The Lymphatic System consists of a network of vessels, nodes, lymph fluid and organs that helps control fluid balance, rid our bodies of wastes, filter toxins, as well as transport and absorb fats and fat-soluble vitamins. Your lymphatic system is a vital part of your immune system. It produces and distributes critical disease-fighting cells called lymphocytes and macrophages. If your lymphatic circulation slows or stagnates, toxins begin to accumulate and immune cells cannot travel efficiently to the areas of the body where they are needed, weakening the body’s ability to fight infection, inflammation and disease. The lymphatic system isn’t lucky enough to have a powerful organ like the heart to keep fluid flowing. It must rely on our muscle movements as its pump. The Lymphatic system is also unique in that lymph fluid flows in only 1 direction – towards the heart.
By supporting your lymphatic system, you boost your immune system, remove toxins, transport vital nutrients and help maintain a healthy body. Here are 10 ways to improve your Lymphatic Health!
Exercise may possibly be one of the simplest and most effective ways for you to promote lymphatic health. Exercising increases the oxygen supply to tissues and cells and stimulates blood and lymph circulation. When the body does not regularly move, it can cause weight gain, digestive issues and impede immune functions. Swimming, dancing, stretching and climbing stairs are among a few of the many exercises that will stimulate lymph flow. Practicing Yoga is another great exercise. Yoga poses are designed to improve flexibility, build muscle strength, boost energy and vitality, and enhance lung function through deep breathing. Deep breathing enhances the depth of the stretch, relaxes the body, calms the mind and stimulates lymph flow. You can also incorporate yoga poses that stretch the hips and target the groin area which contains a major concentration of lymph nodes. Walking is an accessible exercise that nearly everyone can fit into their day. If you don’t have the opportunity to walk around outside, take occasional breaks to simply walk in place. Just get moving and perspire! Perspiration is one of the ways our body eliminates toxins.
Lymphatic Drainage Massage
Getting regular massages is crucial, especially to those who are unable to exercise. Lymphatic Drainage Massage is a special type of massage that incorporates a light, rhythmic stroke to encourage the natural flow and drainage of lymph throughout the body. Applying LymphoCare® during a massage provides the added benefit of a select blend of nutrient-rich oils and anti-inflammatory botanicals to nourish tissues and relieve swelling. It supports the body’s ability to detoxify and cleanse. Remember to massage towards the heart!
Eat healthfully by incorporating raw foods like fruits and vegetables. They offer high levels of antioxidants and naturally occurring enzymes that protect and nourish the cells of the body, adding powerful support to the immune and lymphatic systems. Raw foods are primarily alkaline, which helps neutralize harmful pathogens, lessening the burden on the lymphatic system.
The lymphatic system is mainly composed of water and must be hydrated to function at its highest level. Drinking purified or spring water or water with antioxidant extracts such as lemon water is an excellent detoxification strategy to flush toxins from the body. Sipping warm water every morning with a squeeze of fresh lemon can help to alkalize the body and stimulate the lymphatic system, relieving congestion, bloating, tiredness, stiffness and even skin break-outs.
With some simple and gentle movements, this “lymph cleansing” breathing exercise helps to energize the body, improve posture and stimulate circulation. Cayce advises;
“Mornings upon arising take for 2 minutes to exercise in this manner – where the body, standing with the feet flat on the floor, gently rises to the toes at the same time bringing the arms high above the head. Then bring these as far back as possible or practical, swinging both arms back. Then gradually bring them towards the front, then let down. Breathe IN as the body rises and OUT as the body brings the hands to the front, slowly. Do this three or four times each morning…”
Enzymes are utilized by the body to clear toxic-waste buildup in the lymph and blood, making their supplementation a key way to improve lymphatic health. If the enzymes in the body are insufficient, the nutrients from food may pass through the digestive system without being fully digested. Super Enzymes are a comprehensive blend of enzymes that break down fats, proteins and carbs to support healthy digestive functions.
Herbs are a great resource for aiding the body to cleanse and detoxify. Many herbs have been researched for their ability to improve lymphatic flow and drainage and to enhance liver functions. Ojibwa Tea is a blend of herbs historically used to boost the body’s ability to meet serious immune challenges. Milk Thistle has strong antioxidant properties that protect the liver, gallbladder and kidneys. It supports the body’s natural detoxification pathways to optimize health. Goldenseal has been traditionally administered to reduce inflammation and boost the body’s immune response.
Dry Skin Brushing
Dry brushing involves using a natural bristle, moderately stiff brush with a long handle to reach all areas of the body. Gently brush over the skin towards the heart. This technique boosts lymph flow by stimulating circulation, clearing clogged pores, reducing muscle tension and exfoliating dead skin cells.
Actively Reduce Stress
Chronic stress has negative effects on all of the body systems, including the Lymphatic system. Try meditating, listening to relaxing music, reading an inspirational book, enrolling in an art class, enjoying a massage or walking in the fresh air. Cayce advises: “budget the time so that there may be a regular period for sustaining the physical being and also for sustaining the mental and spiritual being.” Unplug and unwind at the end of a long day, your lymph nodes will thank you.
Avoid Tight Fitting Garments
Lymph nodes are highly concentrated around the chest region to drain fluid from breasts, arms, and the chest. So avoid underwire bras to prevent any unnecessary restriction on lymphatic vessels. If a bra is too tight, or if the underwire is too restrictive, the lymph is constricted, preventing normal drainage and may cause impairment of lymph flow.
Empower your body, mind and spirit!