tips for healthy skin, part 3: dry brushing aka another thing mindy kaling loves that I also love

[VERY IMPORTANT:  this is often used for detoxes, and you need to be careful with those if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. please check with your physician first]

I know, sounds weird, right?  But guys, Mindy Kaling loves the dry brush too.  And I have had tonsillitis so many times that I have done a lot of research on the lymphatic system and how to help it.  Dry brushing is one of those ways.  There is also a connection between the lymphatic system and skin issues. I’m not completely sure what that connection is, guys, because I am not a microbiologist.  But here is a little of what I have learned:

This is what one person says about the benefits of dry brushing:

Dry skin brushing may be the single most important therapy you add to your detox program. Your skin is your largest elimination organ. It releases a pound of waste each day and will be the first organ to show symptoms of imbalance or toxicity.  The skin is often called the 3rd kidney because it eliminates a quarter of the toxins from the body (the lungs are the 2nd kidney). If your skin cannot efficiently release toxins, you may experience rashes, acne, hives, itchiness, body odor, or even eczema and psoriasis. Dead skin cells, excreted wastes and external pollution (including dirt and skin care products) can build up and clog your pores. Clogged pores inhibit your skin from effectively releasing toxins.”

What the lymphatic system does:

The lymphatic system works with other systems in the body to flush toxins, pathogens, and cancer cells out of the body.  It works with the circulatory system to deliver nutrients to the body. If the lymph nodes are not draining properly, they will become sluggish and backed up and are a perfect place for infections to grow.  Ew, right?

When you eat sugar, your lymphatic system sees it as an invading pathogen and so if you are eating a lot of sugar, your body is in over-drive trying to “heal” itself.

How to Stimulate the Lymphatic System (see here for more information):

* Cut way, way, way down on the amount of sugar and other refined, processed carbohydrates you eat.  Eliminate sugar and white flour altogether if possible.

* Exercise!!!! The lymphatic system is closely connected with the cardiovascular system, so if you get plenty of exercise it will keep your lymphs working well

*Breathe deeply— I am going to write a whole post on this soon, but for now, if you were reading closely above, remember: the lungs are the 2nd kidney.  Somehow, magically, deep breathing cleanses the body.  And maybe the spirit, too.

*Drink lots of water— water helps flush the system

* Sweat (exercise, hot baths, etc.)– sweating is one of the major ways our bodies release built up toxins

* Dry brush your skin every day:  Before showering in the morning, and using a brush with natural bristles (Mindy Kaling gets hers at the Body Shop, I bought mine at the Whole Foods in Durham for about $8), start at the feet and brush with long sweeping motions up the legs, switching to circular motions wherever there might be some cellulite (this is supposed to help!), and continue upwards, always brushing in strokes toward your heart.  Use a separate, gentler brush for your face and neck. Follow with a cold shower for best results.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or a licensed nutritionist or a microbiologist, and this post is not meant to diagnose or treat any medical conditions.


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