INTRODUCTION: HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT YOUR BODY?
There isn’t much doubt that you are reading this because you are conscious about your body. But how well do you know about what constitutes your body, or how well you can take care of it? We can start by asking, whoever you are and wherever you are, to think about the last time you didn’t remember to take care of at least one part of your entire body. Well, again, if you are reading this, then there isn’t any day you didn’t wash your hands, take a shower, or brush your teeth sparkling clean.
What about the last time anyone forgot to have their lunch or breakfast? And then why do you go through so much thought and action to eat good food and take care of your body?
Well, again, if you are reading this, then there isn’t any day you didn’t wash your hands, take a shower, or brush your teeth sparkling clean.
It is so simple and straightforward, good food and daily care provide good health and prolonged life. But let’s go deeper into what ‘daily care’ entails. Humans, over decades, have learnt that their body needs constant treatment albeit daily bathing, modern spa treatment, not to talk of medicinal panacea for evolved diseases and body system ailments.
The human body will forever be their major concern, which is the only reason most people brush their teeth daily, scrub daily dirt off their body, prefer to wear clean clothes and will always want to drink the purest of water. We have come to learn or believe that the more we are aware of our body, we are more aware of how to stay healthy. I couldn’t agree more.
The basic truth is that we need to take care of our body to be healthy. Call it physical health if you may. But another basic truth is that you are not healthy until you are physically well. True or true? Our body should always be active, it is actually the sole reason while it was made. And only healthy ones remain active for a long time. Or only active people remain healthy for a long time.
PHYSICAL HEALTH AND THE BENEFITS TO HUMANS
Simply put, physical health is the present condition of your body. This depends on how well you manage it and it is functioning well because of this. Ask yourself, after much hygiene, rest, eating, and/or exercises, do you feel energetic daily, or you always feel all alive and intelligent? There are no other explanations, you kept on living because you did what every human should do – stay physically healthy.
What affects physical health vary from individual lifestyle to environmental effect, healthcare services, and human biology.
Lifestyle is the perfect word to describe our daily routine. Contributing to physical health, it is one that humans majorly have control over. It includes daily diet, emotional health, individual behavior, levels of physical activity and other processes that have become part of our daily routine.
The truth is that physical health is not the only area of living healthy. We have to take care of our emotional health and spiritual health too to strike a perfect balance of existing well and healthy. While your emotional health deals with daily challenges that affect your emotions and feelings, spiritual health includes the sense of purpose in our daily existence, ranging from mind beliefs to the sense of spirituality.
To live a healthy lifestyle, all three areas need to be equally paid attention to. One area affect the others; you can even everything out by avoiding stress and keeping to a daily routine of understanding what keeps you active and what might slow the process.
The bottom line here is that healthy living needs to be looked at all the time, and in terms of a whole. Be physically, emotionally and spiritually healthy every day, then existing would be far easier for everyone.
Human Biology and Healthcare Services
To achieve complete physical health, perhaps we might want to consider that our body are made up of systems that make health possible in the first place. These include genetics and body chemistry. And a fact is that there may be genetic abnormalities in some humans.
These abnormalities make complete physical health rather difficult sometimes. The good news is that the body is designed to adapt, when disabilities occur, the body finds a way to compensate for it. For example, the skin of a blind person will evolve to react soundly to touch and changes in the environment or weather.
Even though we can’t always control our body chemistry or genetics, we can control treatment and/or prevention of illnesses. Again, you can prevent illness by avoiding stress and keeping to a daily routine of understanding what keeps you active and what might slow the process.
Healthcare services will help to prevent illness or detect and treat it. There are professionals in this field and it is advisable that they should be regularly visited to know how to stay alive, and healthy.
It is not news that the environment contributes largely to human health. The kind of air we breathe, the sources of our drinkable water, the places we live and majorly, our surroundings constitute what environment is. Now, a fact is that the environment determines our physical health.
We can bathe daily, but if the water we use is unclean, there is no point; you end up with one skin irritation or worse, disease anyway. Or you can exercise all day but the air you breathe is polluted, constantly thin or stuffy. We need to be conscious of the kind of environment we live in. Without much to do, change your environment if they are not suitable for good physical health.
It is expedient to always consider all three to maintain physical health. Meanwhile, we can sum up what needs to be done to be physically healthy into the following deeds:
Eat healthy foods and avoid too much intake of sugar and fatty foods, since this could have a negative effect on body regulation and function. It is important to eat regularly, and diet appropriately.
Rest after hard work. Muscle growth occurs during rest periods, so it is much better to find enough time to rest, especially for most people who use their muscles for tedious works every day. Resting helps to reduce stress, keeps you energetic throughout the day and helps to boost brain function.
Rest include hours of sleep every night in order to function properly.
Endeavor to be emotionally healthy by avoiding stress and trying to control how we react to situations. When we are calm all the time, the heart tends to function at a normal rate, helping to prevent high blood pressures or hypertension. What more, if the heart functions properly, this helps to keep away illness and our body resumes good operating condition.
Exercise and avoid being inactive for a long time. As mentioned earlier, our body was designed to be active, and when it isn’t active, it isn’t healthy. The body needs to be continuously performing one function or the other to exist. What this means is that the moment one system of the body is allowed to be dormant, others will follow suit, paving the way for illness, or worse, death.
Constant exercise will help the body to be fit. In order to keep the body healthy, daily exercises should be done, which helps to keep the body light and easier to manage.
Maintain good hygiene by keeping the body clean always. The skin is a bigger and better part of the body. Daily care should come to the skin where physical health is considered. A fact is that every moment spent at tendering to the skin, mortality rate decreases; because a hygienic skin can actually protect against illness and infection.
THE HUMAN SKIN
The skin, as it is, forms the largest constituent of the body. It is the body’s largest organ and covers, as an average adult, over 21 square feet (or 2 square meters), weighs 9 pounds and has more than 11 miles of vessels. Enough of the numbers already! A fact is that the whole human body practically has the skin connected to it.
And here are a few more facts about your skin:
- The skin releases sweat every day. In hot weather, the skin releases as much as 3 gallons of sweat a day.
- Body odor is produced from the skin. It is a product of a second type of sweat, which is a fatty secretion produced by apocrine sweat glands mostly found around the armpits, anus and/or genitals.
- The skin renews itself every 28 days. That is at least once in every four weeks.
- To do this, it sheds dead cells, at a rate of 30, 000 to 40, 000 dead cells per minute.
- When this happens, humans need to exfoliate their skin daily, allowing the new fresh skin to shine through.
- The human skin sheds at least 30, 000 to 50, 000 cells every minute. That should total about 2.5 million cells every hour.
- The dead cells usually are found as dust in most homes. The more reason for constant bathing or dry brushing to get the skin constantly clean and what more, healthy.
It is a fact that the human skin is most prone to infections and diseases. Thoroughly and regularly washing of the skin definitely will reduce this threat of diseases, especially washing away bacteria that constantly reside on the body. While research argues that certain amount of bacteria are harmless or rather beneficial to the body, there are countless numbers of bacteria that are harmful to individual’s health and existence.
The skin has two layers that should be noted. There is the thin outer layer that contains dead skin cells that are constantly shed and replaced by new ones; as earlier highlighted, this happens at least every day, at a rate of 30, 000 to 50, 000 released dead cells every minute.
The second layer, the thick inner layer, contains blood vessels, hair follicles, which contains glands, and nerves. Oil substances called sebum which keeps the skin and hair from drying out are produced by the glands in the hair follicles. Hygienic behavior such as constant daily washing of the skin then will keep the skin on the face, hands, legs and other parts of the body clean by removing dirt, oil and dead cells before they can accumulate and cause damage to the body.
DRY BODY BRUSHING
Taking good care of the skin involves different basic steps. Dry brushing is another way to keep the skin clean and healthy.
Existing over time but disregarded for a while, dry body brushing is fast becoming a modern practice. It is a traditional natural health practice that involves brushing over of the skin dry, usually proceeded by a shower or bath.
This has been in tune for a longer period of time, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you know the process already before trying it yourself. Historians report that dry body brushing went all the way back to ancient Greeks, Indians and Japanese.
Ancient Greek athletes especially were reported to have practiced similar dry brushing processes before and after most of their games. After a tedious training process, Greek athletes then would use ‘strigiles’, a specialized spoon-like skin scrapers, to remove the grime of exertion and encourage circulation in their body.
Dry body brushing improves skin texture and also assist body systems. In truth, it helps to stimulate connective tissues attached to the skin capillaries to improve circulation traveling to the heart. And yes, in case you want to hear it too, it also helps to enhance beauty.
MODEL DRY BODY BRUSH
A firm natural bristle brush is what you need. The brush should have a firm handle that should make it easy to reach your entire back, to your feet and to virtually every part of your body. The best bristle brush I would recommend are the Tampico or Sisal bristle, which are plants bristle brush usually made from coconut husks or agave plants.
The model dry body brush is the long-handled and bath-type brush. It should contain natural bristles and not synthetic ones which are harsh and irritating and might scratch the surface of the skin.
Overall, just get bristle brushes that are rather soft and skin-nice. You wouldn’t want to damage your skin layers in the name of body brushing, would you? If you remember, the goal is to assist the renewal of the skin and removal of shed old ones.
And oh, your bristle brush should NOT be used for bathing. Keep it dry always.
HOW TO USE THE DRY BRUSH
The typical advice for the process of dry body brushing is that you should brush, starting at the feet and hands and then towards the chest to the heart. Another typical analysis is that you should not brush too hard, or brush until the skin turns red or stings.
It is also best to avoid brushing too often. Brushing too often might irritate the skin and make it dry out. We are trying to get the oil and dirt residue out by brushing, but if too much of the skin’s natural oil is washed away, the skin might become very dry and will begin to itch and flake.
The best process is to brush at a regular or singular pattern from the lower body to the upper region until the pattern ends at the left part of your heart – your chest. And brushing once or twice every day is okay.
Here are a few tips on the process of dry body brushing:
- Wash your dry brush before use.
- Consider that it is appropriate to start from your toes and then upward.
- Circular motion should be applied around the joints and inner part of the feet and hands.
- The abdomen has a special application. Brush this part, having it mind that there should be a clockwise circular motion on the abdomen.
- From the toes, move upward, starting from the right side and advancing to the left.
- Brush every part of your body except the face and your scalp. Long sweeping strokes are advisable, from the bottom of your feet to your hips and upward and from your palms to your shoulders.
- 3 to 6 strokes should do at each area you concentrate on.
- Every motion to the chest helps to drain the lymph back towards your heart.
- Shower after dry brushing
- Apply favorite essential oil blend, treatment products and/or body moisturizer.
- Dry brushing is best done in the morning. Let it wake and warm you for the activities of the day.
Overall, endeavor to brush the skin taking note of the changes as they occur. Brush to form a gentle pink tone and then shower after.
HEALTH AND BEAUTY BENEFITS OF DRY BODY BRUSHING
Every human has twice as much lymph fluid in the body as blood. Here is a reality that you should know before delving into how dry body brushing helps lymphatic flow. The result of much lymph is a continuous bathe of each cell and draining away of the detritus in a circulatory system powered only by breathing and movement. And if the movement of the lymph stops entirely? There is no possible way to avoid death within hours.
The human lymph system is a vast system. The network of lymph vessels extends like a circulatory system as it serves almost every cell in the body. The lymph nodes in the lymph vessels serve as cleaning filters which are made of lymph tissue which generates and stores white blood cells that fight infection.
Dry brushing helps to stimulate normal lymph flow within the human body, helping it to naturally detoxify itself. You should know now that the lymphatic system is a major part of the body’s immune system which helps to drain away toxins from the body. If the lymphatic system does not work properly, waste and toxins can build up to cause sickness and eventually death.
How the lymph system manages bacteria is quite interesting; it does so by transporting lymph fluids through ever-widening vessels, moving it through the lymph nodes which are like 500 filtration and collection points. At each successive node, the lymph fluid filters and bacteria is ultimately removed. Told you it is quite interesting!
Since the lymph system’s primary function is to isolate infection and cellular detritus from the rest of the body and deal with it, imagine what great assist you are doing by keeping a functional regulating process just by spending two to five minutes with your bristle brush.
Exfoliation is a process of removing old flaky skin from the surface of the epidermis. Exfoliating the body should be as important as renewing the skin on the face. Unattractive dry and rough skin on the body needn’t remain there as they can create a build-up and secretion, of sebum that results in irritating rashes that creates spots and flaky dry peeling.
Dry brushing process helps to loosen and remove dead skin cells. As earlier mentioned, the human skin constantly releases dead cells while it renews itself. While this happens, it is healthy to wipe off the old skin with some constant dry brushing.
Dry brushing massage works. As you scrub your body, the exfoliating granules will marsh off dead skin, while the scrubbing itself boost circulation towards the heart (you scrub from the feet towards the chest to assist regulation to the heart area) and helps to drain the lymph nodes in the body by increasing blood flow to the skin’s surface.
Oh, and I dare not forget to mention, after a very good scrubbing and a near soothing showering, your post-wash moisturizer will be better able to relax and hydrate you skin.
Without exfoliation, such as gained from dry skin brushing, the skin might appear dry, dull and tired looking, and rough. Dry skin brushing naturally makes the skin softer and clearer. The new skin gets to have the chance to have its natural sheen. Without further argument, dry brushing is one of the most simple and natural ways to exfoliate the skin.
It is also necessary to mention the good feeling that takes over your body after you are through with dry skin scrubbing. Exfoliation has often been reported to give a certain sensual feeling of confidence. You feel all new and bright. You allow yourself to enjoy the treatment on your skin as it is happening. AT the end of it all, you have a great mood that will have a remarkable effect on how you spend your day or the rest of your evening.
More hormones are produced in adults which trigger the oil glands in the hair follicles to release more sebum. Releasing more sebum might eventually clog the small openings in the skin, which are pores. Dermatologists argue that with more sebum from the oil glands, it is possible for the hair follicles to become clogged since the oil won’t be able to escape from the pore fast enough before new sebum are produced.
And if this continues, and dead cells are also shed at the time, a white-colored plug will form in the pore, which is no good news for the skin. When the pore is plugged, it results into a swell of the hair follicle which eventually creates a whitehead. This eventually continues to make the pore darken from a chemical process. And the skin will lose its tone, appearing with different types of infection and/or reaction.
Dry brushing helps to avoid this. While dry brushing process exfoliates the skin, an added advantage is the removal of oil and dirt residue from the skin pores, improving the pore function of the body.
As already stated, dry skin brushing assists the movement of lymph fluids which contributes largely to physical health. When the dead cells are exfoliated, and the pores of the skin are not clogged with dead cells, the lymphatic system purifies itself easily and the body is able to carry out its function of eliminating toxins and waste material.
If there are no clean pores, under circumstances that we do not get the old cells off before another old one is emitted, the skin becomes inactive since its pores will be clogged with millions of dead cells and other debris. The consequence of this is that toxins will remain in the body and this puts undue stress on other eliminative organs in the body namely the kidneys and the liver. Increasing their activity because the skin is no longer functioning well, the kidney and liver eventually will get overworked.
At this point, I have to chirp in that dry body brushing is fast becoming a very important simple task to stay healthy.
MORE HEALTH AND BEAUTY BENEFITS OF DRY BODY BRUSHING
- Not much fact to it but a theory is that dry brushing might also increase energy flow through the body, since it increases blood circulation. If this is true, then you wouldn’t be surprised if you get addicted to dry brushing your body every day. Who doesn’t want to feel all energetic and flashing at the go?
- Beyond the noticeable smoother skin, dry body brushing also helps deeper into the body system. Naturopathic doctors do use dry brushing to enhance bloating since massaging the nodes definitely helps the body to shed excess water and toxins. With this, dry body brushing helps to improve digestion and kidney function.
- Dry skin brushing offers stress relief and invigoration. Often times, the process of dry body brushing has been described as meditative and relieving. The theory is that when you relax yourself in a cool and quiet space, and get about the business of body brushing, you may get an opportunity to calm your mind, relieve yourself of stress and reduce muscle tension as you brush over it. Either way, dry body brushing is like a whole-body massage that tends to make your evening better, or your day energetic after assisting the circulation of blood and getting that old skin off.
- It contributes to the restoration of moist, supple skin.
- It helps to regenerate production of collagen and elastin fibres. Strengthening the skin pores is another beauty to dry body brushing. The process strengthens the skin pores by gentle stretching of connective tissues which in turn regenerate collagen and elastin fibres. These two makes the skin more pliable, tight and firm. The skin, with these, continues to glow and look young. If continued at a rate, the skin continues to maintain healthy stature even till old age.
- It makes the skin glow. Now, I am inspired to give a brief explanation of how this happens after the whole process of dry body brushing. Since dry brushing exfoliates dry rough skin, it enables moisturizing products to readily absorb into the skin and opens pores which enables free passage out of toxins from the body. The skin, all moisture and soft has its tone increased and supple. At this rate, the vein and lymph congestion in the body are also alleviated to reduce the orange-peel appearance of cellulite. In simple terms, with the old shed out of the way and the skin pores working perfectly fine, you have got no reason to doubt that your skin would emerge supple and glowing.
- Dry body brushing, without much mention, is easy and inexpensive. All it should take is a bristle brush, a firm grip and 5 minutes (max) of your time and you are invigorated.
- With regular exercise, dry body brushing also helps to tone the body muscles.
PRECAUTIONS DURING DRY BODY BRUSHING
- Regularly clean your bristle brush
- Wash once a week with hot soapy water and sun-dry. Never leave it wet.
- Always start your brush from below, then upward.
- Work from left to right
- Do not skin brush over wounds, sores, burnt skin or over inflamed skin condition.
- Avoid breasts and genitalia area when brushing
- Wash brush before and after use
- In case of allergic reaction, discontinue brushing and/or consult your doctor
- Do not brush over freshly shaved skin areas.
- Apply only on dry skins.
- Use a natural bristle brush and for optimal results, use a plant bristle.
TRY OTHER BENEFICIAL DAILY ROUTINES ALONGSIDE SKIN BRUSHING
Exercise Your Body
Exercise make you all healthy and ready to take on life with full energy. Also, it is an easy way to help your body detox since it improves blood circulation that brings nutrient to all muscles and organs.
Try various movement of your muscles and body parts then if you would prefer another detox process to support your dry body brushing. It is unarguably true that higher intensity exercise increases sweat, which is important for daily detox. For someone trying to shed some fat and weight, I guess this is good news, alongside the news that dry body brushing aids detoxification.
Always Remember to Breathe Deeply
Deep Breaths allows expansion and contraction of the diaphragm which stimulates the human lymphatic system and massages the internal organs. Too must bristle and stress every day shouldn’t stop us from slowing down to check the time, or at least change our breathing.
This helps the body to rid itself of toxins, leaving more room in the cells for an optimal exchange of oxygen. If this doesn’t help to keep us healthy for the day, I wonder what easy way could be adopted in its place. Always remember to breathe deeply. Besides the physical advantage to your health, the belief is that it reminds you of your existence, with the feeling of nature’s dose filling your nostrils and lungs.
Add Scraping of Tongue to your Daily Routine
It is good enough medical advice that you should always clean your tongue first thing in the morning. While you slept at night, the digestive system continues to work to detoxify itself. This deposits toxins on the surface of the tongue which usually is the cause of the fowl taste and coat on the tongue when you wake up.
To remove that build up on the morning, a regular cleansing of the tongue can also be done. Removing the bacteria or food debris, fungi and dead cells from the tongue will help to reduce mouth odor and the teeth would also be safe from infections.
Add Good Probiotics to the Menu
Contrary to some scientific beliefs, not every bacteria are harmful to the human body. Probiotics are good examples. They are good bacteria that help to reduce inflammation and also prevent infection.
Probiotics can be found in rich foods such as Sauerkraut, Kombucha, Greek yogurt or tempeh and Kimchi. Bacteria in these foods, when taken on a regular basis are beneficial to our health as they aid efficient detoxification. This can come in handy as a routine alongside daily dry body brushing.
Warm Lemon Water Every Morning As Well
When you drink enough water, you notice that most of your expiratory organs work at a magnificent rate. Water is a purifying agent and almost every body system react to its intake.
Starting your day with 14-16oz of warm water and a fresh lemon isn’t bad if you want to help your immune system. Doing this helps to alkalize your body, flush out toxins (purifying blood tissues), and offers antioxidant boost.
You should keep this as a practice before having breakfast. Apart from the good taste, you should feel reinvigorated taking such as you allow your body to finally take in the dawn of the new day.
You Can Try Oil Pulling Cleansing Method
The oral cavity could be home to different bacteria, and science has helped with a traditional medical solution. Rеѕеаrсh shows thаt the lipids in оil саn bоth рull оut bacteria аѕ wеll аѕ ѕtор bacteria frоm ѕtiсking tо thе wаllѕ оf the оrаl cavity. You can try this simple basic and effective oil pulling method:
- Gently scrape the tongue
- Place around 1-2 teaspoonful of cold and pressed organic sesame oil into the mouth and swoosh around the mouth
- Continue for about five minutes, making sure that the oil reaches every corner of the mouth
- Spit it out
- This pulls out toxins from the saliva. As the oil moves around the mouth, teeth, gums and tongue, it absorbs toxins and eventually ends up turning thick and white. Then the toxins are spat out before they are reabsorbed.
- Rinse your mouth well after this.
Oil pulling cleansing method is effective and could be done twice a day.