As a lot of us already know, the lymphatic system is a very important part of our body, so much so that it’s commonly referred to as “our second circulatory system.” The lymphatic system acts as a sort of bath for our cells, cleaning them and carrying the “cellular sewage” away from the tissues and into the blood, where it’s then delivered to either the liver or the kidneys for detoxification.
(“Cellular sewage” is made up of byproducts from bodily processes, over-the-counter and prescription drugs, illicit drugs, cigarette toxins, airborne pollutants, food additives, pesticides, and other toxins.)
When your lymphatic system gets sluggish, you feel sluggish, and that’s no good! There are countless benefits of getting your lymphatic system moving more efficiently: increased energy, less pain, and improved detoxification, to name a few. For us lymphies, a healthy lymphatic system is incredibly important, so today’s post is from an article listing ways to get your lymphatic system in a much better place. Try these tips and let me know in the comments if you notice any difference in the way your body feels!
The following is an excerpt from the article “11 Ways to Boost your Lymphatic System for Great Health” by Michelle Schoffro Cook, as posted on Care2.com.
1. Breathe deeply. Our bodies have three times more lymph fluid than blood, yet no organ to pump it. Your lymph system relies on the pumping action of deep breathing to help it transport toxins into the blood before they are detoxified by your liver. So breathe in that sweet smell of healing oxygen. Breathe out toxins.
2. Get moving. Exercise also ensures the lymph system flows properly. The best kind is rebounding on a mini trampoline, which can dramatically improve lymph flow, but stretching and aerobic exercise also work well.
3. Drink plenty of water. Without adequate water, lymph fluid cannot flow properly. To help ensure the water is readily absorbed by your cells, I frequently add some fresh lemon juice or oxygen or pH drops.
4. Forget the soda, trash the neon-colored sports drinks, and drop the fruit “juices” that are more sugar than fruit. These sugar-, color- and preservative-laden beverages add to the already overburdened workload your lymph system must handle.
5. Eat more raw fruit on an empty stomach. The enzymes and acids in fruit are powerful lymph cleansers. Eat them on an empty stomach for best digestion and maximum lymph-cleansing benefits. Most fruits are digested within 30 minutes or so and quickly help you feel better.
6. Eat plenty of green vegetables to get adequate chlorophyll to help purify your blood and lymph.
7. Eat raw, unsalted nuts and seeds to power up your lymph with adequate fatty acids. Choose from walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, macadamias, Brazil nuts, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.
8. Add a few lymph-boosting herbal teas to your day, such as astragalus, echinacea, goldenseal, pokeroot or wild indigo root tea. Consult an herbalist or natural medicine specialist before combining two or more herbs or if you’re taking any medications or suffer from any serious health conditions. Avoid using herbs while pregnant or lactating and avoid long-term use of any herb without first consulting a qualified professional.
9. Dry skin brush before showering. Use a natural bristle brush. Brush your dry skin in circular motions upward from the feet to the torso and from the fingers to the chest. You want to work in the same direction as your lymph flows—toward the heart.
10. Alternate hot and cold showers for several minutes. The heat dilates the blood vessels and the cold causes them to contract. Avoid this type of therapy if you have a heart or blood pressure condition or if you are pregnant.
11. Get a gentle massage. Studies show that a gentle massage can push up to 78 percent of stagnant lymph back into circulation. Massage frees trapped toxins. You can also try a lymph drainage massage. It is a special form of massage that specifically targets lymph flow in the body. Whatever type of massage you choose, make sure it is gentle. Too much pressure may feel good on the muscles, but it doesn’t have the same lymph-stimulating effects.