If you follow my blog, or are on my mailing list, you know that skin health very much depends on the state of the Lymphatic System and the Nervous System. I am often asked, “What’s the best way to balance the nervous system and stimulate the lymphatic system for improved skin health?”
My answer is Breathwork.
Breathwork was a really vital part of my own healing journey. I reached a point where I had tried everything to heal my skin and my body:
- My diet was on point.
- I was exercising.
- I was sleeping well.
- I was using a minimalist skin care routine and massaging my face regularly.
But the breakouts kept coming and the rest of the symptoms I was experiencing in my body persisted.
It wasn’t until I started learning about the nervous system and was introduced to breathwork, that I realized that my imbalanced nervous system was preventing my skin and body from healing, no matter how perfect everything else in my healing journey seemed.
Breathwork and working to heal my nervous system, in combination with everything I was already doing right, is what ultimately helped heal my body.
After seeing how much of a difference this healing modality made for me, I knew I had to begin sharing this technique with my clients so that they could all have the same experience. Learning to breathe intentionally can really help balance the nervous system, and stimulate the lymphatic system to really improve the overall health of the skin, and body. In order to share this technique as successfully as possible, I got my certification as a breathwork coach.
What is Breathwork?
Breathwork is the practice of conscious and intentional breathing exercises, which can improve mental, physical and spiritual well-being.
There are many different forms and types of breathwork, from simple and short daily practices that balance the nervous system to more extreme techniques like Holotropic breathing that involve hyperventilation to alter states of consciousness.
At R Devine Organic Skin Care, I focus on effective breathwork meditations, and also provide clients with daily practices in my 6 Week, Self-Paced Learn to Breathe Online Course that balance the nervous system and stimulate the lymphatic system, the two most important systems where focus is needed for skin healing. The focus of my breathwork sessions is to override the nervous system and ignite inner self-healing physically, mentally and spiritually.
By learning to breathe intentionally, we can:
- override/control the nervous system
- move the body into a state of heal and regenerate
- fall asleep faster at night
- improve sleep quality
- strengthen the digestive system
- boost energy levels during the day
- relax the body and mind
- ease feelings of stress and anxiety
So, How Does Breathwork Help the Nervous System and Lymphatic System for Improved Skin Health?
The Nervous System
How we breathe is directly connected to our nervous system. It is our nervous system that holds the key to the body’s incredible potential to heal itself. It controls and coordinates all of the organs and structures of the human body. By becoming consciously aware of our breath, we are able to awaken something powerful within ourselves. Every time I see any form of skin condition, whether it be congestion, breakouts, eczema, we know the nervous system needs attention.
The Lymphatic System
Our lymphatic system is the drainage system of the body, and an important part of our immune system. It is in this system where white blood cells are manufactured and bacteria is picked up and taken care of by the body. Unlike our circulatory system, the lymphatic system has no pump. It needs to be stimulated. There are only two ways to stimulate the lymphatic system – movement and diaphragmatic breathing. When our lymphatic system is healthy and flowing, we maintain health much more effectively. However, when our lymphatic system becomes stagnant, disease and illness are more likely to occur.
Learning to Breathe Intentionally
The majority of the population does not breathe properly. Most people breathe short, shallow breaths into their chest. By breathing like this, we keep the body in fight or flight mode, even when we don’t feel physically or mentally stressed.
Fight or flight happens when the sympathetic nervous system is activated. This typically occurs during times of stress or survival mode. The problem with this is that the body actually breaks down when we live in this state too often or for too long. When our sympathetic nervous system is activated:
- collagen and elastin break down and cannot work efficiently
- heart beat and blood pressure increase
- digestion and digestive enzyme production drastically slow down
- lack of ability to absorb sufficient nutrients
- liver health and enzyme production decrease
- the lymphatic system becomes compromised
- adrenaline, cortisol and blood pressure rise
- poor sleeping habits or insomnia
- inflammation increases
- immune system is suppressed
Reading through this list, I’m sure you can begin to understand why skin conditions occur during times of stress, and why it’s hard to heal the body when our sympathetic nervous system is overactive. The body literally breaks down, digestion and immunity weaken, and inflammation increases.
I am often surprised by the number of clients who don’t even notice that their body is living in fight or flight mode. They think they feel calm, but yet when we focus on their breath and the way they are breathing, their body tells us otherwise.
In order to promote optimal health and healing within the body, it is absolutely vital that we bring balance to the nervous system and this is where breath work comes in as a really simple and effective tool. With breathwork, we can override the nervous system and push it from the sympathetic system into the parasympathetic system, also known as the “rest and digest” or “heal and regenerate” state.
When you activate the parasympathetic nervous system:
- collagen and elastin production are stimulated and are able to work optimally
- tissue and cells regenerate
- salivary glands and digestive fluids are released
- liver health dramatically improves
- restful sleep occurs, enabling tissues to repair and rebuild
- adrenaline, cortisol and blood pressure all drop to healthy levels
- the body begins to heal and age gracefully
- immune system is uploaded and white blood cells move nicely
You can achieve all of this by learning to breathe intentionally. If you’ve been struggling with your skin, want to heal your body, or improve your mental health, I highly recommend my Learn to Breath Online Course or any of my Digital Breathwork Sessions. The Learn to Breathe course teaches you the physiology behind the breath, so you can learn to breathe properly, effective and intentionally each and every day. My digital breathwork sessions are more like meditation sessions, running approximately an hour long, and focus on specific goals, such as deep relaxation, releasing stagnant energy and igniting self love.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me anytime. I’m always happy to help in anyway that I can.