Lymphatic Skin Brushing for Breast And Body Health
When I started my own skin brushing routine a few months ago I didn’t really know what to expect. I read a lot of information and watched several YouTube videos to learn background and proper techniques but honestly, it was just an experiment. An experiment to see if there is any truth behind feeling better and looking better as a result of brushing my skin.
As is often the case, what started out as an experiment is turning into a habit, or as we like to call it at Circuelle Foundation, a ‘healthy ritual’ that I am quite certain I will be practicing daily for the rest of my life. I liken it to when it just became common sense to drink enough water to keep my body hydrated and therefore keep my organs functioning… or when I made meditation a daily practice as a means of quieting my ‘monkey mind’ so that I could focus and learn how to internally calm myself down or choosing to not watch horrible news stories before bed so that I could rest better. I’ve always been impressed when common sense reveals a new way to to look at things, especially in ways I’ve never considered before, and this is one of those life-changing cases. I really love the effects of skin brushing. I feel it emotionally, physically and yes, energetically. To tell you the truth, its almost embarrassing that something as ancient and as beneficial to my overall health is just now entering my awareness.
“What is Dry Skin Brushing? An age-old process of dry brushing skin with a natural brush to stimulate lymphatic flow, improve circulation, and exfoliate skin”
Facts Learned: At Circuelle Foundation we are constantly researching, absorbing and applying what we learn about our own health as women, and in particular how to take personal responsibility for knowing our bodies well enough to positively impact our long term breast health. Because skin brushing is a ritual focused on detoxifying the lymphatic system, this is of particular interest to us as we know that a large majority of the glands in the breast tissue and surrounding underarm and chest area are actually lymph glands. What I did not realize is that our skin is in fact the largest organ in the overall human anatomy and that it does in fact, impact the body’s overall function and all of its internal systems. I had no idea that the lymphatic system, a system designed to specifically detoxify the body of internal waste products, not unlike the kidney’s or the liver, lies just beneath the surface of the skin. It has 4 major “dumping sites” that are referred to as ‘watersheds’ and these are usually the places that the doctor touches you when you show up in the office saying you don’t feel well.
Under the jawbone and upward under the ear, the underarm and a significant section of the breast area, at the groin where your thighs meet your pelvis and behind the knees. There is a small ‘dumping site’ at the elbow as well. Helping the lymphatic fluid properly make its journey to these detox centers is our job as our body is not set up to pump that fluid for us. The heart has a pump to move our blood. Fascinatingly, the lymph system does not!
Ancient Healthy Rituals Beautiful Again
What ancient societies from the Ayurvedic practices of India (still active today) to the Greek athletes using skin scrapers for circulation and even various native american tribes who used the sand from riverbeds and dried corn cobs for both strengthening the skin as well as beautification knew, is that some sort of manual stimulation must be directly applied to our epidermis to maintain overall health and wellness. It is interesting that in modern society we have focused on scrubs, acidic applications and various skin polishers to improve our looks and skin texture while skin-brushing actually supports the internal and external health of our whole bodies. When we take this ‘new’ yet obvious common sense approach to being healthy from the inside-out, it is a game changer on every level!
What is it that the ancient societies knew inherently that we have forgotten? That it is not just the pores of the skin that need our focus but rather it is also the lymph glands, just beneath our skin, that become sluggish with toxic waste. This can lead to all sorts of complications externally as well as inside of our bodies. The lymph nodes do not have a pumping system that moves fluid through them. We have to help the fluid along. Who knew? I certainly didn’t.
How to Skin Brush
It is important to note that the lymph glands are all positioned in certain directions thus the flow to the gland watersheds or ‘dumping sites’ has to be going in the right direction for the lymph fluid to actually release properly and flow out of the body via the sweat glands and other elimination organs. Skin brushing actually has a technique to it and it is as important that we understand how to brush the skin as it is that we DO brush it. Having a basic understanding of the directional flow of lymphatic fluid to the various watersheds is the key. The rest is simple. Using your hands and a natural fiber brush designed specifically for this purpose is all that you need. And, plan to skin brush your whole body.
Our Circuelle Foundation team has tested many of these brushes out for you and have narrowed down our favorite. For your convenience, these brushes can be purchased here (click here) 100% of the net proceeds go to fund breast health education through our foundation. Print the anatomical guide that shows the watersheds and directions you need to be brushing in order to ensure proper lymph drainage.
- Our research has consistently mentioned brushing with small strokes in the proper direction approximately 5 times in each specific area then going over that same area with long strokes in the proper direction.
- The key is to be gentle enough to stimulate the flow of lymph yet use enough pressure to get things moving. If you are like me, less is more.
- Your skin should be slightly pink but it shouldn’t be red or raw or scratched in any way. In fact, you need to avoid any areas that are sensitive or have open wounds of any kind.
- Your lymph system is just below the surface. Be gentle with yourself.
Recommendations For How Often You Brush
Most folks recommend once a day. Some mention twice with the added notation that brushing right before bed is too stimulating and can keep you awake. All recommend some form of rinsing, or sweating then rinsing, after skin brushing to clear away the surface toxins. Even a dip in the pool will do the trick. As for the twice a day brushing, this is what I prefer. I have noticed that if I set my internal timer (or my cell phone) for earlier in the evening to brush and take a quick rinse in the shower, I sleep better, my restless leg is almost completely diminished and I wake up more refreshed with little to no swelling from water retention. So twice a day it is for me.
Benefits of Skin Brushing
- Cleanses the lymphatic system
- Removes dead skin layers
- Stimulates the hormone and oil-producing glands
- Tightens the skin preventing premature aging
- Increased energy and blood flow
- Tones the skin
- Strengthens the immune system
FACT: Dry Brushing is popular in European spas and many cancer treatment centers today. The Russians, Turks and Scandinavians have used this treatment for centuries.
Circuelle Girl Thoughts
LeeAnne Moody: “I can tell the difference on so many levels that skin brushing is changing the way I look and feel in and about my body. It makes complete sense to me that my breasts are full of lymph and mammary glands. Gently stimulating these and all of my body’s systems to work at optimum level is just common sense to me now, and as you know, I just love when common sense reveals a new way to look at things! Skin brushing is definitely one of my new life changing Healthy Rituals. I hope you will join all of us at Circuelle Foundation in our new Healthy Ritual. From taking time to know and treat our bodies with intelligent care, to feeling vibrant and energized with a natural new glow, skin brushing just FEELS right.”
Abigail DeCou: “Honestly, dry brushing sounded fairly painful when it was first described to me. Plus the brush bristles seemed unnecessarily stiff. But then I gave it a shot, and quickly became a believer and a body brush addict. The health benefits are endless. Dry brushing obviously removes dead skin cells, but it also increases circulation (as a brisk walk would) and helps the lymphatic system work more efficiently while decreasing inflammation. But dry brushing has another fabulous benefit that I didn’t think of, but noticed within the first week of use: reducing the harshness and visibility of my scars. I’ve been blessed with easily scarred skin, leaving my legs covered in old and recent scars from different life adventures. I was so thrilled to discover the deep purple and reddish scars slowly faded to a happy pink after about two weeks of dry brushing. Even some of my broken veins blurred after about a month of use. And on top of all of that, dry brushing is both soothing and stimulating at the same time. I am always left feeling invigorated after a good brushing session, which I love. I am so happy to have been introduced to dry brushing, and I will to continue dry brush as one of my Healthy Rituals.”
Leann Spofford: “When I learned about dry brushing, the fact that made me stop and think was our skin is our largest organ. I better take care of it. Then when I realized how that worked with our lymphatic system, I wanted to make it a healthy ritual! Now after I’ve tried it, I fully believe those 5 minutes a day, can make a difference in how my skin looks, how my body functions, and quite possibly can help lower my breast cancer risk. Those 5 minutes are worth it to me!”
Origin of skin brushing: http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/ayurvedic-medicine
How the lymph system functions: http://www.massagetherapy.com/articles/index.php/article_id/349/Skin-Brushing http://www.nyrnaturalnews.com/article/qa-what-are-the-benefits-of-skin-brushing/