This is the first of four Winter Self-care Practices! This series is designed to introduce you to ancient Chinese and modern practices that will replenish and nourish you during the winter months. These practices will also help to sustain you for the months ahead.

In Chinese Medicine, Winter is the season to slow down and refill your true energy. This basin resides within your Kidney’s and in your DNA. When its reserves are low, we become cold, weak, lethargic, dry, and burdened with aches. We may even feel more agitated and fearful during the winter months. 

Winter Self-Care Practice #1: Dry Brush

Dry brushing is an easy, inexpensive way to increase your vitality this winter. I’ve been using this practice for years! Check out the amazing benefits below. 

Benefits of Dry Brushing

Stimulates Your Lymphatic and Circulatory System

The practice of dry brushing is critical for winter vitality because it stimulates our lymph and circulatory systems. Both of these systems move important fluids, chemicals and elements in our body. Because we may move less in the winter and are more prone to illness, it’s important to keep these two systems working efficiently.

The lymph system specifically functions to rid the body of toxins, wastes and other unwanted materials. When this system is overwhelmed, traumatized or unable to function properly, these unwanted substances collect in our lymph nodes causing swelling and pain.

Our lymph nodes cluster around our knees, groin, lower abdomen, surrounding the breasts and pecs around the elbows, under the armpits, and along our neck and jaw line.

To keep it simple, our circulatory system moves our blood, hormones, oxygen and carbon dioxide.

In Chinese Medicine, when our Qi or energy is not moving efficiently there’s often stagnation, which can lead to pain and disease.

Dry brushing gives our Qi, lymphatic and circulatory system an extra boost by encouraging them to move quicker than usual. This is important because it alleviate stagnation or build up.

Warms the body 

Dry brushing also actives your central nervous system. So you’ll feel a great deal of warmth during and after dry brushing. Warmth is movement and movement is health.

This technique is so much more efficient than throwing on piles of clothes! Warm yourself from the inside out with dry brushing!

Exfoliates Dry Skin

The boar bristle texture will loosen dead skin making them easier to slough off. Since the brush is so good at exfoliation, I’d recommend dry brushing right before you hop in the shower. This way your wash cloth will further slough off the dead skin and down the drain they go for an easy clean up! After your shower, make sure you apply an organic lotion all over your body to further rejuvenate and seal in your fresh soft skin.

I like this boar bristle brush and this organic location.

Disclaimer: This information is intended for general reference only. It is not a replacement for professional health advice. The content in this post intentionally does not provide dosage information or possible interactions with prescription drugs or other medications. Please contact a certified health practitioner such as a physician of Oriental Medicine or Herbalist before considering use. To schedule an appointment with Malerie, visit the services page. 

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