "rubbing a few drops of bay laurel on swollen lymph nodes may have an immediate, noticeable effect. The positive and pleasant effect of this oil is so distinct and strong that one application will normally suffice to convince the most hardened skeptic to use it."
Simply pour 1-2 drops of the oils on the palm of your hand, and then glide a dry brush across your palm coating the bristles. Then gently, brush your body starting with your toes all the way up to your head. Remember to always brush toward the heart.
How did this common physical occurrence become the jinx of women? A "problem" as defined by the so-called beauty industry, statistics tell us that more than 80% of women have cellulite somewhere on the body.
A myriad of components contribute to the formation of cellulite:
• circulation insufficiencies
• clogged vascular system
• immobility or sedentary lifestyle
• nutritional deficits
• increased body fat
• estrogen dominance
• collagen and connective tissue breakdown
If cellulite is a concern, I highly recommend that your first step is to bless your body by shunning beauty magazines, cosmetics ads, and products that motivate you to stare or poke disapprovingly at any part of your body. Over-night cellulite-banishing lotions are marketing tools developed to separate you from your body, and the results are less than promised. There are no quick fixes for complex issues like cellulite.
Even so, there are things you can do to minimize its appearance. One of those steps is dry brushing.
We have crafted a CelluLight Formula that is a cogent combination of botanical essences that tone the skin and help to improve the appearance cellulite. Carrot seed is a powerful skin-toner, and seabuckthorn berry is nutrient-rich and especially regenerative to the skin. Fennel, juniper, and geranium purify the skin and pare puffiness. Rosemary and grapefruit are toning; they shield skin from exposure to environmental elements, lift sagging tissue, improve the texture of the skin, and give a smoother appearance to the skin. Coffee and lemon stimulate and energize the skin and get the fluids flowing.
CelluLight Formula can be used as a dry-brushing oil or it can be massaged directly on to cellulite prone areas; focus on those areas for 4-6 weeks.
The Best Body Brushes Ever
Over the years, we have tested a variety of brushes, and we have finally located the three best body brushes ever. The Facial Brush has soft bristles suitable for gentle brushing the face, neck, and décolleté. The Body and Breast Brush is the perfect size and texture to dry-brush the body and more delicate breasts. The Energy Brush has fine bronze bristles made of copper and zinc. Due to the molecular structure of the bristles they have a negative ion charge. When brushed on the skin, the negatively charged oxygen ions important for our material and energetic wellbeing are generated right on the skin.
Squeeze all of the benefits of dry-brushing by bathing or taking a sauna afterwards. For the perfect finish, apply the Best Skin Ever to lubricate every inch of skin. Your skin will glow with good health.
Learn more about the technique and benefits of dry-brushing on my video on the Living Libations YouTube channel.
Nadine Artemis, the founder of Living Libations, is the author of Holistic Dental Care: The Complete Guide to Healthy Teeth and Gums, and Renegade Beauty: Reveal and Revive Your Natural Radiance, which was named one of “The Top 10 Books on Skin Care” by The Strategist of New York Magazine. She is a respected media guest and contributor, and her products have received rave reviews in the New York Times, LA Times, Elle, People, Vogue, and Hollywood Reporter. Described by Alanis Morissette as “a true-sense visionary,” Nadine crafts elegant formulations and healing creations from rare botanicals that have skin glowing around the world. Her concept of Renegade Beauty encourages effortlessness and inspires people to rethink conventional notions of beauty and wellness.