Dry Brushing

What’s In Your Toolbox?

wellness

Posted by Judy Moon

I speak alot about my “wellness toolbox.”

I have lots of tools that I use on a daily basis or as needed for self-care, health and sanity.

Sometimes the “tools” are actual objects, like a tongue scraper. Sometimes they are rituals or actions, like meditation.

There are really simple tools like drinking warm lemon water with apple cider vinegar first thing in the morning from my Morning Mantra Mug – that says Nourish Me on it. Easy one right?

Dry Brushing my skin before I get in the shower.

One of my favorites – the 4-7-8 breath. This is literally my secret weapon for diffusing stress.

Obviously, massage therapy is a power tool in the toolbox, as are visits to my Chiropractor and my favorite acupuncturist.

But let’s be real for a moment, we are “human doings”, not human beings. We are busy, scheduled folks. Fitting self-care rituals and tools in to the already jammed day might seem impossible.

I’m here to tell you that it’s not!

We launched a Wellness program last summer called Nourish Me, combining various bodywork treatments with gifts aka tools from our Wellness Boutique to start your own toolbox.

The feedback that I am getting from people who have completed it makes me smile.

Making TINY shifts in your day, creating simple easy rituals, taking mere moments for a little self-love makes a HUGE impact.

I encourage you to begin to create you own personal “wellness toolbox” if you don’t already have one. If you do have one, take inventory- is everything working for you? Is anything missing or needing an upgrade?

What’s the first item/ritual you’d like to put in?

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You Might Just Need To Brush Up A Bit

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Posted by Judy Moon

Raise your hand if your skin is dry and itchy right now?

Winter is such a great time to cuddle up in a blankie with a warm cup of cocoa or to make a rich pot of beautiful warming soup or to build a snowman like we were able to do with the recent blizzard that blanketed Philadelphia with 22 inches of snow. What’s more fun than a snow day, right?

But, boy oh boy, it can be harsh on the skin.

I honestly think your best secret weapon is Dry Brushing. Dry Brushing has soooo many great benefits, it’s silly not to do it. And it’s fast and easy to boot.

Benefits include:

*increasing circulation

*removing dead skins cells

*stimulating lymphatic flow

*improving the appearance of cellulite

*improving digestion

*can help with fluid retention

*stimulates your skin to produce it’s own oils

If your skin is dry, you can moisturize till the cows come home, but unless you exfoliate first, which Dry Brushing will do, you are just moisturizing dead skin cells.

Lymphatic stimulation is another important reason that people Dry Brush, especially when doing any kind of cleanse or detox. The lymphatic system helps eliminate waste that cells produce. Think of it like a garbage truck moving through the system. Dry Brushing will help it from getting clogged or sluggish which can lead to inflammation and disease.

It’s best done right before your shower first thing in the morning. It can be a little energizing so evening is not optimal.

Starting at the feet you brush up towards the heart in the direction lymph flows. Start at the hands on the arms and work towards the heart. Use soft gentle strokes, you don’t want to scratch or break skin and a light pressure is all that’s needed to get the job done.

Amazon has brushes suitable or we sell them at the studio.

We have a Brush Up Skin Rejuvenation Treatment that starts with Dry Brushing your whole body and then is followed with a therapeutic aromatherapy massage AND you get to take the brush home to get yourself started on your own self care!

Want to be super nice to your skin? Follow up with a quick and easy DIY Aloe Vitamin C Serum! Hello happy smooth silky skin in the middle of winter!

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The Skinny on Skin

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Posted by Judy Moon

Winter is here whether we like or not. It has it’s good and bad, just like anything. There’s nothing like a steaming cup of hot chocolate on a cold day, or snuggling in to watch a movie on a snowy day rocking your favorite sweater.

One of the down sides for sure is dry skin.

I have recently read over and over on various Facebook posts and blog posts about how we don’t need to shower every day and how it is actually bad for you to do so especially in winter.

I couldn’t disagree more with this, in fact it makes me crazy!

My first reaction is what are people washing with – Spic and Span?

First my disclaimer – I am not a dermatologist, skin expert or esthetician. I am speaking from what I have learned, (as a massage therapist, I touch a lot of skin!) and what I have observed from my own experience and my own skin. Clearly if you have skin conditions you need to talk to a doctor, but I think this type of skin care makes sense for most people.

The skin is an organ. Let’s repeat that out loud – “my skin is an organ”

“I need to treat it like that.”  In fact it’s the largest organ of the body. It has three main functions – protection, regulation and sensation.

The skin renews itself about every 30 days. If this dead skin builds up, it can leave a dull, flat even scaly appearance.

Exfoliation is key! You must remove the dry dead skin first. This will also help with the penetration of whatever products you are using. If you moisturize without exfoliating, you are just moisturizing that already dead layer of skin.

How do you exfoliate?

There are lots of ways to do this –

  • Dry Brushing
  • Hot Towel Scrubbing – ditch that nylon scrubbing thing you have in your shower and treat yourself to an old friend – a wash cloth. It is much gentler on the skin and holds the hot water better – the hot water stimulates the pores to open. Rub the warm washcloth in gentle circles all over your body. Guess what – you are also stimulating your lymphatic system – an added bonus!
  • Salt and Sugar Scrubs – once a week I use a lavender sugar scrub for an extra deep exfoliation. There’s tons of DIY recipes and already make products to purchase – I personally love the Lavender Scrub from Trade Joe’s 

All of these stimulating things are doing just that – stimulating the skin to do what it is supposed to do – function, regenerate cells, breathe, produce it’s own natural oils. Wake it up!

What the heck are you washing with?

Now that we have our skin alive and awake and doing it’s job, what are you going to wash it with? That’s a personal choice, but I would suggest using something that doesn’t have a ton of ingredients in it and if it does, can you pronounce them and do you know what they are? Now that your pores are open do you want to absorb those ingredients? I love Copa soaps. I feel clean and fresh after a shower and they smell divine. We sell them at the studio or you can purchase them online. My favorite is the Vetiver.

So, you’ve exfoliated, cleansed and now you need to moisturize.

Again, personal preference. Same rules apply. Read your label and think about what you are putting on the largest organ of your body. I’ve heard it said that you shouldn’t put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t put in your mouth. That’s extreme for sure, but it kind of makes sense. I use coconut oil right from the jar. I bought a cute flip top jar that I transfer it to and I add some rose essential oil to it. But you can literally use it straight from the jar it comes in.

We offer a dry brush treatment that can help get you started with a good skin care regime. We dry brush your whole body and then follow it with a therapeutic massage letting all of the oils soak in to your fresh new skin. You get to take home your brush, instructions and your new soft skin.

Showering every day is bad for you skin? I take a screaming hot shower daily, so I say, I think we have to agree to disagree.

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The Art of “Do-In” and Dry Brushing

Posted by Alicia McCarthy
Dry brushing is a marvelous way to shed dead skin cells and encourage circulation.

HOW TO DRY BRUSH AT HOME: Dry brushing should be performed before your bath or shower when your body is dry. Starting at the feet, the top or the sole, using either circular or straight strokes, brush up the leg towards the heart. Next, brush from the hands up the arm, and trunk of the body up towards the heart. Just be sure to avoid sensitive areas or any areas where there is broken skin, and always brush towards the heart. Voila! You are ready to shower. It is recommended that you massage your skin afterwards with oil or a rich moisturizer like Shea Butter. My new go to is coconut oil straight from the jar- best body moisturizer ever!

“DO-IN” AND DRY BRUSHING: Do-In is a combination of meridian stretching exercises, breathing exercises, chi exercises and self massage. “Do-In” is a Shiatsu self care technique practiced in Japan, as a method to tonify and disperse the qi, or energy, of the body. There are three reasons for practicing Do-In:

  • To become aware of your own energy
  • For self treatment
  • For giving good shiatsu therapy

I love to designate my dry brushing routine as an energetic ritual similar to a “Do-In”. While practicing my dry brushing “Do-In” I think about the energy in my body becoming balanced, and I usually add some breath work while I’m at it!

Do you practice Do-In or Dry Brushing? After reading this, will you give it a try?

Photo Credits // 1 Holisticvanity // 2 Shea Butter Cream // 3 Refinery29

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