Dry Brushing and Pregnancy: Are You Missing Out?by Elizabeth MacDonald
What is Dry Brushing?
Dry brushing is a technique that involves using a natural bristle brush to gently massage the skin. While it has been used for natural healing throughout the decades, it has recently gained popularity. Known to encourage lymphatic drainage and toxin release, dry brushing has ample benefits that many people are just discovering.
From infants to the elderly, daily dry brushing supports a healthy lifestyle and compliments any healing journey. This includes pregnancy.
Dry Brushing and Pregnancy-Related Skin Changes
Pregnancy often brings about changes in the skin, such as stretch marks, cellulite, and dryness. Dry brushing can be a helpful tool in managing these changes. By exfoliating the skin, dry brushing can improve blood circulation and promote the removal of dead skin cells. This can result in smoother and brighter skin, helping to prompt that 'pregnancy glow.'
Dry Brushing and Lymphatic Drainage
The lymphatic system plays a crucial role in our overall health, and it becomes even more important during pregnancy. Dry brushing stimulates the lymphatic system, helping to remove toxins and waste products from the body. It gives your body's natural detox system a boost! This can reduce swelling and promote a healthy immune system. It is important that you brush toward heart or nearest lymph node drainage area, lifting after each stroke before starting the next.
Dry Brushing and Pregnancy Discomfort
There's no doubting that pregnancy brings discomforts, such as water retention, muscle aches, back pain, swelling, and fatigue. Dry brushing can provide some relief by improving blood flow and reducing inflammation. It can also help relax tense muscles.
Dry Brushing and Anxiety
Dry brushing is being used across the world by occupational therapists working with patients from childhood through adulthood. The act of brushing the skin impacts the nervous system, telling it to calm down and relax. The practice works wonders with those suffering from sensory disorders and anxiety.
How to Dry Brush
The entire process should not take longer than about 5 minutes. Avoid brushing over sensitive areas, such as the breasts and abdomen if it bothers you. Use gentle but firm strokes without applying too much pressure, always rubbing toward the heart or nearest lymph node drainage area. Start in the lower body, brushing from ankles toward knees, knees to thighs, thighs toward hips, etc.
The stomach should be brushed clockwise to stimulate digestion, always ending the stroke close to the heart. Have someone help with your lower back, brushing upward toward the leftside of the back (behind the heart). Brush from wrist to shoulder, upper back down toward the left, and chest toward the heart.
Make sure to invest in a true dry brush; your basic bath loofa won't cut it. The bristles feel amazing, and your changing body will thank you.