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.
Dry brushing doubles as a means of both exfoliation and detoxification for the skin. It lightly sloughs off dry winter skin, while reducing inflammation, increasing circulation, and balancing hormones.
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:
- Juniper Berry
- Rose Geranium
** We recommend diffusing the essential oils in your bathroom and dry brushing before taking a bath with aromatherapeutic bath salts. **
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!