Dry Brushing 101: A Guide to Dry Brushing Your Body

Have you heard of dry brushing? I was first introduced through my Ayurveda classes and workshops. In Ayurveda, dry brushing is a way to stimulate the lymphatic system and also to reduce and remove ama from the body. Ama is undigested, toxic, junk. So dry brushing helps to stimulate the skin, exfoliate dead skin cells and get lymph moving around in your body, which in turn helps boost your immune system and detoxification system. This is especially important in the springtime when your body is accumulating mucous and trying to detoxify the general winter sludge. But the best part is that it only takes MINUTES!!!

How to Dry Brush

Let me begin by saying it is extremely simple to dry brush your skin. You first need to get a brush or dry brushing gloves. The brushes have stiff bristles and the gloves are usually made from silk, so it’s really up to you what you want to use. Here are some good options:

First off, you will do this in the morning before you take a shower or put anything on your skin. You will start at your feet, and work your way up each leg, using short strokes around your entire body part before moving upwards. Always brush toward your heart, this helps move things around so that they can be detoxed later (through sweat, urine, or poo). I do my left foot and leg, then go back down to my right foot and leg. When you hit a joint, use a circular motion – like around your knees and elbows.  Then I go to my left hand and arm, then right hand and arm. I then will do my stomach in a upward or circular motion, then as much of my back as I can reach. Last I do my shoulders, collarbone, and chest. Careful with sensitive skin, because the bristles are hard, start gently and work your way up to harder strokes.

I usually dry brush while my shower water is warming up, then I hop in the shower. It is truly a simple add-in to my morning routine.

Dry Brush First, Then Add Oils

You can follow up with abhyanga or self massage in order to help calm your nervous system back down. This is another Ayurvedic practice that shows your body some love. You need to appreciate what you’re working with! Show your body you love it and are grateful it’s gotten you this far!

I have read that in addition, some people add essential oils to their dry brush and apply them topically that way. To add oils to this routine, simply mix oils into a carrier and drip onto the brush or gloves prior to brushing your body off. I prefer to brush, shower, and THEN add body oil to my skin as a moisturizer. My favorite oil recently has been Cel-Lite Magic. This is a massage oil that Young Living makes:

It is a blend of skin conditioning and softening carrier oils, grapefruit (which is linked to blasting fat and cellulite), cedarwood (calming and relaxing), cypress, juniper, and clary (all of which are great for stress relief). I use this oil daily as a “lotion” or body oil.

You could also make your own blend of body oil to use if you prefer. Some great options for supporting your skin health would include: Lavender, Patchouli, Frankincense.  To make body oil, put a 1/2 cup of carrier oil such as sesame seed oil, coconut oil (fractionated coconut oil stays liquid, while regular coconut oil will harden), or castor oil in a pump, bottle, or jar. Add 10-15 drops of essential oils of your choice to mix into the oil. Warm up the oil in warm water in your bathroom sink, or using your hands. This helps spread the oil over your skin and also helps calm down your whole parasympathetic nervous system.

Benefits of Dry Brushing

Dry brushing is awesome for so many reasons – here are just a few of the GREAT benefits:

  1. Exfoliating – By brushing your skin, you can slough off dead skin cells, leaving room for brand new squeaky clean cells to take their place! Who doesn’t want fresh, new, glowing skin!
  2. Reduce cellulite – Stimulating lymph helps move old, toxic fat stores, which in turn may reduce the sight of your cellulite. I don’t know about you, but I’m willing to try anything!
  3. Move that lymph – Get lymph circulating and you help move along toxins back into your bloodstream to leave your body.
  4. Wake you UP!!! – It is an invigorating practice that helps stimulate nerve endings to feel awake!! It really helps get you going in the morning – even before coffee!
  5. Reduce the effects of STRESS on your body – By establishing a good morning routine that includes healthy, stimulating parts such as dry brushing you can reduce stress. By circulating lymph, you may be able to reduce stress. By reducing your toxic load, you will reduce stress. It’s a win-win-win!

When NOT to Dry Brush

If you have extremely sensitive skin or an open wound, I would exercise caution when starting to brush. You can start with simply brushing your bare hands over your body to get your skin used to being “scrubbed” in the morning. This practice is also really good for you to get to know your own body and you can show your skin how much you love it!

Comment below and let me know if you’ve tried dry brushing before! Do you have any other tips you use that I haven’t mentioned?


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25 Citrus Oil Recipes using Lemon, Grapefruit, and Orange Essential Oils

Spring is here!!

Well, I live in Minnesota, so it’s not exactly here yet. But that’s all the more reason to THINK spring!! And what’s more spring-y than citrus smells!!

I’ve compiled a list of 25 AWESOME citrus recipes including recipes for Spring Cleaning, Foods, Skin Care and Diffuser Blends for you to try at home. You’ll need some Essential Oils – lemon, lime, grapefruit, tangerine, bergamot, citrus fresh, and orange. Remember how to grab those oils?? Click here.

Let’s get started, shall we??

Recipes to Clean Your House

Get your house ready for Spring by using some of these DIYs and tricks for keeping a super fresh and clean house!! These recipes not only make your house smell awesome, but you can rest assured that there are no toxic chemicals getting on you or your babies (human or fur babies).

  1. DIY Toilet Bombs
    Because who likes to scrub toilets?? Not this lady!  Plus I HATE chemicals in toilet bowl cleaners. You know the ones you aren’t supposed to get on your skin or eyes? The ones kids shouldn’t ever come into contact with? Get that junk OUT of your house!! Try this toilet bombs today. Or even get some baking soda and Thieves Cleaner for a toilet scrub.
    BONUS RECIPE: Mix together 1/2 cup Sea Salt and 1/2 cup Baking Soda in a jar. Add 20 drops of Grapefruit or Orange Essential Oil. Sprinkle it in your toilet bowl and use the brush to scrub. Follow up with Thieves Cleaner or your favorite Multi-Purpose Cleaner.
  2. Chemical Free Bleach
    This is great for white sinks, tubs, tile, you name it! You still need to be careful with the concoction because it does have quite a bit of hydrogen peroxide in it, but even so – it’s much better than bleach for your skin!
  3. Multi-Purpose Cleaner –
    Add 4 TBSP of Vinegar, 12 drops of Citrus Essential Oil (like Lemon, Grapefruit, or Orange), and 16-20 oz. of water to a spray bottle. Shake and spray!! Easy Peasy.
    BONUS RECIPE 2: Mix together 2 TBSP. Castile Soap OR Sal Suds Liquid Cleaner in a spray bottle with 2 TBSP Vinegar. Add 10 drops Tea Tree Oil and 10 drops of Orange oil.
  4. Citrus Zest Foaming Hand Soap
    Since you will be putting this directly on your skin (or my husband even uses handsoap for his face), make sure to use quality oils – Young Living is the ONLY thing I will use because I trust the company to give me a good quality, non-filler, pure essential oil. They have a Seed to Seal promise they stand by COMPLETELY – to the point where they will take a loss if their product is not perfect. For more info. on that check out www.seedtoseal.com.
  5. Citrus Room Spray –
    Commercially made room sprays contain chemicals and particles you are inhaling into your lungs every time you project that into your room. Also you need to be careful for candles and plug in room fresheners. The toxic load those things contain can be really tough on you over time.
    Here are 2 recipes for an awesome room spray to brighten up your house:

    1. Mix 8 drops of Grapefruit, Lemon, Tangerine, and Orange Essential Oils with 1 TBSP of rubbing alcohol in a glass jar. Fill water to the top and spray away!
    2. Mix 7 drops Bergamot, 5 drops Lemon, and 4 drops Peppermint in a jar with 1 TBSP of rubbing alcohol (or vodka). Fill with water.

Recipes that are good enough to eat!

6. Lemon Glaze –
Great for fruit, muffins, breads, dumplings – you name it!! Mix together 1/3 cup powdered sugar, 1                 TBSP milk or half & half, 1 drop Young Living Lemon Vitality oil.

7. Lemon Pound Cake
I have had this cake before, and let me tell you – it is good! Make it for a party, a shower, or
breakfast if you’re feeling really nice.

8. Citrus Fruit Dip
Great for summer – dip apples, pretzels, strawberries. Delicious!

9. Boost your Water –
Add 2 drops of Lemon, Orange, Tangerine, Citrus Fresh, or Lime to 16 oz. of water.

10. Fruit Salad –
Choose your favorite fruits and mix 2 TBSP. of honey and 4 drops of Young Living Orange Vitality                 oil.

11. Guacamole –
Add 2 drops Young Living Lime Vitality or 2 drops Citrus Fresh Vitality oil to your fresh guac.

Recipes for Beauty and Skin

12. Lip Balm –
Melt 2 TBSP. Beeswax Pellets , 2 TBSP.  Shea Butter , and 2 TBSP. coconut oil together in the
microwave (or in a double boiler – whatever’s easier for you). Add 20-30 drops of Vitality oil from
Young Living. I like Grapefruit or Tangerine the best.

13. Citrus Body Wash –
I like to put mine in a foaming soap pump. I use 1/4 cup Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap (I like the
unscented baby version), 10 drops Vitamin E Oil , 1 tsp. Vegetable Glycerine ,  10 drops
Young Living Orange oil, and 10 drops Grapefruit oil. Sometimes I like Peppermint too. If you add
the Peppermint, avoid getting it in your eyes! That burns.

14. Nail Strengthening Serum –
Mix 10 drops Lemon and 10 drops Lavender oil in a  2 oz Glass Bottles, and top off with  Fractionated Coconut Oil. Put on nails and cuticles to strengthen.

15. Citrus Hand Sanitizer –
Put Aloe Vera Gel  in a squeeze bottle and add 15 drops of Thieves oil and 5 drops of Lemon oil or 10 drops of Tea Tree oil and 5 drops of Lemon oil.

16. Lemon Mint Sugar Scrub –
Mix together 1 cup sugar and 1 cup olive oil in a jar. Add 8 drops Lemon and 8 drops Peppermint oil.

Citrus Diffuser Blends

Like I mentioned above, you need to be careful of what types of things you let into your house to make it smell better. Young Living has great options for room diffusers and I am not kidding when I say they work better that the ones you can purchase online – I know because I have a variety of them. Also, a diffuser comes with your starter kit – so get the kit and get started!!  Kit can be purchased here.

17. Clear The Air – 3 drops Eucalyptus, 3 drops Grapefruit, 2 drops Lemongrass, 2 drops Lavender, 2 drops Lemon, 2 drops Rosemary.

18. Fresh Laundry – 3 drops Purification & 3 drops Lemon

19. Wake Up!! – 2 drops Rosemary, 1 drop Peppermint, 1 drop Lemon

20. Seasonal Support – 2 drops Lemon, 2 drops Lavender, 2 drops Peppermint

21. Fresh Air – 2 drops Tea Tree, 2 drops Lime, 2 drops Lemon

22. Lemon Drop – 3 drops Lemon, 3 drops Citrus Fresh

23. Springtime – 3 drops Jade Lemon, 3 drops Bergamot

24. Summer Breeze – 3 drops Lavender, 3 drops Grapefruit, 3 drops Lemon, 2 drops Spearmint

25. Summer Fun – 3 drops Bergamot, 3 drops OOLA Fun.

Let me know what you try! I want to hear how it goes!!!

5 Steps to Getting A Good Night’s Sleep

Anyone tired out there?

You need sleep. You want sleep. How can you get it?

If you’re anything like me, it’s not only you that’s not sleeping. I mean, I have kids and a snoring husband. At least one of those things wake me up at night if I don’t wake up on my own, so how can you get a good night’s sleep?

I’ve read books and listened to webinars on sleep and its importance. I also know that I’m a 8-9 hour a night sleeper (at least that’s what I need). So here’s what I do to have a good night’s sleep.

Step 1: Quit the Caffeine
Personally, I need to be done with any caffeinated drinks at Noon. If I have any after that – I can count on trouble falling asleep.

Step 2: Eat a lighter dinner
This is a rule from Ayurvedic teachings. When you eat a light dinner and close the kitchen early (it’s 6:00 here) your stomach has time to digest the food and won’t keep you up at night. I only have water or herbal tea after 6:00 if I can help it. Bonus: You just might lose weight when you take out night eating – try it!!!

Step 3: Establish a nightly routine or ritual
Another Ayurvedic lesson – figure out what works for you and use it every day! For me, I like to take a bath with some relaxing Lavender oil followed by self-massage (Abhyanga in Ayurvedic terms) with either Cel-Lite Magic Massage Oil (from Young Living) or good old sweet almond oil – I like Viva Naturals Sweet Almond Oil 16 fl oz, 100% Pure and Hexane Free, Ideal for Skin and Hair with Lavender or Cedarwood in it. Both of those are relaxing and calming. I turn off electronics an hour before bed, take my nightly probiotic, and read a little bit.

Step 4: Keep the room dark and cool
Light from streetlights, cars, or neighbor’s houses can affect your sleep quality. Get room darkening curtains and keep the thermostat between 60-67 degrees.

Step 5: Diffuse or use oils topically
Essential oils have been key in our family’s sleep routines. Tranquil roller goes on my kids’ feet. Lavender on my own. Cedarwood is in the center of my forehead or on my crown and Valor is on my husband’s big toes (for snoring). I keep Peace and Calming II in my bedside drawer in case I wake up at night and can’t get back to sleep. We diffuse Cedarwood and Lavender throughout the night (and turn the diffuser light off!).

What kinds of things do you try at home? I would love to hear about your sleep routines!

As always, if you are interested in getting Young Living oils of your own, click HERE!!