Time to spice up your morning shower! Wait, that sounds kinda kinky. What about this: how to detox your body as you shower. There, that’s more accurate. Today I’m going to share two things you can do during your morning shower to help your body eliminate toxins. These two simple procedures will also boost your immune system, increase circulation, and smooth out your skin.
Let’s get to it.
#1: Dry skin brushing
Maybe you’ve heard about this before or have already incorporated it into your daily routine (awesome!). Skin brushing moves lymph fluid, helping your body drain waste products. The lymphatic system is one of our detox pathways, but unfortunately it doesn’t have a pump to move its fluid around (unlike the circulatory system, which has the heart). Dry skin brushing is a simple and effective way to move lymph, especially for people who are less mobile due to injury or illness. The lymphatic system also houses immune cells, so skin brushing can be helpful for improving immunity. The gentle exfoliation helps clear congestion in the skin, allowing it to do one of its mains jobs – elimination. People have reported an improved look and feel of their skin, and even a reduction of cellulite. This is a really healthful, invigorating way to start the day!
How to brush your skin
- Purchase a dry skin brush, online or at a health food store. It should feel fairly soft and not too scratchy on your skin – one good brand is Merben, but there are others! Note the bristles will also soften a little as you use the brush. If possible, get one with a removable head and a long handle, making it easier to do your back.
- Standing in the shower with the water off, begin brushing your skin. Start at the feet and move up the body in short, brisk upward strokes, towards the heart. Do the stomach in a circular clockwise motion. Once you get to areas above the heart, brush downward/toward the heart.
- Pay special attention to brushing these areas well: behind the knees, the groin, inside of the elbows, the armpits, and neck. These places contain numerous lymph nodes and can get congested easily.
- Do not brush the genitals, nipples, or face. You may be able to find a small face brush, though, if you’re interested.
The whole procedure should take about 5 minutes, or less. Avoid doing it in the evening as it may be too stimulating. It’s important that your skin as well as your brush are both perfectly dry. I highly recommend doing it in the shower area rather than just standing on your bathroom floor – because even though you may not be able to see them, dead skin cells will be flying off you! Store your brush outside of the shower area, though, to keep it dry. To keep it clean, simply rinse with water once a week.
#2: Contrast showers
Also known as hot/cold showers. Yikes, that doesn’t sound fun, does it? Hear me out.
Contrast showers are a form of hydrotherapy (water therapy!). The practice engages your blood vessels and promotes proper circulation. This is a great way to stimulate blood flow, metabolism, and immune cells. Other reputed benefits include: increased oxygen absorption and carbon dioxide excretion, increased white and red blood cells, removal of toxins, increased tissue tone, increased energy, a reduction of inflammation, improvement of sore muscles and injury recovery, decreased blood glucose, and improved nervous system function.
Still not convinced? Just give it try and see how your skin and body feel after stepping out of the shower! Personally I think it feels incredible.
How to have a contrast shower
- Run hot water for 1-3 minutes, then switch to cold water for 30 seconds (scream and swear as needed). Repeat this cycle at least 3 times. Always start the shower with hot and finish with cold.
- You can still wash your hair and do your regular routine during this time. Some say it’s helpful to rub your whole body briskly as you shower, and tap your sternum to stimulate your thymus gland, although I rarely do this.
- Upon exciting the shower, towel dry yourself vigorously to warm up.
The bigger the contrast in temperature, the better. Expect it to feel quite shocking. You can start with a smaller temperature contrast if it’s too much to handle at first. Your tolerance for the cold water may eventually improve as you continue with this technique regularly! If you have any heart or vascular conditions, asthma, diabetes, or are pregnant, be sensible and please consult your doctor first.
The combined effect of these two practices is delicious. Although you could choose to do one and not the other on any given day, it’s especially beneficial to do both – dry skin brushing, followed by a contrast shower. Are you ready to give it the old college try?
You can do it! And if you do, leave a comment below about your experience.
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