Breast Health Challenge Tip #24

Practice dry brush massage, followed by a 3 minute cold shower.

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Practice dry brush massage, followed by a 3 minute cold shower.

Did you know there’s a simple wellness and beauty trick that only takes five minutes a day, costs nothing, and helps cleanse your body, inside and out? Dry skin brushing has many health benefits and is so simple to do.

What Does It Do for You?

  • Improves your lymphatic circulation to help your body mobilize toxins and cleanse.
  • Dead layers of skin are removed and pores go unclogged.
  • Blood circulation is increased to the internal organs as well as the skin, which promotes oxygenation and healing.
  • The detoxification qualities of the skin remain intact and well functioning.
  • Hormone and oil-producing glands are stimulated.
  • Nerve endings stimulated in the skin help to maintain the health of the entire nervous system.
  • The body’s natural defences against the common cold are assisted, especially when used with the hot-cold shower technique.
  • Muscle tone is assisted and fat deposits are more evenly spread.

How to Perform a Dry Brush Massage

Use a long handled, natural bristle brush, with a brush pad about the size of your own hand. Start with the soles of your feet. Brush in a circular motion as you move up your body i.e. feet to legs, hands to arms, back to abdomen, and chest to neck. The face and inner thighs are sensitive areas and can be avoided. Brush with as much pressure as is comfortably possible until your skin feels pleasantly warm (this is usually about five to ten minutes). The massage is best performed when you arise in the morning and before you go to bed at night.

Increase the cleansing qualities of a dry brush massage by following it with an alternating hot-cold shower (hot for three minutes, cold for thirty seconds) with 3 repetitions, or a cold shower, without hot preceding it.

The Benefits of Cold Showers

Strictly cold showers can potentially increase metabolic rate and benefit the glandular system – specifically the hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenals and thyroid glands, increasing ACTH, TSH and the adrenal hormone cortisol, as well as thyroid hormones. A cold shower in the morning helps us to “get in gear” by slightly elevating cortisol. It’s best used in the morning rather than in the evening, when we want our cortisol levels to be lower so we can easily wind down and go to sleep.

Some of the benefits of a cold shower are:

  • increased oxygen absorption
  • increased carbon dioxide excretion
  • increased nitrogen absorption and excretion
  • increased tissue tone
  • increased white blood cell count and thus improved immunity
  • increased T-killer cells
  • increased phagocytic activity (toxin breakdown)
  • increased red blood cell count
  • decreased blood glucose
  • decreased lactic acid levels in blood
  • decreased heart rate
  • heightened metabolism
  • slightly elevates cortisol and thyroid hormone

So, what do you say? Will you try it tomorrow morning? Let us know how you feel afterwards.

For greater benefit and detoxification, practice skin brushing and have a cold shower before you enjoy your sauna, and have another cold shower at 20 minute intervals during your sauna experience.

References:

Nikolai A Shevchuk, Sasa Radoja, Possible stimulation of anti-tumor immunity using repeated cold stress: a hypothesis. Infectious Agents and Cancer. 2007, 2:20

GUO-ZHU HU et al. Effect of cold stress on immunity in rats. Dev Comp Immunol 1993, 17(4):357-371

Sundaresan G1, Suthanthirarajan N, Namasivayam A, Certain immunological parameters in subacute cold stress. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 1990, 34(1):57-60

Shevchuk NA. Possible use of repeated cold stress for reducing fatigue in chronic fatigue syndrome: a hypothesis. Behav Brain Func. 2007 Oct 24;3:55

Take the Breast Health Challenge!

Start your day off with skin brushing and a cold shower. Take a photo or make a video of you afterwards, and post on your Facebook page, Youtube or Instagram with the hashtag #breasthealthchallenge between Oct 1-31. Challenge your friends to do the same.

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