Health Update and Dry Skin Brushing

Dry BrushingYesterday, I should have been posting my Crunchy Tuesday link-up post, but was unable to, as I was feeling quite unwell. It made me realize that I am still not well enough to commit to running a weekly link-up. In fact, I still hadn’t found the energy to properly promote the Crunchy Tuesday link-up, by inviting others to link up and so forth. So I am going to discontinue the link-up, after only two weeks, which is lame, I know.

It saddens me, as I had been feeling soooo much better since starting the meds for my connective tissue disease. Alas, “better” is not fully recovered. As an example, I have been trying to start walking and was really happy and encouraged that I had been able to do this. I even secretly daydreamed that I might be able to start running again, some day. Then I had an appointment with the rheumatologist yesterday and she pointed out that while my joint pain had improved, several of my other, more serious symptoms had actually gotten worse. Connective tissue diseases can be weird that way, the symptoms that feel the worst are not per se the ones that are the most serious. My diagnosis is still undifferentiated connective tissue disorder, but things are pointing more towards a diagnosis of scleroderma. It was the one connective tissue disease that I thought I did not have, but that was because I did not know what thickened skin looked like. Now I know that I have had it for some time, just no doctor noticed it, even though it is on my hands. Also, my kidneys may not be doing as well as I had been lead to believe by my nephrologist. So it was a a bit of a depressing appointment, all around, and normally my rheumatologist is quite optimistic. Though she was very encouraging of me continuing to walk every day, just no more than three miles a day. So, no marathons in my near future….

With, scleroderma in mind, I now having even more of a reason to have concern for taking care of my skin, so I thought I would post about dry brushing. I use dry brushing in addition to my homemade body custard  tin an attempt to keep my skin as supple and non-itchy as possible. I am not going to make any claims about dry brushing removing cellulite or detoxing your body, as some people do, but it certainly helps to keep my skin looking and feeling much healthier.

Dry brushing, ironically, entails brushing your dry skin with a dry brush. There are a variety of brushes and loofahs out there that claim to be for dry brushing, but the first one I tried, hurt like “H” “E” “double hockey sticks”. Currently, I use the Yerba Prima Tampico Skin Brush, which has a nice long handle, which helps me reach all of my back, which tends to be really dry (have you ever tried moisturizing your back?!?!). I really recommend, however, that you look at a health food store, if possible, so you can test the brushes yourself to see which feels the best for your skin (do try for natural bristles though).

  • As this exfoliates a lot of skin, I dry brush in my shower (The first time I did this, the amount of skin that came off was just disgusting and I worried that I might be exfoliating off too much skin, but I was fine afterwards. Since then, I haven’t exfoliated anywhere near as much skin.)
  • I rub firmly, but not so hard that it causes pain, in a circular motion first, and then brush towards the heart afterwards
  • I usually start with my toes and work my way up. (If you vigorously brush your leg hair in an upwards direction and then shave right after you finish dry brushing, you will get an incredibly close shave.)
  • Then I move on to my fingers and work my way upward, towards my heart
  • Finally, I do my back.
  • I do try to brush of my front, which many healers recommend, but I find that most of my skin in that area is just too sensitive.
  • NEVER brush your face!
  • I shower or bathe to remove any remaining loose skin.
  • Afterwards, I apply a good moisturizer afterwards to protect the newly revealed layers of skin.

The one thing that happened to me after dry brushing that I had not expected is that it is incredibly invigorating. I guess it’s because it stimulates the circulation or something, but I feel so refreshed and alert after dry brushing.

I only do it once a week, any more frequently and I start to get eczema. I have heard of some people dry brushing every day though, so it is clearly a personal preference that one needs to experiment with to get just right.

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Disclosure: Some item links in this post are affiliate links. I will make a small amount of money if you click on them and make a purchase. All opinions expressed, however, are 100% my own.

Maureen

Labels: Natural Personal Care
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff