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  • Kim Wilson-Lawson

Brushing Away Stress

The challenges of caregiving come with a long list of things to do and what not to do. We will concentrate over the next few months on some of the “Do’s” that we should practice as a caregiver. After all you deserve it! Once you have tended to the needs of those who are depending on you for care, which could include bathing, shopping, paying bills, assisting with eating, doctor’s appointments and the list continues to rollout in your mind as you are reading this article. Then there is you exhausted and feeling overwhelmed.


Alzheimer’s Risk For African Americans

Statistically African American are at a greater risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease due to vascular diseases such as diabetes and hypertension According to the National Alzheimer’s Association.


Here at the African American Alzheimer’s and Wellness Association we look at simple inexpensive ways to reduce the stress that caregiver’s experience. And today we will talk about the technique of “Dry Brushing”. Yes, you read it right. Dry brushing is a very ancient technique for reducing stress. When properly done, drying brushing stimulates circulation and helps massage the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a wonderful network that when active and working helps to build your immune system.


Dry Brushing Is Easy

Dry brushing the skin is an easy process with proven health, stress reducing and skin benefits. Dry brushing is also economically friendly. On average, quality natural brushes fall between $10 and $25. Make sure that it is natural bristles. Once you have decided on your brush it is time to start.



Best practice is to brush before showering or bathing at least 3 times per week. It can be done afterwards however most beneficial before. As a caregiver, this can be completed in the morning to get an invigorating start for the day, or it can be enjoyed at night to aid in a restful sleep. Always remember not to brush on skin irritations or rashes.


Laying down can work well, while others find it best to stand and begin brushing from the feet up to the leg, including behind the knee. This is an area that is very much connected to the lymphatic system and needs your attention. Continue to move to the thigh area and the tummy and upward toward the heart. Not forgetting to brush the hands and arms all toward the heart. You will begin to feel relaxed, and your body will thank you for this wonderful moment to exhale! Some find this opportunity for self-care completed in a dark room with soft music playing for added relaxation.


It usually takes about 10 minutes. However, you can condense your sessions to 7 minutes, if time is limited. There are many videos on Youtube to explore. Each one can be slightly different in methodology. The more you treat yourself to this extremely rewarding self-care the better your circulation and the less stressed you will be.


Questions?

Please feel free to contact us with any questions at 800-489-6040 or contact@africanamericanalz.org

About the Author:

Kim Wilson-Lawson is a Certified Dementia Care Specialist and Adult Mental Health First Aid counselor. She specializes in supporting caregivers through guided problem solving and innovation in support for caregivers. She has a special emphasis on health and wellness and natural ways to de-stress. Kim is the CEO of the African American Alzheimer’s and Wellness Association located in Columbus, Ohio. Kim has a strong passion for helping those who feel helpless and has been successful at assisting people to see the brighter side of life. She connects to caregivers monthly by offering “Caregiver Connect Calls” which assists caregivers nationwide with the challenges of caregiving. Visit www.africanamericanalz.org for further details.







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