We all know that our liver is important for detoxing the body. We know this precious organ processes everything we ingest, and converts it into safe substances to be cleared from the body. We know that white blood cells protect us from invading pathogens and microbes. But did you know that your Lymphatic system plays a role in both your bodies detox system and your bodies immune system? So it stands to reason that the better functioning and cleaner your lymphatic system is the better for your health.
The lymph system is a series of Capillaries that turn into vessels, that run all around your body, similar to veins and arteries. These Vessels carry lymph towards the right and left Thoracic ducts. There are also areas called lymphoid tissue, which are primarily involved in your immune system and its functioning. These are areas of tissue that house a large number of white blood cells. (White blood cells are a large component of our immune system. There are several different types of white blood cells, all of which are designed to protect us from invading pathogens) The lymphoid tissue is also important for defending the body against the spread of tumors. When our blood passes out of our capillaries and into our cells, a small amount of fluid is left behind. This fluid is then transferred into the lymphatic capillaries, and through the lymphatic vessels, to be passed through the lymphoid tissues and cleaned. The sites of our major lymphoid tissues, or lymph nodes are: In the neck, under the arms, and in the upper thigh/pelvis area.
The skin is another major source of detoxification
Your skin can release up to a pound of waste a day through its semi-permeable membrane. It is not uncommon for the skin to be called the “third kidney” because it plays such a vital role in removing toxins from the body. The skin is often the place where we see imbalances that exist in the body coming to the surface. Keeping your skin clean, clear and functioning is also vitally important to your health.
Keeping our lymphatic system running smoothly is vitally important to health. There are many things that you can do to keep it running well, like exercise, a clean diet, and drinking lots of water. Another really awesome way to stimulate the lymphatic system and help encourage detoxification through the skin is dry skin brushing.
5 Steps to Skin Brushing
1. Dry skin brushes have soft bristles, similar to a soft toothbrush. Make sure that your skin is dry. Doing your skin brushing first thing in the morning is an awesome idea, before you work out or shower.
2. Always brush in an upward motion, starting at your feet, and working your way all the way up to your chest, where your heart is. This is because the main drainage points for your lymphatic system are right near your collar bones. So this is where you want to direct the flow.
3. Brush in smooth, long strokes, or in circular motions. If you have areas of concentrated cellulite, you can stay and focus on this area. Skin brushing can help to bring fresh circulation to areas of store toxins (cellulite) and help to break them up.
4. Use very gentle strokes on delicate skin like the skin on your breasts and upper chest.
5. Remember to brush all surfaces of your skin on your body, including the bottoms of your feet, your whole back and your armpits, all towards your heart. If you choose to brush your face, do so very gently, or get a skin brush designed for that area. For best results, skin brush every day.
Health Benefits of Skin Brushing
- Skin brushing works in many different ways, and is mostly working with the lymphatic system, and your skin, as was mentioned above.
- Lymphatic drainage – Brushing your skin upwards towards your heart encourages the flow of lymph fluid. The better and more efficiently you are moving your lymph fluid, the better it is for fighting off pathogens, and keeping your blood and cells clean.
- Boost immunity – Because you are encouraging your body to move lymph fluid (which has collected waste materials from your blood) through the lymph nodes (which are sites of concentrated white blood cells) more efficiently, you will be facilitating a more efficient removal of wastes and toxins, as well as a greater exposure of pathogens in the body to those concentrated white blood cell storage areas. The faster lymph fluid is passed through the lymph system and back into the blood to be filtered, to better your immune system will work.
- Cleanses the skin – By skin brushing, you are removing dead skin cells. This clears the way for your body to more efficiently remove wastes and toxins through sweating, through the skin. Lots of dry skin is a sign of detox, and the more of it you remove, the faster the body can remove toxins from your body through it.
- Clears Cellulite! – I Know many of you will be very pleased to hear this. First, I do have to let you know that skin brushing will clear cellulite, but you have to be pretty diligent with your brushing for a few months to notice a change. Cellulite is a collection of stored toxins that got stuck, and cause the skin to pucker. By skin brushing you will help to move these trapped toxins in your cells, and thus removing cellulite.
You can pick up a skin brush at most health food stores, beauty supply stores or on Amazon.com
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