I Started Skin Brushing to Stop Sneezing

I Started Skin Brushing to Stop Sneezing. How I figured out an allergy relation with this popular health regimen. — janny: organically.

Seriously.

Dry skin brushing has been around for ages, but it’s gotten wildly popular over the last few years, touting benefits like lymphatic support, exfoliation, increased blood circulation and even cellulite reduction. 

Let’s do a quick overview of these before I get into the link to sneezing and allergies.

  • Lymphatic Support
    • Your Lymphatic System consists of tissues and organs made up primarily of lymphatic vessels and nodes and tonsils, spleen, adenoids and thymus. Part of the responsibilities of the lymphatic system includes collecting toxins and waste from your tissues, then draining into the blood for elimination. It has it’s own system which flows in one direction, upward toward the heart.
    • About 75% of the specialized lymphatic capillaries are located directly under the skin. Brushing helps encourage this flow and drainage to operate properly and in turn can aid in boosting the immune system.
  • Increased Circulation
    • In the same way that brushing helps the lymphatic flow, it also gives your blood circulation a kick and has been said to increase energy by doing so.
  • Exfoliation
    • The average human has about 1.6 trillion skin cells and we lose about 30,000-40,000 of them every day! Our skin is constantly creating new cells, and every 30 days, our entire dermis has been replaced with new skin through this shedding and replacing process. 
    • When you dry brush your skin, the layer of dead skin cells that were going to fall off anyway, are removed, which leaves your skin softer and pores cleaner.
  • Diminish Cellulite
    • The claim here is that when you use a stiff brush, many toxins and fat deposits are broken up which can help make the cellulite disappear. Please understand that this does not make the fat magically disappear!

How to Dry Skin Brush

  • You first need a dry brush with stiff bristles, like this one, which are usually available in most health and beauty stores/departments. These brushes are not meant to be used on your face. Try these face specific brushes to ensure they are gentle enough. 
  • It is recommended that you brush your skin in the shower or tub, so the dead skin can be washed down the drain.
  • You want to start at your feet, and stroke upward, toward the heart, brushing 2-3 times over each area.  Once you get to your chest, stroke downward toward the heart. This follows the same flow as the lymphatic system.

Ashley’s Green Life provides this handy illustration for us directionally challenged:

I Started Skin Brushing to Stop Sneezing. How I figured out an allergy relation with this popular health regimen. — janny: organically.

This takes a minute or two and once you are done, simply continue with your shower routine. Be sure to moisturize!

Why I think Dry Brushing Helped My Sneezing

I grew up with allergies my entire life. I was so allergic to every animal, insect, plant and dust that I wasn’t allowed to help with any chores outside nor many inside, like dusting and vacuuming, since they could trigger not only an allergy episode, but also an asthma attack.

I started getting allergy shots for years, which at this point in my life, I would never recommend. My allergies only got better on their own once I started eating better and removing as many toxic materials from my life as possible.

However, when my husband and I moved into our bedroom, we both started having more allergy attacks; red, itchy eyes and uncontrollable sneezing, most times, early in the morning which would wake us both up and we couldn’t get back to sleep.

I was so sure there was something growing in the room, so we:

  • Had our air tested for mold (there was none)
  • Removed a piece of the wall between the bedroom and shower to look for mold/mildew (there was none)
  • Showered at night so while we slept we wouldn’t marinate in any allergens collected on our bodies during the day (this helps, but is a lot better if you wash your hair every day too! Ain’t nobody got time for that!)
  • Diffused essential oils, including the Young Living “Allergy Bomb” (did NOT work)
  • Bought a bad boy HEPA Air Purifier (this helps, but it wasn’t enough to rid it all)

I’m very big on treating the cause, not the symptoms, so I refused to take any allergy medication. The allergy medication is only suppressing inflammation and irritation and I wanted to find out WHAT was causing it and eliminate it.

Then my husband did some research (I remember this moment – my eyes were so swollen I could hardly open them) and prolifically stated he was sure it was dust/dust mites. He found that the majority of dust mites were living in our sheets and carpet. We changed the sheets and he vacuumed (including the drapes to be safe) and we committed to doing so at least once a week, both of which were happening more like monthly – gross.

We also wash our sheets in hot water and high heat in the dryer to ensure that the dust mites are killed. 

I started wondering why dust mites were more prominent in these places and then I found it. Dust Mites feed on your (and your pets) dead skin cells! You shed skin daily, so if vacuuming isn’t a part of your regular routine, the dust mites feed in your carpet all the livelong day.

Image courtesy of: http://www.valecarpetcleaning.com/carpet-dust-mites/

Image courtesy of: http://www.valecarpetcleaning.com/carpet-dust-mites/

While I had always showered at night, washing alone wasn’t ridding my body of all the excess dead skin cells, but the friction of my body against the sheets was pulling dead skin cells off and basically inviting these dust mites to have a feast!

While the dust mites themselves are ‘harmless’, the problem lies with an allergic reaction to their fecal matter and body parts. The average allergy sufferer is burying their face in a pillow full of these fecal matter and body parts, not knowing there may be a relatively simple solution.

This was the moment I decided to skin brush every day. In addition changing the sheets, washing them in hot water and heated dryer, and running the air purifier, I haven’t had an allergy attack since. And NO allergy medication.  

Not to mention my skin is softer than it's ever been. My lymphatic system and blood circulation are probably rockin out too. ;)

My husband has not taken up the skin brushing, but hopefully he will. Once you start, it becomes a must have part of your daily regimen! Has anyone been dry brushing regularly and seen this benefit or others??

Note: I am also looking into buying allergy encasements for our bed, just to keep the mites out of our mattress and pillows. I’d like them not to make crunchy noises when we roll around either! Any tips are helpful!