5 Reasons Every Home Should Have Oregano Essential Oil

If you read this blog, see my Facebook posts, or know me personally, you know that I am SUPER- PASSIONATE  about taking control of my health and helping you to do the same.  However, it is in my nature to be suspicious of anything I’m told, or read, or hear.  And so, to get to the truth, I research, and then research some more.  (I basically read non-fiction books like they’re great American novels and spend more time on websites like Pubmed.com than any normal person.)

Also, it is in my nature to believe that when we know about natural options, most of us would prefer that over toxic chemicals.  I mean, hey, we all want to feel good and feel capable of amazing things as often as possible, right?  I think we get so much conflicting information that it’s hard to know what actually, truly helps.  I like to think it’s my purpose in life to do the reading, try to understand the science behind it, and then share what I’ve learned to be true with all of you; share what is working for me and many others.

If you only change one thing to be healthier, to keep your family healthier, it is this: change what you put into your body.  Eat real food.  Use natural, non-toxic products for everything — cleaning, bathing, skincare, supplements, etc.

Today, I thought I’d share a little bit about one of my favorite herbs, oregano, and how it can be useful in supporting your natural lifestyle.  Oregano; it’s not just for pizza anymore!

 

One of the most powerful essential oil supplements is Oregano essential oil.*

* Yep, Young Living has a whole line of 100% pure essential oil supplements that you can take internally, add to food (like pasta sauce and salad dressings), use aromatically, and topically.  The other companies sell oils that clearly state right on the label “not for internal use,” and I believe them.

*Did you know that the FDA only requires that an essential oil bottle contain 5% pure oil in order for the label to read “pure” and “therapeutic grade?”  That’s scary right?  I mean, what’s the rest of it?  Chemicals?  A cheaper oil?  I don’t like to take chances with what I put in my body, so it’s Young Living all the way for me!

*I use and trust only Young Living essential oils and ONLY take them as recommended and as labeled and approved by the FDA.  Here is a link to Young Living Oregano Vitality, a 100% pure, truly therapeutic grade essential oil.  It is a powerhouse and one of my go-to oils for maintaining wellness.

Things you might not know about oregano:

  • Oregano is a member of the mint family
  • It’s a perennial herb with purple flowers
  • It prefers hot, relatively dry climates and the quality of its oil depends on the growing conditions such as soil, climate, and harvesting
  • It is a staple culinary herb in Italian, Italian American, Greek, and Mediterranean cuisine
  • Oregano oil has been used in folk medicine since ancient times, even by Hippocrates (the father of medicine)
  • A key constituent of it is carvacrol (click here to read about this amazing mono-terpenoid phenol)

 

5 Reasons Every Home Should Have Oregano Essential Oil

  1. Oregano May Help Maintain Healthy Lungs: Oregano Essential Oil is being studied as a medical treatment for cystic fibrosis due to its ability to fight microbes in the respiratory tract.  (View the study here.)
  2. Oregano May Help Us Age Gracefully: Studies show that Oregano Essential Oil protects against cell damage as a potent antioxidant. (You can look up scientific studies on Oregano E.O.  and all sorts of things on Pub Med.  Here’s one study to back this up.)
  3.  Oregano May Help to Maintain Intestinal Health: Studies done on pigs have shown that Oregano Essential Oil improves the intestinal barrier integrity (preventing a leaky-gut situation) and promotes a healthy immune system in pigs. Scientists conduct many studies on pigs before they take the concept to human testing (for obvious reasons).  (You can see that study here.)  FYI, pigs are so similar to us in biology that we actually use pig parts when replacing heart valves and closing wounds in general surgery.  (More info here.)
  4. Oregano May Fight Inflammation: Oregano Essential Oil is a power anti-inflammatory, according to Dr. Mercola.  (More info here.)  Inflammation is thought to be the single most wide-spread health issue behind most chronic disease, such as fibromyalgia, asthma, neuropathy, GERD, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease, Hashimoto’s Disease, gall bladder disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, allergies, heart disease, and many more.  (More details here.)
  5. Oregano May Support Breast Health: Studies suggest that Oregano E.O. “clearly demonstrated anti-tumor effects of carvacrol on human metastatic breast cancer cells.” (See the study here.)  My grandmother died of breast cancer.  It’s something I take very seriously.  I’ve even been a volunteer massage therapist giving away free chair massages at the Making Strides Breast Cancer Walk, at the Cleveland Metropark’s Zoo.

At $11.75 (the member price), for Oregano Vitality (an essential oil made to be taken internally and labeled as such) you are paying about $0.15 per drop.  In my book, that’s as reasonable as it gets for something so incredibly wonderful.  If someone told you that oils are just too expensive, here’s your evidence to the contrary.

Dr. Mercola, over at Mercola.com says this about Oregano E.O.

This…medicinal herb…oregano contains vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, vitamin B6, calcium, and potassium. Additionally, oregano, which is sometimes called “wild marjoram” in Europe (and is closely related to the herb sweet marjoram2) contains potent phytochemicals that provide potential health benefits.

If you’d like to learn more about using Oregano or any other essential oil to support your wellness, I’d love to help you.  Oils have become a daily (awesome) part of my life and I know that they can benefit you and your family too.  You can contact me here.  **Please note that I am not a doctor and I cannot diagnose, prescribe, or recommend treatment for any medical conditions, at all, ever.

Here is a link to get your oils at 24% off, through me.  I’ll also make sure that you get the very best resource book to help guide you and some lovely essential oil gifts to welcome you to the Young Living family.

May you be well, live in abundance, and know your worth.
Love,

Anna

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3 Ways to Beat Adrenal Fatigue Naturally

Adrenal Fatigue:

You’ve probably heard of it, but what is it?

Adrenal fatigue is a set of symptoms that results from your adrenal glands not working quite right, due to being overworked.  What are the symptoms?  Basically, it looks like this (you may have some or all of these symptoms):

Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue

  • Fatigue or excessive tiredness
  • Having a hard time getting out of bed even if you slept all night
  • Feeling sad, overwhelmed, or defeated by things you once accomplished easily
  • Poor sleep, restlessness
  • Anxiety, nervous tension
  • Food cravings, especially for salty or sugary foods
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Belly fat
  • Acid reflux
  • Brain fog
  • Chronic pain/aches/inflammation

Sounds pretty familiar to a lot of us…maybe most of us?  Here’s why: Adrenal fatigue is caused by being stressed, not getting enough rest and recuperation time.  It can also be caused, or at least exacerbated, by caffeine consumption.  So, that enormous cup of coffee that gets you going also slows you down in the long run.  (This is one of my daily struggles…oh, how I love a good cup of coffee.  So, if this is you, I get it.)

A little aside note on adrenal fatigue — it’s considered a gray area in allopathic (Western) medicine.  It has not been officially designated as an illness, so there are doctors and medical professionals that will tell you it doesn’t exist, and those who are certain it does.  (I’d also like to note that we don’t know everything about the body/disease/medicine –not even close, and even commonly diagnosed illnesses such as Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome were once explained away by the “experts” as not real illnesses.)

Here’s the scoop: Adrenal fatigue is when your adrenal glands, which are the two hormone producing endocrine glands that sit atop the kidneys, are not functioning properly.  This is usually due to excessive mental or physical stress/caffeine intake/or other health issue.  When our bodies are constantly stressed, our adrenal glands may no longer function to produce hormones at the proper levels, until they get a chance to recover.

Restoration is the solution.

I mean, our lives are so chaotic, stressful, and crazy.  We are constantly moving at a non-human, super-fast pace in our cars, or stuck in traffic, instead of walking at a natural pace.  Every day we are continuously hit with a  barrage of information, news, and advertising all day long.  We have bills, we have bosses, and we have so many demands on our time and attention.  All of this daily stress is like a pressure cooker of illness.

What I know for sure is that you can’t pour anything from an empty cup.

Every single facet of our daily life, from our relationships, to our digestion, and our ability to think clearly are directly related to the balance of our hormones, such as those produced by our lovely, little adrenal glands.  It’s time we all redirect a some of our attention towards re-balancing and giving our bodies the break they need.

In case no one has told you today, you deserve health and happiness.  You deserve to feel good.

The good news is that our miraculous bodies are designed to handle stress and then to recover and re-balance our hormones.  Then, when our bodies are back in balance, we feel good, sleep soundly, wake with energy, and find it easy to eat healthy and feel happier.  When you get your mojo back it’s as if all of life is more colorful and everything flows so much better.

 

3 Easy Ways to Combat Adrenal Fatigue, Naturally (Plus a Bonus)

First, Cut Out Caffeine

I know, I know.  I love coffee too.  In fact, this one is my achilles heel.  Some things you might try are: switching to herbal tea, or how about a coffee substitute that is high in potassium, calcium, fiber, iron, vitamins, and amino acids?  It’s made from the maya nut and is a superfood!  I am ordering this today.


Second, Use Essential Oils

  • Nutmeg essential oil supports adrenal function by increasing energy and relieving nervous fatigue.  In your hand, place two drops of carrier oil (olive, coconut, sunflower, etc) and one drop of Nutmeg essential oil.  Rub this into the instep/arch of your feet.
  • Frankincense or Sacred Frankincense helps to support healthy adrenal function.  I like to use either in my night time facial moisturizer (as they’re wonderful for healthy skin).  Both combine well with lavender and can be diffused to help you drift off and sleep more soundly.  Add three drops each of Lavender and either Frankincense (Boswellia carterii) or Sacred Frankincense (Boswellia sacra) to the distilled water in your diffuser, then put it next to your bed.
  • Endoflex is a blend of essential oils that helps with metabolism, vitality, and hormonal balance.  You can take it as a dietary supplement (up to 3 times daily) or mix it with equal parts of a carrier oil and apply it to your feet, your lower back, and belly area.  It contains sesame seed oil (rich in vitamin e), Spearmint, Sage, Geranium, Myrtle, German Chamomile, and Nutmeg essential oils.  I love that Young Living creates these amazing blends so that I don’t have to.
    • If you’re just getting started with essential oils, or if you’re ready to try the best oils ever, I recommend purchasing the Premium Starter Kit, from Young Living.  It’s exactly what I started with and it is worth every penny and more!  (Those oils from the store shelves do not even compare to what Young Living offers.  I know, because I used to use them.  Never again.  You’ll feel the same once you switch.)  If you’d like to have me as your sponsor, sign up here.  I’ll make sure you get resources and answers, and a nice welcome gift from me.
    • 1. Choose “Wholesale Member” so you can buy whatever you want for 24% off retail.
    • 2. Select “Premium Starter Kit” and choose your diffuser.  I love the Dewdrop, but the Rainstone is a popular choice too.
    • 3.  You can choose to sign up for Essential Rewards if you plan to try more oils and you’ll get discounted shipping plus money back to spend on products. (10% Back at first and then 20% back after 3 months!) I’ll contact you and send your gifts and you’ll be able to contact me anytime for any questions you may have.

 

Third, Try an Adaptogenic Herbal Supplement

Adaptogenic herbs have been used throughout history in traditional medicine and continue to be used to great success by alternative medicine practitioners (and even at the Cleveland Clinic in their Integrative Wellness Center).  Personally, I take ashwagandha root every single day.  I don’t like to swallow capsules, so I just sprinkle it into a smoothie, soy milk, or my daily shot of NinXia Red.

Ashwagandha is an herb that helps to alleviate anxiety, promotes stamina and energy, and is beneficial for connective tissue.  I’ve been taking it for well over two years now and I’ve seen noticeable benefits from the very first week.  In fact, I don’t think I’d be a working massage therapist without it, that’s how much better I feel.

If you’re thinking of trying out herbal supplements, the best course of action is to find a practitioner who can prescribe and monitor you.  Some herbs have side effects, some interact with medications, and some should not be taken for certain lengths of time, or if you are pregnant, nursing, or suffering from certain conditions, etc.  Always do your research and seek the advice of a trained medical practitioner.  I am not a doctor!  Find a local naturopathic doctor, an ayurvedic practitioner, herbalist, or Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner (often acupuncture clinics have this too).

Some Common Adaptogenic Herbs

  • Ginseng
    • Potent energy increaser
  • Holy Basil
    • Known in India as the “elixir of anti-aging”
  • Ashwagandha
    • Eases anxiety, supports nervous system, stamina, and connective tissue
  • Astragalus Root
    • Boosts immunity and buffers effects of stress

There are many other herbs that can help to combat adrenal fatigue as well as other health issues.  Seek the advice of a naturopathic doctor who can help you determine what would benefit your body most.

OR perhaps, try out one of these supplement powders that you can add to smoothies and such.  Called “dusts,”  they are combinations of adaptogenic herbs and such made by Amanda Chantal Bacon, the creator of a place called Moon Juice in sunny Venice, CA.  (I personally cannot wait to visit Moon Juice in person.  Amanda, be warned, I may never leave.) *Note: I don’t make any money off this, it’s just a product line and lifestyle that I wholeheartedly embrace.

Fourth, this one is a bonus: Get a Massage

Preferably, get a massage every month.  Okay, so I sometimes forget to put my health and wellbeing first and I sometimes forget to schedule that massage…but don’t be like me.  Make time for yourself.  Find a way.  You will not believe how dramatically something as small as getting a massage can change your life for the better.  This is something I know because I’ve experienced it (and it was so powerful that I decided to become a massage therapist).  You see, massage, a good one, will essentially switch off your stress hormones and trigger the rest and feel happy hormones.  It will also boost your immune system.  Now,  if all of the reasons why you can’t get a massage are popping up, let me put those thoughts to rest: you deserve to feel good.

 

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Ditch The Toxic Chemicals: What’s In Your Soap? DIY Natural Hand Soap for Cheap!

Have you ever read the label on your hand soap?  I am a label reader, but even I have never read my soap bottle label… until the other day.  I knew there’d be unpronounceable chemicals, but what I didn’t expect was that my soap- that we all wash our hands with many times each day- is actually toxic to our bodies.

  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate:  Causes irritation, organ system toxicity, & contamination concerns.
  • Cocamidopropyl Betaine: Causes allergies, immunotoxicity , ecotoxicology (which means it’s toxic to a wide range of organisms), & contamination concerns.
  • Polyquaternium-7: Causes organ system toxicity, ecotoxicology, & contamination concerns.
  • Fragrance: Causes allergies, immunotoxicity, irritation to the skin, eyes, and/or lungs

*Immunotoxicity means it is toxic to our immune system.

* Ecotoxicology means it is being studied because it is toxic to a wide range of organisms.

Yeah, I know…and that’s just some of the possible and likely ingredients no matter what bottle of pump hand soap you buy off the store shelves.

Here’s the thing.  What is on the store shelves is not necessarily safe.

Here is a link to the Environmental Working Group’s database for a common hand soap that I have personally bought many times at the store.  Maybe it’s what you’re using now?

Did you know that you can make your own, fancy-pants, awesome smelling, natural, safe, non-toxic soap for next to nothing.

First, you’ll need a dispenser.  Look around your home.  Maybe you have one?  Make sure it’s glass.

Start with one 8 oz Glass Soap Dispenser Bottle (I chose a dark cobalt blue glass pump to protect the essential oils from sunlight damage.  You could also buy amber or use a pump you already have.  Glass is the non-toxic choice since plastics leach chemicals like BPA (found in cancer tumors).

You will need just 3 ingredients.  Your family will never again be “washing” with toxic chemicals.

1/3 Cup Dr. Bronner’s Hemp Baby Unscented Castile Soap

Distilled Water

10 Drops of Essential Oil*

* I chose to use Thieves essential oil because I love the scent and I know it’s helping to clean and purify our skin while boosting our immune systems.  (I still can hardly believe I’ve been using something that is actually damaging my immune system for all these years!)

Add these the Castile soap, 10 drops of essential oil (if using), and fill the bottle with distilled water.  Shake it up.  That’s it.

Here is the cost breakdown if you, like me, want to know how much it’ll cost you and how much you’re saving vs buying the “natural” brand soap from the store:

One time cost of glass soap dispenser is $6.25.  I couldn’t find what I wanted at any local stores, so I bought mine from Amazon and had them shipped in 2 days for free with my Prime membership (worth every penny).  I didn’t include this cost in my $1.00 recipe since I’ll be using these for many years to come.

Dr. Bronner’s Hemp Baby Castile Soap, Unscented cost me $11.99 at my local high-end grocery store.  You can purchase it online here for a bit more, but it’ll get delivered right to your door.  Using only 1/3 Cup means at $11.99, I’m spending about $1.00 on soap.

Distilled Water, enough to fill up the dispenser, cost me about $0.05.

You can stop here and you’re cost is $1.05.  Compare that to the “natural” soap bottles at the store.  They’re easily $5 or more these days.

Essential Oils are the variable that you can adjust.  I chose Thieves which costs about $0.14/drop.  I used 10 drops for a cost of $1.40 to boost my soap from simple and straightforward to something I love and at about one third the price of anything I’d buy at store that is even close in natural-non-toxic-ness.

So, you can make up a batch of natural, non-toxic soap for about $1.05.  Adding 10 drops of Thieves brought my total cost up to $2.45.  If you want to keep the price lower, you could choose an oil like Grapefruit ($0.07/drop), Lemon ($0.05/drop), or Peppermint ($0.09/drop), or a combination of those.

This little post is really about me waking up and realizing how what we all think of as normal, ordinary stuff, like washing our hands, is slowly, over time, building up and poisoning our bodies.  Shame on the companies that sell this toxic chemical crap.  I’m done with them.

Fight the good fight and kick the chemicals to the curb along with me!

Welcome to the oily revolution and my to my Oily Wellness Tribe.

Love,

Anna

 

 

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13 Reasons You Need a Diffuser Necklace (And What To Put In It)

 

This post started out with five reasons and I just couldn’t stop.

My passion for aromatherapy has really skyrocketed since I started using Young Living essential oils.  I not only smell the difference, but I feel a difference.  Wearing aromatherapy jewelry has taken it to a whole other level of obsession.

I’ve had my diffuser necklace for about three months now and my only regret is that I didn’t get one sooner.  I wear it as often as possible, change the insert (felt, cork, leather, and other fabrics work) and oils according to my mood, my energy level, and whatever essential oil is my current obsession (Frankincense at the moment).

About the only time I don’t wear it is while working (as a massage therapist).  We all like different scents and have different emotional needs/scent memories and I don’t put mine ahead of my client’s during their session.

Here are 13 reasons you NEED a diffuser necklace and my thoughts on what to put inside.

  1. Because Peppermint Essential Oil puts a little pep in your step and you might just make it to the gym today.
  2. Because gray skies are easier to ignore thanks to the aromatic effects of citrus oils such Lemon, Grapefruit, and this amazing blend called Citrus Fresh.
  3. Because you’re kinda stinky today…Patchouli.
  4. Because the line at the grocery checkout is SO long and maybe a little Peace and Calming will chill you out.
  5. Because work/coworkers…maybe try White Angelica to clear the negative energy.
  6. Because you LOVE Christmas Season and want to smell like it.
  7. Because your entire extended family will be there and it’s gonna get crazy.  Try Lavender or Sandalwood
  8. Because you have teenagers in your house…Stress Away.
  9. Because you’re dealing with some emotional stuff right now and can use all the help you can get…Trauma Life, Sacred Frankincense.  (Hang in there.  This too shall pass.)
  10. Morning sickness is not fun…and everything smells weird when you’re pregnant.  Try DiGize, Ginger, or Peppermint.
  11. Because synthetic fragrance is something you know you don’t want in your life.
  12. Because using the power of scent to affect your limbic system (within your brain and controls emotion and hormones) is totally awesome.
  13. Because you love your diffuser and your oils and want to take them everywhere!  (Like me!)

If you’re wondering where to get diffuser jewelry, there are lots of online options.  I try to keep them in stock at my studio.  Also, I’ve heard that you can find them at craft fairs.

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5 Fast Fixes for Neck And Shoulder Pain: From a Massage Therapist

neckpainimg

Sometimes I think that our modern lives are designed to cause neck and shoulder pain.  At least 75% of my clients specifically ask for extra work on their neck and shoulders.  Some of the causes or contributors to the literal pain in our neck are:

  • Driving: because we’re all hunched a little forward with hands on the wheel
  • Texting/Cell Phone Viewing (forward neck posture)
  • Sitting at a Desk
  • Lack of Movement: because we all need to move our shoulders and cervical spine through their full range of motion, as they are designed to do, or else we’ll get stiff and weakened muscles which can lead to frozen shoulder, deterioration, and pain
  • Sleeping in a position that is out of natural alignment
  • Shoveling Snow (or other repetitive, straining effort)

See what I mean?  It’s stuff we do all the time.  And then, for some of us, it’s where we naturally hold our tension.  It seems to me that our daily routines leave all of us with tightness, pain, and range of motion problems here.  Today, I thought I’d share some tips on working out these “knots” and relieving your pain.

pain-is-inevitalbe

 

  1. Yoga- yoga is my #1 suggestion for anyone who wants to feel better. Here is a short video of chair yoga for the neck and upper back. In case you are thinking that you’re too tight/too heavy/too old or whatever excuse you come up with, I promise, there is some type of yoga you can do!  The library has DVDs.  Chair yoga is a good place to start.  I know that when you’re in pain, the last thing you want to do is move, but if your doctor says that you have the go-ahead to get some exercise, to go to physical therapy, to try stretching/strengthening, then yoga- which is literally moving with breath- can make a big difference in how you feel, how you move, and your quality of life.
  2. Ice/Heat- If you just injured yourself, ice is the way to go.  If you’re just stiff and tight, heat will bring more circulation and loosen things up.  A heated neck and shoulder pad may become your new favorite thing.  (This one is electric.  This one is microwavable or can be put in the freezer, and it costs less.)
  3. Tennis Ball Magic- put 2 tennis balls into a tube sock and tie the end up.  Lie on the floor and place this under your neck/at the base of your skull, between your shoulder blades.  Move around gently, turning and finding just the spot.
  4. Blanket Roll- take a throw blanket, yoga blanket, or large towel and fold it, probably into quarters or basically a 3 foot long rectangle.  Roll it up tightly.  Placing it on the floor under your spine, lengthwise, then lie down on it.  Now that the blanket roll is completely supporting your spine (and you can allow your head to drop off the roll if that’s comfortable), your legs can either be bent or straight, whichever feels better.  Spread your arms out to the sides and turn your palms up.  Breath deeply and rest here allowing your chest muscles to relax and heart space to open.  Alternately, you can lie in bed, on your back, near the edge and allow your shoulder and arm to hang over the edge.  Just make sure to switch position to stretch out the other side of your chest so that you’re evenly stretched.
  5. Massage- just 30 minutes is a great option if you want to get to those spots that you just can’t quite get to on your own.  Schedule a 30 or 60 minutes session and let your LMT know you just want to focus on neck and shoulders.  You won’t even have to take off all your clothes. Personally, I really love these sessions and enjoy knowing that I’m helping to really improve my clients’ lives by releasing the neck/shoulder muscles.  Even getting a short chair massage can make all the difference in your day. neck-and-shoulder-massage

Be well my friends.  Take good, loving care of your body.  It’s the only one you’ve got.

 

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Scandinavian Beauty & Health Secret: Dry Brushing Your Skin

drybrushing

(*Photo credit: http://blog.freepeople.com/2014/06/beauty-rituals-benefits-dry-body-brushing/)

Itchy, flakey, dry, and dull skin; it seems like a winter time given, right?  Particularly here in the frozen tundra, I mean, Cleveland area, where it’s cold and snowy for months and months.  My solution used to be to just load up on body lotion, but then I discovered this little secret-  from women who live where it’s way colder and snowier.

I was introduced to the idea of dry brushing years before I actually tried it.  I was watching a television show about living someplace frozen most of the year, somewhere in Scandinavia.  Apparently, Scandinavian women don’t just jump in the shower and scrub up with soapy washcloth.  Instead, before they bathe or enter a sauna, they spend a little time dry brushing their skin with a natural bristle brush.  This has the effect of sloughing off and exfoliating the dead, dry skin, improving the circulation of blood and lymph, which helps to detoxify and nourish the skin cells, and it feels great to boot!  So, you’re actually cleaner inside & out.  What’s not to love, right?!

Here’s What Dry Brushing Does & Why You Need to Try It

  • Exfoliates dead skin cells
  • Stimulates blood circulation (to nourish skin with oxygen and nutrients & get your glow on)
  • Stimulates lymphatic flow (to remove toxins from cells)
  • Decreases the appearance of cellulite
  • Feels really good (especially over the itchy places like the back of your hips and shoulder blades) and it can increase the feel-good hormones while decreasing the stress hormones
10+ years old and still in great condition
10+ years old and still in great condition

I will admit, my first reaction was to pish-posh this idea, but now, after more than ten years of incorporating dry brushing into my winter and spring routine, I can’t imagine my life without this short, pre-shower ritual.   I try to fit my dry brushing in at least once or twice (not more than 3x) a week during the winter and throughout  Spring.  I love the feeling of a good scrub, the glow, and the added benefit of getting the lymph flowing to boost my immune system.  Not only that, but it’s like getting the best back scratch, EVER.   I highly recommend it!

Skin Brushing Basics

  1. Buy a quality, natural bristle brush.  The higher the quality, the better it will feel (softer bristles) and the longer it will last.  I’ve had my body brush for more than 10 years and it’s still in great shape.  I wash my brush now and then, allow it to dry completely, and store it in a cabinet when not in use so it won’t get icky.
  2. Throw a towel down on the floor to catch the dry skin that you’ll be brushing off.  Gross, I know.
  3. Undress & grab your brush.
  4. Use a gentle hand and brush in circles or strokes moving toward the heart.  Here are the detailed instructions:
    1. Brush in small circles, starting with the bottom of your feet and moving up the legs, and over the hips. Circle from left to right (following the intestines) over the belly.  Swipe up sides towards armpits.
    2. Swipe or make circles from hands, up arms towards armpits (where there lots of lymph nodes).
    3. Brush your back from center out towards armpits.
    4. Brush around your breasts (I avoid nipples) and very gently across chest from center towards armpits.
    5. Finish by brushing neck gently from chin towards heart.
  5. You may want to scrub hard, but don’t.  You’ll make your skin hurt.   If you’re a sensitive type, you may actually feel like the brush is too intense.  If that’s the case, ease up on the brush, starting slow and building up how often you use it until it feels good.  It may take a little getting used to.
  6. Now you can take a shower as you normally would, but be less aggressive when washing up.
  7. After you dry off – Moisturize all over with a natural body lotion or oil.
    1. *Please read the ingredients on your moisturizer/lotion.  All of the typical drugstore/retail brands use petroleum (petrolatum) as a base.  Petroleum is a likely carcinogen (cancer causing) and has been correlated to breast cancer .  (YES, I know it’s FDA approved, but it is not healthy.)  Also, please be aware that fragrance means synthetic chemicals that can cause not only skin problems like rashes, but also breathing problems such as asthma, and it also disrupts your hormones (endocrine system) and can affect our bodies in ways you’d never suspect such as increased PMS symptoms, infertility, and more.

If you, like me, find it hard to enjoy winter…the dry air, the bitter cold, itchy skin, the lack of sunlight blues, etc., I hope that you try this out.  You may just discover a new winter ritual to make you feel like a million-glowing-bucks.

Stay warm & stay well, my friends.

Love,

Anna

P.S.  I’d love to hear what you think after your first dry brushing.  Email me.

 

 

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