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Fluid Retention?

Fluid retention, also known as edema, occurs when there is an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the body's tissues. There are several possible causes of fluid retention, including:

  1. Excessive sodium intake: Sodium attracts and retains water in the body, increasing the overall fluid volume. When using salt aim for a coloured salt that contains electrolytes to balance fluids.

  2. Hormonal changes: Hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle or pregnancy can cause fluid retention in some individuals. Changes in hormone levels can affect the balance of fluids in the body.

  3. Sedentary lifestyle: Lack of physical activity and prolonged periods of sitting or standing can contribute to fluid retention. Physical movement helps circulate fluids in the body and prevents fluid accumulation in the extremities.

  4. Certain medications: Some medications, such as corticosteroids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and some blood pressure medications, can cause fluid retention as a side effect.

  5. Heart or kidney problems: Conditions like congestive heart failure, kidney disease, or liver disease can impair the body's ability to eliminate excess fluid, leading to fluid retention.

  6. Inflammation and injury: Inflammation caused by conditions such as arthritis or injuries like sprains can cause localized fluid retention in the affected area.

  7. Chronic venous insufficiency: This condition occurs when the veins in the legs are unable to adequately pump blood back to the heart, leading to fluid accumulation in the lower extremities.

  8. Food intolerances: These commonly cause localized swelling and fluid retention, often under the eyes and in the face.

  9. Poor nutrition: Inadequate protein intake can contribute to fluid retention as proteins help regulate fluid balance in the body.

  10. Poor lymphatic drainage. Let's talk more about this below.

Think of the lymphatic system as the garbage disposal system of our body. It’s essential for detoxifying and eliminating excess fluid.

While our circulatory system has its own pump (our heart) to move blood through our bodies, our lymphatic system does not. It primarily relies on skeletal muscles, deep breathing and physical exercise to assist it. Typically, the more active we are physically, the more lymphatic activity will occur; relieving us of fluid retention and feeling puffy!

Dry body brushing is one of the best techniques to support blood cleansing, waste elimination and open up the pores of the skin and stimulate lymphatic drainage. It helps move lymph fluid towards the heart where it re-enters the circulatory system via the venous system.

Dry body brushing has been used traditionally for over 5000 years in Ayurvedic medicine.

The other benefits include:

  • Reduces the appearance of cellulite

  • Supports healthy digestion

  • Stimulates circulation

  • Strengthens the immune system

  • Firms the skin

  • Aids in eliminating dead skin cells

  • Increases cell renewal

Dry skin brushing is best done 1 - 2 x per week for 5 minutes at a time,

How to Dry Body Brush

2 – 5 minutes prior to your shower

  1. Start from your feet and work up your body. Brush underneath and on top of your feet.

  2. Brush up each leg from ankle to hip

  3. Brush upward over the buttocks and up the back

  4. Brush the abdomen in a clock-wise direction

  5. Brush palms, tops of hands

  6. Brush up each arm, wrist to shoulder (including armpits), and shoulder towards heart

  7. Gently finish by gently brushing your neck and jawline (you can very gently dry brush your face)

  8. Take a nice warm shower to wash off dead skin cells. Essential oils on the floor of the shower are a nice way to incorporate aromatherapy here too!

  9. End the warm shower with a cold rinse to provide the skin with further circulatory benefits

  10. Drink plenty of fluids and tell your body you love her!

Additional Tid-Bits

  • You will need a good quality, natural bristle, dry skin brush which has an appropriate firmness for your skin sensitivity.

  • Use long light brisk movements – do not “scrub” the skin or use circular motions. Always brush towards the heart. Of course, use shorter movements for shorter areas or around joints.

  • Pay particular attention to cellulite-prone areas such as the thighs (again, be gentle, over-brushing will cause redness and irritation to the skin).

  • Wash your brush once every 2-4 weeks with a natural soap shampoo and hang to dry.

More Natural Ways To Reduce Fluid Retention

  • Aim to have clear or light-coloured pee! Ideally, drink about 2 litres per day and reduce your intake of table salt and diuretic drinks such as alcohol, black tea, and coffee. It may seem counterintuitive, but staying hydrated can actually help reduce fluid retention. When your body senses that it's getting enough water, it's less likely to hold onto excess fluids.

  • Add a pinch of Himalayan or Celtic sea salt to your water bottle if you tend to sweat or drink large amounts of water. The salt provides the body with essential minerals to maintain homeostasis and counters the negative effects of sodium. While it is essential for us to stay hydrated, it is equally important to have a good balance of water and minerals.

  • Regular exercise and stretching. This is one of the best ways to improve lymphatic flow and the transportation of fluids, fat, waste products and other unwanted materials.

  • Avoid standing or sitting for a prolonged time and take frequent breaks from work to move your body regularly throughout the day. Get your NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) up. In other words, aim for 10,000 steps day, or at least 3,000 more than you do now.

  • Try Dandelion leaf or celery seed tea. They're two natural diuretics that help improve kidney filtration and function.

  • Consume one freshly pressed green veggie juice daily to reduce free radicals and support liver detoxification and kidney filtration. Make sure it contains celery and parsley!

  • Elevate your legs. If you spend a lot of time sitting or standing, try elevating your legs up the wall at the end of your day. Pop a cushion under your bum and stay there for a few minutes. This can help reduce swelling and promote better fluid circulation.

If you need more support with treating the underlying cause of your fluid retention, connect via a free 10 minute call in the Kiyah online Clinic.


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