KM Herbals Blog
I was feeling sluggish. It’s true. My thoughts going in and out like waves, each cresting, then overtaking the next – never staying put. Spaced and wandering rather than falling in line like I’d always taught them to. I could hear my muffled heartbeat in my ears – a slow and steady drumbeat. I imagined my blood circulating, moving through my veins like molasses.
Albeit I’d had the flu all weekend, but sluggish is something winter can do to you.
It’s strange, isn’t it? The way you can feel sore from not moving? Tired from not exerting? That’s because it’s the natural state of things for our bodies to move, to bend, to circulate. This is the way that our many interdependent systems work best - fueled and running smoothly. And of course, it proves all the more important to bolster our immunity during the cold wet winter months.
Along with important work done daily and naturally by our circulatory, digestive, urinary, respiratory, and lymphatic systems, the skin is a primary means of our body’s detoxification! Though undeniably a wellness buzzword, detoxification is a process as essential and innate to us as breathing. The skin is the interface between our external and internal world and is so often our first indication systemic imbalance.
Keeping the skin open allows for the release of toxins and absorption of nutrients most efficiently. While the circulatory system is powered by the heart, and our respiratory system by our breath, the lymphatic system requires motion (and hydration!) to be stimulated. Lying just under the surface of the skin, the lymphatic system can also be stimulated through the simple yet ancient practice of dry brushing.
This practice can be done once a day just before showering, bathing, entering a steam room, or sauna. You will use 1-2 drops of detoxifying essential oil on the brush before applying it to the body (we recommend sprinkling the drops on your palm first and sliding the bristles over it to distribute them evenly). Gently running the bristles of the brush, lightly coated with essential oil, along the surface of the skin from extremities inward, towards the heart, in light thorough strokes.
Essential oils can deeply enhance the benefits of this practice. Some essential oils known for their detoxifying abilities are:
** We recommend diffusing the essential oils in your bathroom and dry brushing before taking a bath with aromatherapeutic bath salts. **
Explore our most detoxifying essential oils for purchase below!
I was feeling sluggish. It’s true. It’s something winter can do to you. And dry brushing is something you can do for yourself!
Exfoliation – a process of sloughing off our outermost layer. Though not the most pleasant of imagery, we know we all do it…the evidence is everywhere, from the dust on our windowsill to the hair we snake from the drain. It is our human equivalent of molting, shedding, of metamorphosis.
The Latin root of the verb ‘exfoliate’ is to be ‘stripped of leaves’ - and how appropriate – not only in its visual parallel to our skin, but also as an indication of the changing of the seasons. Yes, we experienced the orange-hued foliage and crunchy leaves beneath our feet in the fall, but there is also something to be said for the perpetual exfoliation and regeneration that occurs within us and around us all year long. In so many ways we intentionally and subconsciously let go of what’s dead and no longer serving us to reveal what’s most alive!
The dawning of the new year provides a time of reflection and introspection from which we carve out paths towards change. But it isn’t until the days begin to lengthen and the light to remerge that we experience the warmth and the clarity needed to truly let go. The metaphor can be stretched further, of course, to both the benefits and risks of shedding our layers. Exfoliating too much, going too deep too fast, can cause irritation. It takes true education, practice, and understanding of the self (and skin) to recognize what is ‘new’ and what is ‘raw.’
And what’s truly amazing is that the fresh and supple skin, or inspiration, or version of ourselves that we reveal isn’t actually new at all, rather it is ‘RE-newed’! So perhaps what exfoliation truly reveals to us is our core, our central essence, what’s been within us all along, rather than simply a need for cleansing. And we could all use that reminder and revelation!
In the month of February, where the expansion of the light and of the earth begins truly taking shape, let us ask (and remind) ourselves about our core, our origin, the pieces we neither can nor wish to change. What is the core of your practice? Why do you love the work that you do? What unique essence would exfoliation reveal to you?
For KMH, our inspiration quite literally came from within – in the form of a little one. Kim Manley, our founder and creator’s, enthusiasm for formulating personal care products developed while awaiting the arrival of her daughter, Bonnie Rose. Concerned about the harsh chemicals used in mainstream baby care products, Kim instead created her own collection of gentle and soothing formulas, planting the seed from which her business has grown.
Our passion, the core revealed to us in the exfoliation of the external, is a commitment to quality, purity, and intention. Our mission to now supplying industry professionals with the same tender and carefully-crafted products is our love and our calling – and it renews us.
In the month to come, look forward to further reflection and education on the process of exfoliation!
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