WHAT is this?

The lymphatic system is a system of thin tubes and lymph nodes that run throughout the body. The lymph system is an important part of our immune system. By transferring waste into our bloodstream in preparation for elimination, it plays a role in fighting bacteria and other infections and destroying old or abnormal cells, such as cancer cells.

HOW does it work?

The lymphatic system does not use a pump like the circulatory system, where the heart keeps the bloodstream flowing. It depends on the contractions of muscle, through body movement, breathing, exercise or manual stimulation, to push the fluid along the lymph vessels. This is where body brushing can help to encourage blood flow through the channels and clean out the metabolic waste that can build up in the tissues and lymph nodes.

WHAT can I do to help?

Body brushing is a traditional technique that not only removes dead skin build-up but it also helps to stimulate your lymphatic system and eliminate waste; improving the appearance of dry, uneven skin tone, and smoothing out some of those stubborn dimply bits. If you double the time you body brush during a cold or flu, it’s also thought to boost your immunity 🙂

HOW do I do it?

Always use a dry, natural bristle brush (such as sisal or those made from coconut husks) and brush your skin in a firm upward motion (starting from the soles of your feet), toward the lymph nodes in the groin, armpit and base of the neck (if you want to go up that far – I only use it on my legs and arms). If you use it on your tummy, go in a clockwise direction to simulate the directional flow of your gut. Do not stroke away from your lymph nodes as they only have one-way valves so brushing in the opposite direction can place unnecessary strain on them. Don’t brush over broken skin, varicose veins or sensitive areas and use softer strokes on thinner skinned areas and firmer strokes on areas such as the thighs or butt. Aim to brush for 3 to 5 minutes a day, and follow with a bath (with Epsom Salts) or shower, then moisturise. And remember, make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day 🙂