10 ways to help keep a clear lymphatic system
Lately I have had many of our clients asking for ways to help keep their system clear on their own between their Lymphatic Decongestion sessions so I have put together this list of self care tips to help enhance the effects of your session.
First of all lets recap on the signs of a congested lymphatic system. Our Lymphatic Systems are responsible for removing the cellular waste in our bodies. Everything from mutated cells to viruses and bacteria are cleared by the lymph system. When lymph becomes sluggish and congestion, our bodies have a hard time keeping up with all of the waste, environmental toxins, viruses etc that we come in contact with and we cannot have optimal health. When lymph is sluggish your entire body is effected, signs include:
Itchy and dry skin
Breast swelling with each cycle
Holding on to water
Stubborn weight gain
Chronic sinusitis, sore throats, colds, or ear issues
Chronic sinus congestion
Cold hands and feet
If you feel that any of these signs relate to you, I do suggest using the techniques below to detox your lymphatic system and if possible schedule a Lymphatic Decongestion Session to speed up your detoxification process.
Lymph is about 95% water, making water essential for its health. Stay hydrated by drinking half your weight in ounces of water a day. Without adequate water, lymphatic fluid cannot flow properly. And one of the most common causes of lymph congestion is dehydration. Only water, can adequately rehydrate the body, but if you want to expedite the process, add lemon to your water. Lemon is an alkaline fruit that helps to mineralize the body and lymph. Try sipping on warm lemon water throughout the day, use a straw to protect your teeth’s enamel from the lemon.
I start my day with a quick dry brushing session to wake up my lymphatic system. Dry brushing is a technique commonly utilized in Ayurveda for assisting in lymphatic flow and boosting circulation. Take a dry natural course bristled brush and brush the skin towards the heart. This stimulates the sweat glands, opens pores, and gets rid of dead skin cells while encouraging the movement of lymph and blood in underlying organs and tissues of the body, which helps clear built-up toxins. As a result, it can be beneficial in improving skin conditions and reducing cellulite. I also feel like it helps me wake up and get going in the morning!
Tight-fitting clothing impede the natural flow of lymph. Because your lymphatic system is quite close to the surface of the skin, when you wear tight clothes it creates congestion and sluggish lymph flow. Similar to tight-fitting clothes, underwire bras can congest normal lymphatic flow. One of the largest clusters of lymph nodes is located in the armpit and upper chest area, and those nodes act as a source of drainage for the breast, arm, and upper chest. If a bra is too tight, or if the underwire is too restrictive (for most of us this is the case), the lymph is constricted, preventing normal drainage. Some researchers believe that over a period of time this can cause long-term impairment of the lymphatic function, and may contribute to an array of conditions including fibrocystic breast tissue, swollen lymph nodes and even breast cancer.
Yoga is not only amazing for opening up the chest, stretching sore muscles and relieving stress, it also works in multiple ways to increase the flow of the lymph. Inversions such as handstands, headstands and shoulder stands, and even placing the legs up the wall, reverse the effect of gravity. Much like the inversion table, this helps to drain the lymph towards the heart, escalating the rate in which it’s cleaned and filtered. Twists are also a great way to stimulate lymphatic flow, through the practice of twisting the abdomen, the organs and muscles are squeezed forcing the lymph out of the tissues. The natural dynamic flow through the yoga poses also cause the muscles in the body to contract and relax, which is the primary way lymph moves through the body.
CLEAN UP YOUR DIET
Opt for an organic, anti-inflammatory diet filled with green leafy vegetables, cruciferous veggies, fruits, omega-3 fatty acids, and herbs and spices like ginger, turmeric, and garlic. Eating raw fruits and veggies offer high levels of naturally occurring enzymes that break down toxic buildups and promote the clearance of harmful substances in the body. They also provide vitamins and minerals and boost the water levels in the body. Avoid processed foods and additives, chemicals, and artificial ingredients.
Enzymes are produced by the body to break down food substances and to expedite countless metabolic processes. They are also utilized by the body to clear toxic-waste buildup in the lymph and blood, making their supplementation a key way to improve lymphatic health. In addition to the enzymes found in raw fruits and veggies, using proteolytic enzyme supplements between meals can help to “digest” or breakdown organic debris in the circulatory and lymph systems, increasing lymphatic flow. Enzymes also help to ease the burden of allergy-like compounds, allowing the immune fractions traveling in the lymph system for other work.
There are herbs have which are proven to be effective in improving lymphatic health. by increasing lymphatic flow and drainage or expediting the clearance of toxic substances. Red Clover is a popular herb for the lymph, increasing flow, which helps to detoxify the body and reduce inflammation. Cleavers, also known as Clivers or Goosegrass has been used for centuries and considered one of the best tonics to stimulate and help drain the lymphatic system. Manjistha is an herb used in Ayurvedic medicine that is primarily utilized for its ability to decongest lymph. It does this by detoxifying the tissue and supporting lymph flow. In traditional Chinese medicine, Bupleurum and Rehmannia are herbal tonics known to treat lymphatic conditions, maintaining the cleanliness of the lymphatic system and naturally removing toxins from deep within the body.
An inversion table is a padded table that allows one to invert upside down while strapped in by the feet. This decompresses the joints of the body and stimulates the lymphatic and circulatory system bringing blood and oxygen to the tissues and clears the muscles of toxic build-up. By inverting, gravity works with the body encouraging the movement of the lymph. It can also improve spinal health by rehydrating the discs, reducing pressure on the nerves and relaxing tense muscles.
Rebounding is and easy (and fun!) way of moving stagnant lymph. It is the practice of jumping on a trampoline for ten to thirty minutes. This encourages the flow the lymph while stimulating the circulation of blood throughout the body. Numerous studies have proven its efficacy, and have even shown it to improve muscle tone.
DETOX YOUR ENVIRONMENT
it is important to reduce your exposure to chemicals in food, air, personal care products, and water while increasing your intake of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients to prevent damage. Your lymphatic system must deal with the body's "waste products" that are produced internally as well as toxins that are introduced from the external environment. Systemic inflammation creates congestion and swelling in the tissues, which impairs lymphatic flow. Oxidative stress damages the lymph vessels and breaks down their ability to effectively transport lymph fluid and wastes. Ways to do this include,
Using an aluminum free deodorant
Opting for more natural hair and skin care products
Using natural makeup (I love Jane Iredale’s make up, and no I am not paid to promote it)
Using natural cleaners in your home (or making your own!)
Using an air purifier for your home
Using essential oils instead of perfumes/cologne
Diffusing essential oils instead of candles/wax melts
Investing in a good water purifier
Buying produce from local sustainable farms
and so much more!
As always check with your healthcare provider before starting any herbal supplements as they can interfere with some medications and conditions.