The Lymphatic System | How to keep your inner flow healthy

lymphatic-systemWhat is your lymphatic system? It’s the fluid or drainage system just below your skin that naturally removes toxins from your body. There are also many dense area’s of lymph around your digestive area. Each evening when you go to sleep, your lymphatic system gets to work removing harmful agents you’ve absorbed from your environment, many we don’t even know about. Internal toxins can also be created from medications, our lifestyle, and our emotions.

From Natural Choice Network: A toxin is defined as any substance that causes harmful effects to our body. Normally, the immune system, liver and kidneys work together to remove toxins at the same rate as they are encountered. When toxin levels are in excess of our body’s capacity to remove them, they build up and are stored until they are removed. We can have toxins stored in our bodies for years without experiencing any negative symptoms, but once the burden of toxins becomes too high, we start to feel ill.

Your lymphatic system regulates your fluids and keeps you healthy, along with your immune system. But what happens when your lymphatic system becomes sluggish and overburdened from toxicity? Your entire immune system becomes overwhelmed!

Any number of maladies may set in, but a few to consider are:

  • edema
  • acne
  • strong body odor
  • Eczema
  • poor fat digestion
  • swelling of the extremities (hands, feet, ankles)
  • a feeling of overwhelm, fatigue or sluggishness

That’s a shopping list of possibilities that can be avoided or mended!

So what would cause a sluggish drainage system? To name a few – dehydration, stress, removal of lymph nodes, chemotherapy, a sedentary lifestyle, shallow breathing, repressed emotions, misdiagnosed food intolerances, chronic infections, and long term use of Tylenol reducing the function of your liver.

Now what?

Here are 6 Easy Ways to Get Your Drainage System Operating at Peak Performance:

  1. Deep Breathing – helps to oxygenate the body, as well as alkalize it. Exercise and deep breathing pushes the lymphatic system into overdrive blowing out acidity while deeply cleansing the lungs of any stagnant air. Try 7 Rounds of 7. Breath in slowly to the count of 7, hold for the count of 7, breath out slowly to the count of 7. Work up to doing this exercise 7 times.
  2. Dry Skin Brushing – your skin is your largest organ, so it makes sense that we would want it to be operating at peak efficiency. Dry skin brushing stimulates the skin to produce the oil it needs to stay healthy and young looking. It encourages cell renewal by exfoliation, detoxing and increasing circulation, helping you absorb nutrients. Dry skin brushing stimulates the nervous and digestive systems, and improves immunity by moving cellular waste through your system, releasing them via the lymphatic system, and out of your body! Video here.
  3. Hydration – super important! Among other important factors, water helps to move toxins out of the system.
    • Drink 6-8 cups of water each day. A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces. For example, if you weighed 150 pounds, the formula would look like this: 150 ÷ 2 = 75. So, you would need 75 ounces of water per day.
  4. Movement – find an expression of exercise that suits you perfectly. I like to say ‘Keep it Simple!’. Maybe a few yoga stretches in the morning (balance and flexibility), jumping on a rebounder (mini trampoline) for 10 minutes, take a walk in nature, dance to your favorite music in the comfort of your home, even gardening counts! Think Spring!  Consistency is super important. Add some form of routine movement daily, as though your life depended on it. Because it does!
  5. Lymph Massage – this is a very light touch massage done by a licensed Lymph Massage practitioner. Cha Roberts in Ithaca is amazing! Cha also practices colon hydro-therapy, another excellent course of direction for detoxification.
  6. Drink a tea made of herbs specifically for lymph drainage – purchase one already designed for this, or make your own from some well known herbs that promote lymph drainage, such as calendula, cleavers, echinacea, astragalus, dandelion root, goldenseal, and many others. In Ithaca? Purchase your pre-mixed herbal teas at Bramble.

Fun fact: Pigs lack a proper lymphatic system to remove unwanted toxins from their body. This is one of the reasons why eating pork is not in your best interest, health-wise.

Springtime!I hope you found this article helpful.

Happy Spring!

Coach Deb Allison