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Happy Wellness Wednesday, ladies (and gents if you are reading this)! I hope you’re having a great week. I am spending the day at the spa with my hubs and I’m so excited! We really needed a day off together to relax and unwind. We have been working our bums off and I’ve also been unwell for the last two months. So, for Valentine’s Day I got us a gift certificate for massages and facials! Self-care is a must for me. I take it very seriously, haha. Speaking of which, I wanted to share one of my self-care practices with you today: dry brushing!

What is dry-brushing and how do I do it?

Dry brushing is pretty much exactly what it sounds like! You literally take a stiff, bristled brush and brush your entire body in upward circular motions on dry skin. Start at the feet and work your work your way up your legs going toward the heart. This helps the lymphatic system to drain properly. Then, you can brush your abdomen, arms, armpits, glutes, back, and even your face if you like. Brush each section thoroughly. I like to do about 3-5 circular motions in each area. You don’t want to do it too roughly, though, especially if you have sensitive skin. For those with eczema, psoriasis, or other kinds of skin conditions, I would recommend asking your doctor if it’s something you’re interested in trying. They would know your particular case best and if it would be a good idea for you or not. I would guess you might want to avoid it. But, if you have normal skin, it’s recommended to do it 1-3 times a week. You may experience some redness and that is normal. But, if your skin gets very irritated, hurts, cracks, or bleeds, you are definitely doing it too hard. Decrease the pressure and give yourself some time in between brushings to let it heal. I would advise starting lightly and increasing your pressure. You may even peel after the first couple of times. That’s okay. Don’t be worried about that! It will reveal softer, smoother skin and the peeling will eventually stop.

I always dry brush right before I get in the shower so that I can wash off the dead skin cells right away. When I’m done in the shower, I use a lotion that’s all natural like shea or cocoa butter.

You want to get a brush that has nice and firm bristles. I like one with a long handle because you can reach your back more easily. You should replace it every 6 months to a year as well as wash it every couple of weeks. This helps to remove built up dead skin cells! Yuck.

What are the benefits?

There are lots of reasons to dry brush! You might be surprised. It sounds pretty non-exciting, but it does deliver some solid benefits.

  1. EXFOLIATION: Dry brushing as you can imagine is a great way to exfoliate your body. We spend so much time on faces, we shouldn’t ignore the rest of our skin! I’m sure J. Lo doesn’t get her youthful glow (at age 50) on her legs by ignoring them, know what I mean? Gotta take care of the whole thing! This process eliminates dead skin cells and reveals softer skin. It can even help with ingrown hairs that cause those tiny bumps. I notice my skin is much softer when I make it a habit to dry brush.
  2. STIMULATES THE LYMPHATIC SYSTEM: The lymphatic system is crucial to staying healthy! By stimulating this, we are improving our overall health and immunity. The lymphatic system distributes lymph (a fluid that contains white blood cells which are responsible for fighting infections) throughout the body. This system is also responsible for removing a lot of the body’s waste, including unwanted fat cells! By stimulating the lymphatic system, you are helping your body to detox better.
  3. INCREASED CIRCULATION: Dry brushing helps to increase your circulation. This is important to maintain healthy blood and oxygen flow throughout the body. It allows organs like your lungs, heart and muscles to function at optimal levels. Good circulation also means your immune system will function better because the white blood cells are properly transported, fighting off infections. Increasing your circulation can also give you an energy boost! YAY!
  4. POSSIBLE CELLULITE REDUCTION: There’s no real evidence out there to say that this is necessarily true. I can’t tell you my experience because I don’t have cellulite myself – at least not yet. But, it’s very common and totally normal if you do. Dry brushing has been reported to reduce cellulite because it is a toxic material that is allegedly trapped in fat cells beneath the skin. The increase in circulation is supposed to help rid the body of toxic substances including cellulite. So, it may not get rid of it, but it could reduce the appearance of it.

My Dry Brush Recommendations:

As I mentioned above, I like a brush with a long handle so you can get to hard to reach places without pulling your back out! I also found some that will work best for your face if you want to try brushing your face as well. If you do brush your face, I would recommend getting a special facial brush like the ones I linked here because they will be more gentle on that delicate skin. Here are some great body and facial brushes I found in different price ranges.

I personally like to dry brush! My skin feels softer, smoother, less flaky and dry, and I like knowing that I’m potentially helping my immune system and detoxification pathways. If you’re interested, give it a try! It might not be for everyone, but it could possibly help you, too. As always, I am not making any kind of health claims. This is only my experience. I am not a licensed medical professional. I just like to share my self-care tips and routines with you all, but that does not mean that they will or will not work for you.

Thanks so much for stopping by and reading! Have a fabulous rest of your week!

XOXO,

Kelly

Infrared Saunas

Happy Wellness Wednesday, friends! Hope your week is going well! I am excited to be sharing about Infrared Saunas with you today! It’s been something that I have been using for a while now and it has so many great benefits.

When I was in the throws of my Lyme Disease treatment, I was in desperate need of ways to help my body detox. If you are going through this treatment now, or any kind of treatment where you are killing off pathogens, you know how horrible toxic die-off can make you feel! I was doing many different forms of detoxing like ionic foot baths, massage, dry brushing, binders, supplements, cleanses, hydrotherapy, epsom salt baths, etc. When we heard about the infrared sauna, though, it sounded like a whole new level of detoxing I had yet to experience!

My husband Ryan is actually the one who was particularly adamant about purchasing an infrared sauna for our home. We have a friend with Lyme Disease who swears by it and he really thought having it at the house was our best bet. But, before we bought it, we wanted to try it out first! So, I made an appointment at Three Rivers Thermography to try it out.

I was a bit nervous because I do get claustrophobic and tend to get faint in high temperatures. But, I was pleasantly surprised. The thing about far infrared saunas is that they use infrared panels to heat your body directly instead of heating the air around you. So, you don’t get that suffocating feeling you might get in an ordinary sauna. The infrared lamps use electromagnetic radiation, unlike traditional saunas. This allows your body to get all of the benefits of sweating it out in a sauna at a lower temperature. Plus, the heat goes deeper into your tissues than your average sauna, too! So, I didn’t feel like I was gasping for air at all, or I like I couldn’t withstand the heat as I have in the past with other saunas (and even epsom salt baths)!

So, we decided to purchase one for at home use. We did some research on our own, and had some suggestions from friends. One of them was High Tech Health International. They had amazing reviews and their customer service was really helpful! We decided to purchase their Transcend Two Person Sauna. We even got a great deal on it during one of their sales. This model has plenty of room for two people to sit and relax together or for one person to sprawl out. It was the best choice for us! They have larger and smaller models you can purchase as well.

The saunas by High Tech Health are made of Poplar wood which is great because it does not splinter the way cedar models can. It is also environmentally friendly and sustainable! These are all great things you would want to keep in mind when purchasing a sauna.

It was very easy to put together, too! You just follow the directions and it snaps right up! You can set it to the temperature you like from outside of the sauna and inside, too. There’s built in speakers, a timer, and chromotherapy lights, too! So, you can switch the lighting inside to stimulate the mind, body, and senses! Pretty cool!

Benefits of Far Infrared Sauna Use:

We all know that a good sweat does great things for the body. But, you might not know that sweating in a far infrared sauna has even more benefits for you, like:

  • Detoxification (heavy metals, mold, fungus, environmental toxins, and chemicals which can be the cause behind what’s making and KEEPING you sick, for so many chronic health conditions like Alzheimers, CFS, Fibromyalgia, and autoimmune disease, etc)
  • Weight Loss
  • Improved Skin Clarity and Tightness
  • Immune System Stimulation
  • Relief from Joint and Muscle Pain (very helpful for those of us with chronic conditions like RA, Lyme, CFS, Fibromyalgia, etc)
  • Increased Blood Circulation
  • Better Quality of Sleep
  • Stress Relief
  • Cardiovascular Health Improvement

As you can see, the far infrared saunas have a lot of benefits for those of us with chronic conditions. It has certainly helped me a lot. But, it’s an excellent thing to start doing even if you are not chronically ill! It will no doubt decrease your chances of an illness happening to you. Think of all of the pollution and toxicity we come into contact with daily. You might not realize it, but our bodies do not handle this much toxicity well on their own. Especially the older we get. These toxins can build up in our organs and tissues and cause a host of problems. Plus, toxins also feed pathogens that are present in the body. They are the main reason why we get sick and how we stay sick. So, I’d highly recommend making it part of your weekly routine whether you’re sick or not.

As for me, I like to use the sauna about three days a week. I would do more if I could, but this is the amount that currently fits into my lifestyle and what feels best for my body. It’s perfectly safe to do on a regular basis. It’s a very safe practice, but if you are under medical care, just run it past your doctor so they know that it’s part of your protocol.

I started low and slow, as they recommend you do. The first week I began at 100 degrees for ten minutes, then gradually built up my time and temperature to 150 degrees for thirty minutes. When you are finished in the sauna, (be sure to get up slowly, don’t push your body too hard) it’s best to hit the shower right away if you can so that the toxins you just sweated out don’t re-absorb through your skin again. You also want to be sure to drink a ton of water and take some minerals (I do 600mg of Magnesium and 300mg of Potassium). If you notice that you are feeling anxious, weak, or light-headed, it’s most likely because you need to replenish those minerals. You do lose some when you are detoxing in any way, so be sure to keep feeding your body those essential minerals!

If you can’t afford a sauna for your home, you can find them at a lot of wellness centers. I know there are several places here in Pittsburgh. Three Rivers Thermography is a great one! I’d highly recommend using their facilities. If you aren’t in the Pittsburgh area, just google Infrared Saunas near me and you should be able to find one pretty easily.

If you have any questions about how infrared saunas work or how they can help your detoxing routine, I would love to help you! Please leave a comment below or send me a message 🙂 Have a happy, healthy rest of your week!

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