The lymphatic system may be one of the most important bodily systems, despite the fact that it rarely gets discussed. The spotlight typically shines on developing immune strength or improving digestive health, but the body can only do these things if the lymphatic system is functioning properly. Establishing healthy lymphatic flow is one of the best ways to ward off illness and disease.
What Is The Lymphatic System?
Even though you may not feel it, the lymphatic system is always there, working to dispose of toxins and waste. The circulatory system delivers nutrients to the organs and tissues in the body, and the lymphatic system is like the body’s highway for drainage, ultimately playing a large role in natural detoxification. The lymphatic system also has a hand in developing new T cells, which help protect the body from illness and disease. And the lymph nodes and lymphatic tissues throughout the body work to initiate immune responses to foreign invaders, antigens, and bacteria.
How Does The Lymphatic System Get Clogged?
If the lymphatic system didn’t get clogged, we wouldn’t need to write this article. The lymphatic system does not have a pump, unlike your blood, meaning that it relies on the contraction and relaxation of joints and muscles to maintain flow. This means that you are the pump, and being inactive or sedentary means your pump is weak and lymphatic fluid isn’t draining properly. The last thing you want is for your lymphatic system to become stagnant, because that means it is constantly working to dispose of toxins. The longer it takes to eliminate toxins, the greater risk you have of developing:
- Chronic pain
- Fatty deposits
- Ear infections
- Bronchitis, pneumonia, or tonsillitis
- Chronic sinusitis
Now you can see why lymphatic health matters! There’s no need to run and hide because there are easy ways to get your lymphatic system moving again. See below.
Since you are the pump that keeps your lymphatic system going, it relies on you to keep it moving. Sedentary people often feel fatigued, achy, stiff, or worn out, but regular movement can get your lymphatic fluid moving. Whether it is walking for 30 minutes per day, jumping rope, swimming, rebounding, or interval workouts, exercise is the best way to improve circulation, increase lymphatic drainage, and get your heart pumping.
Establishing a clean, healthy eating plan will help you focus on nutrient dense foods that are free of chemicals, antibiotics, and additives, all of which can inhibit proper flow. When you control your external factors, e.g. diet or stress, you can decrease stress in the body. Treat your body right with cruciferous vegetables, leafy greens, berries, omega-3 rich foods, raw nuts and seeds, healthy fats, and beneficial herbs like ginger, turmeric, garlic, and cumin. All of those foods help improve lymphatic flow.
Who doesn’t love a good massage? Next time you book a massage appointment, try to request a lymphatic massage that specifically targets lymphatic flow. The massage therapist will apply pressure and rhythmic movements in specific areas that stimulate the drainage of fluid and waste. Studies have shown that lymphatic massages can push up to 78% of stagnant lymph back into circulation.
Use Essential Oils:
Essential oils have been known to encourage lymphatic drainage, especially when you massage them around the inner and outer thighs, armpits, knees, and abdomen. Do not apply essential oils directly on the skin; rather, mix them with carrier oils like coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, or jojoba oil. Massage in a circular, clockwise motion to move stagnant lymph nodes. The best oils to use include lemon essential oil, oregano essential oil, rosemary essential oil, helichrysum essential oil, or lemongrass essential oil.
Dry brushing benefits both the circulatory and lymphatic systems. It is a practice that is very easy to do, so long as you have a brush with stiff bristles. Always brush towards your chest, starting from your hands and ankles. Be sure not to dry brush too hard, especially if you have sensitive skin. The reason you brush toward your chest is because that is where the lymphatic system drains. Click here for a more in depth article about dry brushing.