The Benefits of Dry Skin Brushing

Do you really know how important your skin is?

Your skin is your largest organ and is an organ of elimination just like your kidneys, liver and colon.  It is estimated that 1/3 of your body’s daily impurities(estimated to be over a pound daily) are excreted through the skin. Skin that is clogged with toxins and dead cells can’t function properly because the toxins aren’t being eliminated.

Your skin protects your body from extreme temperatures and chemicals; produces antibacterial substances to protect you from infections and enables your body to produce vitamin D when exposed to the sun.

Our bodies become less efficient in shedding the outer layers of dead skin cells as we get older and this can result in the skin becoming thick and dry looking…attributes we associate with “mature” skin.

Enter the ancient Ayurveda  cleansing process of Dry Skin Brushing. Dry Skin Brushing is the process of using a natural bristle brush and daily  brushing your skin from the bottom of your feet to your neck.

The benefits of dry skin brushing are:

a. Stimulate your Lymphatic System.

The Lymphatic System is a network that runs all over your body.  It’s the secondary circulation system and runs alongside your body’s veins and arteries.  The fluid it carries is called Lymph fluid and is clear, odorless and absorbent and transports the nutrients such as salts, minerals and proteins to all parts of the body.  It also collects the waste products that are generated by the cells and then turns them over to the blood.  The blood then carries the toxins to the lungs, kidneys, colon and skin for elimination. ( It is referred to as the body’s “drainage system or sewer system”.)  The lymph system circulates in one direction and relies on the movement of your muscles and the movement of your diaphragm in order to circulate.

Skin brushing will help the lymph system to clean itself of the toxins.  It will break down lymph fluids that have thickened(especially as we get older or in chronically ill people).  When the lymph fluid flows consistently, it will produce more white blood cells.

b. Exfoliation of your skin

Removes dead and dry skin, clears your clogged pores and allows your skin to breathe.  Your skin becomes softer and smoother.  (some people claim it takes cares of cellulite after doing it for some time).

c. Increased circulation to your skin

This encourages metabolic waste elimination

d. Gives you energy.

 

How to do Dry Skin Brushing:

Supplies needed:  You will need a brush to do the dry skin brushing.  In the beginning your brush should be on the softer side because your skin isn’t used to the process yet.  As time moves forward, your skin becomes stronger and a stronger brush is needed to get the same results.  It is recommended that it be a natural bristle brush because the artificial bristles can scratch your skin. ( I have also used a dry wash cloth when I didn’t have a brush in the beginning…to see how I liked it and whether I wanted to continue, and still do so every once in a while).  A soft washcloth is used for your face, not the brush you use for the rest of your body.  Some people use a baby brush in the beginning if their skin is very sensitive.  You want to feel stimulated when you brush your skin…not wounded.

Steps:

Remember that you are always aiming for your heart…so if you start from the top, you are brushing downwards…you raise your arm and brush down.  When you start from your feet, you are brushing upwards to your heart.

Do not brush on any cuts, wounds or rashes, and the delicate areas of your body.  Your stomach is the only part of the body that you will brush in circular movements.

a. Starting with the bottom of your feet, brush your feet with long strokes(I don’t know about you, but both my palms and the bottoms of my feet are very sensitive and ticklish…when I brush both of these areas, I feel a lot of stimulation).

b. Move upwards on your foot and leg,  brushing several times for each area.  Then up to your hip and when you reach your stomach areas, brush in a clockwise movement.

c. When you are done with your lower body, go to your palm and brush your palms.  Raise your arm and brush downwards…outer and inner arm.  Lightly brush your neck area and breast/chest area.(leave the nipples alone)..downwards to your waist.

d. With either a very soft baby brush or soft washcloth, you can gently brush your face.

You are now done with the dry skin brushing and are ready to take your shower or taking a warm wet washcloth and wiping your body with it.  Apply a good natural lotion.

You are going to feel energized and your skin will feel soft and supple after doing this for a while.

It is also good to do later in the day as well…for example, you come home from work and you need to go out again…you feel depleted.  Do the dry skin brushing and use the wet washcloth all over your body if you don’t have time for a shower…and you will feel energized once again.

I do the oil pulling and the dry skin brushing as two of my daily regimen.

Hope you will try it and see if it will make a difference for you.

til next time…Eva

 

References:

mercola.com

naturalnews.com

mindbodygreen.com

WellnessMama.com

http://www.naturalhealthmag.com.au

holistichealthlibrary.com

thelovevitamin.com

 

 

 

 

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Oil Pulling for a Healthy Mouth

Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic remedy for oral health and detoxification.  Some benefits can be to prevent bleeding gums, decay, dryness of the throat, oral malodor, cracked lips and strengthening teeth, gums and the jaw. Studies show that doing oil pulling for at least 45 days has the ability to reduce plaque and gingivitis.  A side effect is that your teeth look whiter and feel wonderful.

So, what exactly is it?

Oil pulling is the process of putting oil in your mouth(coconut, sesame, sunflower) and swish it/pull it through your teeth from 5-20 minutes before spitting it out in the toilet or trash when you are done.

How exactly do I do it?

a. Recommended oils are sesame, sunflower and coconut.(the traditional oils used in the Ayurvedic practices were the sesame and sunflower.  Coconut oil is fairly recent in use and has a milder taste than the other two.

b. It is to be done on an empty stomach(usually first thing in the morning or several hours after a meal. The reason for the empty stomach/several hours after a meal is that the oil pulling works with the saliva.  When your stomach is full, apparently you don’t have much saliva.)

c. Take a spoonful of the oil( start small with this…a teaspoon.  Your mouth is going to fill up with saliva while you are doing this and having a lot of oil may cause gagging in a lot of people.)  If you want to test how to do it, use water and practice the swishing , pulling and sucking the oil  through your teeth for 5 – 20 minutes.  Start with 5 minutes and work your way up.( I usually  put the oil in my mouth and then go in for my shower.  By the time I’m done, out and dressed, my 20 minutes are up.  )

d. After the allotted time, spit out the used oil into the toilet or the trashcan…do NOT spit it into the sink or swallow it…(spitting it into the sink may eventually clog your sink up…not a good thing!)  You don’t want to swallow it either cause the reason you are doing this in the first place is to detox…you don’t want the toxins to re-enter your body.

e. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water(sea salt and warm water…I just shake a small bit of salt into a mug and fill with warm water).   Salt water rinses alkalinize the mouth and is an astringent that speeds wound healing and reduces inflammation.

f. I also use a tongue scraper after the oil pulling and salt water rinse.  At this point, my teeth and mouth feel amazing.

I have been doing oil pulling for quite a while now and at first I just did the oil pulling.  What I noticed was that my teeth looked whiter and felt stronger.  When I added the salt rinse, my gums started looking and feeling better as well.  An interesting side effect was that my nails started looking healthier too…thanks to the oil that is being absorbed while doing the oil pulling.

I hope you will try the oil pulling technique.   The original process is said to cure about 30 systemic diseases ranging from headache, migraine, hypertension, diabetes, asthma, etc.  it is supposedly able to slow down the aging process.  I don’t know about any of that…but my mouth is healthier than it has been in years…so that is reason enough for me to continue with it.

til next time…Eva

 

references:  (globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/oil-pulling)

(foodmatters.com/article/oil-pulling-the-habit-that-can-transform-your-health)

(livescience.com/50896-oil-pulling-facts.html)

(woodlanddentla.ca)

 

How to efficiently develop a habit

“We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”  Aristotle

 

I am sure you have heard the adage that it takes 21 days to develop a habit…and when you have “failed” at doing so, you have given up.  Originally the concept of “21 days” came from Dr. Maxwell Maltz, author of a 1960 book entitled, “Psycho-Cybernetics.  He originally said it takes “a minimum of about 21 days”.

Phillipa Lally(a psychology researcher at the University College in London) published a study to figure out how long it takes to form a habit.  96 people over a 12 week period chose one habit and were required each day to report on whether or not they did the behavior and how automatic it became.

The study found that on the average, it took people more than 2 months before the behavior became an automatic behavior…66 days.  It took anywhere from 18 days to 254 days. They also found that making a mistake now and then doesn’t mean that you won’t complete the habit. (www.jamesclear.com/new-habit)

On the website (www.essentiallifeskills.net/develop-good-habits,html) 7 steps were given in order to develop new habits:

1. Identify the habit you wish to develop.

2. Make the decision and commit to it

3. Discover your triggers and chance obstacles

4. Devise a plan.

5. Use Visualization and Affirmations

6. Ask for support from family, friends and other means

7. Find healthy ways to reward your successes.

There are many ways to keep track of your habits…but if you would like some help along the way you could sign up for Tiny Habits with Dr. BJ Fogg.  Sign up on a Saturday to be set up for the coming week.  Every day you will receive an email asking you if you did your habit for the day…(http://tinyhabitsacademy.org/5-day-tiny-habits-program/)  Dr. Fogg’s theory is that it is more beneficial to develop tiny habits…baby steps…and each week build up on the baby step.

There are also Aps for habits…( http://www.joesgoals.com)  is a free daily online habit tracker that might keep your habits on track.

Some habits are going to be easier than others…and take less time to accomplish than others.  Dr. Fogg’s method is great for the complicated ones because you gradually put all the pieces together after a couple of weeks of tiny habits.

When you work on your habits, be kind to yourself.  There are going to be days when you might not accomplish your goal and that’s just being human.  Just pick yourself up and make sure to do it the next day.

til next time…Eva

 

 

 

 

Introduction to Health Habits

 

 

 

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”  Jim Ryon

 

Health Habits…for many of us, we’ve read about various health habits for years and in many cases, we’ve given them a half hearted attempt and then given up on it.

This blog will re-introduce various health habits and key concepts to you(as well as other concepts as they come along) and give you viable reasons to embrace them into your life.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read articles in various books and magazines of the need to drink more water, eat less/no sugar, etc.  I’d half heartedly follow them for a while and not give it enough time to work and go back to my old ways.  It wasn’t until I fully understood how my life could physically improve, that it finally became a habit.

I am going to start with the basics…please hear me out on this…and read through the posts.  I have been irritated with many magazine and newspaper  articles for years…their lack of research and detail are many times worse than not reading the article at all.  I personally do not take people’s advice unless they have thoroughly convinced me and have done it themselves…and had success with it. I hope to convince you to try many if not all of these habits and see the value to them.

Til next time…Eva

 

 

Every day IS a new chance!

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”   Mahatma Gandhi
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Welcome to “Every day is a new chance.”  Articles on this blog will be focused on ways to make our lives better.  I know in the beginning there will be quite a few focusing on health.
I need to say up front that I am not a doctor nor am I a health professional in any capacity. (I have my MEd in Education/Reading).  I gravitated towards this topic due to not having had any health care for many years(20 plus) and had the need to make sure my family, pets and I were all as healthy as possible.  I also took care of my parents 24/7 for 7 years until they passed.
Many my age already consume massive amounts of medications with all of their scary side effects.  When I saw the page(s) of side effects on the medication my friend had just gotten, I asked her if she had read them…her response, “Oh, I never read them…they scare me too much!)
I have always had an interest in natural healing in all of its’ amazing capacities: food, herbs, vitamins, water, homeopathic, essential oils, Energy healing(Reiki, EFT, Reflexology) and the list will go on because I am always open to the old remedies, the rediscovered remedies and the new discoveries.
I hope you will join me on my adventure…because…Every day IS a new chance…a chance to develop a new habit, to continue the habits we have formed already and learning about better ways to keep our families, pets and ourselves healthy and having a high quality of life for as long as we live.
Hope also that you will share your experiences/stories/remedies here so that we may all benefit from each others’ experience.
til next time…Eva