As moms, we often put our own health last. There are millions of great ideas out there about what we should be doing to take care of ourselves, but often we are just too busy for us. The truth is, we need to be healthy if we want to be our best for both ourselves and for our families.
The one thing I make time to do every day or two is shower (even though I know it can sometimes be difficult!) If you have difficulty finding time for you, I want to tell you how those few minutes before, during, and after a shower can make a difference in your health! If you can schedule 20-30 minutes to shower at least a couple times a week, you can get on the right track to boost your immune system, relax, and help your body detox!
Here are three things you can do to greatly improve your health during your shower time:
Before your shower:
#1 Dry Brush
Dry Brushing has amazing benefits for your health, and most people say it should be done once or twice daily for best results. First, it stimulates your lymphatic system, which removes toxins from your body and decreases inflammation and disease. Dry brushing regularly also increases your circulation and softens fat deposits, helping your body get rid of metabolic waste and cellulite! It can also relieve muscle tension, and improve digestion and kidney function.
When I first heard about all of these benefits, I started dry brushing twice a day, every morning and evening, for the maximum effect. Maybe you are better at keeping routines than I am, but it only lasted about four days for me. Then life got busy, and I gave up!
A couple months ago, I decided to try again, this time dry brushing each time I took a shower, for about five minutes or so before I got in. I usually shower every other day, and dry brush every time. It has been much easier to keep up this routine (your clothes are already off… so… time saver), and I have seen all of the above benefits, even with only dry brushing 3-5 times per week. I also love how I feel energized right after I dry brush. I highly recommend trying to do this at least each time you shower. If you start out doing it every time you shower, you may be able to work up to every day or even twice a day.
How to dry brush:
- First, get a natural bristle skin brush (not synthetic). A long handled one makes it easy to reach your back. I like this one: Bernard Jensen’s Body Brush Natural Bristle Brush — 1 Brush
- If you want to brush your face as well, you’ll need a softer brush too. You can buy one here: Complexion Brush Soft 1 Brush
- After undressing for your shower, begin at your ankles and make small, soft, circular motions toward your heart. Continue these small circular motions all the way around your ankle and gradually move up your leg. After each “section” (ankle to knee, knee to hip, etc.), take a moment and do some longer strokes all the way from the bottom to top of the section, always toward your heart.
- Repeat this all the way up your rear end, back and torso, avoiding sensitive areas, including genitals and any areas with abrasions or varicose veins.
- Next begin at your wrists, and work up your arms.
- Finally, begin at your neck and work downward toward your shoulders (remember, the strokes are always moving toward your heart).
And that’s it! The brush may feel very rough and scratchy at first, but make sure to use very gentle strokes (no scrubbing)! You should feel warm and invigorated after brushing, and even better after your shower. Your body is now working to get rid of toxins and metabolic waste! Yay! It will also be more comfortable as your skin gets used to the sensation, after a few times of dry brushing.
Now that you’re all brushed and invigorated, here’s what to do during your shower:
#2 Oil Pull
Oil Pulling is another one of those amazingly healthy habits that I’ve had a hard time sticking with consistently. Oil pulling has been said to help with dental health and whitening, infections, headaches, skin conditions, arthritis, asthma, liver problems, and more. I have personally seen improvement in dental health, skin, and even a significant reduction of symptoms during a sinus infection when I began oil pulling!
As a mom, finding the 10-20 minutes recommended to swish coconut oil around in my mouth and not talk to anyone is super difficult! It never fails that someone needs something from me, and I have to spit it all out and start over. Or, even worse, I try to just give a quick answer with the oil still in my mouth, and it dribbles out a little bit. Maybe that’s just me…
Anyway, I recommend doing this in the shower, where you are less likely to be interrupted. And if you are interrupted, and oil dribbles out, no biggie. Haha.
How to oil pull:
- Put 1-2 teaspoons of coconut, sesame, or olive oil in your mouth (I like coconut oil, both for the taste, and antibacterial and antifungal properties).
- Swish it around for 10-20 minutes, making sure to swish under and around your tongue, between your teeth, and all around your mouth. Do not gargle!
- Spit it out in the trash can when you’re done, so you don’t clog your pipes. Do NOT swallow it, since the oil will be full of toxins you are trying to get rid of.
- Brush your teeth shortly after.
- Rinse with water or salt water. Salt water will get rid of the oil and give you a nice, clean feeling.
For more on oil pulling, see: Oil Pulling for Oral Health by Wellness Mama
While you are in the shower, take a few minutes to exfoliate your face, and any rough or acne-prone areas! Exfoliating your skin is a healthy habit that removes dead skin cells, and allows new skin cells to come to the surface. This brings moisture to your skin, keeping your skin healthy and glowing. Exfoliating can also reduce blackheads and, most importantly, help your body eliminate toxins.
You can make your own exfoliating scrub fairly easily, or buy a natural one. There are specific exfoliating scrubs for your face that reduce blackheads. I like this one by Burt’s Bees: Burt’s Bees Peach & Willowbark Deep Pore Scrub – 4 oz
For my arms, legs, neck, and any other rough spots, I make my own sugar/salt scrub or use this when I want to splurge: MUSCLE SOAK by Aromafloria. It smells clean and fresh, it is super natural, and my skin feels great after I use it.
Tip: if you are going to shave while in the shower, exfoliating BEFORE you shave can help remove dead skin cells for a closer shave, and prevent ingrown hairs.
I hope this has helped you get on the path to better health. You now know why and how to dry brush, oil pull, and exfoliate, and help your body fight off disease and detoxify! I’d love to hear your comments below.