Protect Your Lymphatics: It’s Your Highway to Health
The lymphatics are closely related to the cardiovascular system and are sometimes referred to as the body’s secondary circulatory system. Its major function is that of a defense mechanism – playing a key role in our body’s immunity. The lymphatic system includes the lymph vessels (four times more than blood vessels), lymph nodes, tonsils, spleen and thymus gland. Lymph is the colorless fluid containing white blood cells that bathe tissues and drain cellular waste.
The lymphatic system is responsible for:
§ Distributing fluid and nutrients through the body
§ Assisting drainage from excess fluids and protein left behind by capillary circulation – preventing tissues from swelling
§ Removing toxins
Substances resulting from cellular metabolism are extruded from the cell into lymph fluid for removal. The blood also dumps toxic waste from the intestinal tract into the lymphatic system via the liver. When lymphatics become overworked and congested, its filtering and neutralizing functions dramatically decrease – resulting in toxic build-up, an increased risk of inflammation, and reduced immune responses.
Furthermore, when toxins are produced within the body faster than its ability to process and release them, the body suspends those toxins in fat and interstitial spaces in an attempt to protect the organs. This toxic buildup results in soft and connective tissue inflammation and excessive buildup of lymph fluid – contributing to disorders like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and a multitude ofimmune system disorders.
Unlike the blood system that uses the heart as a pump, the lymphatic system relies on skeletal muscle contractions to pump it along; it has NO pump of its own. The following are methods which assist lymph flow and cleansing activity, and boost overall immune responses:
1) Dry skin brushing – a highly effective technique for assisting lymph flow and boosting circulation. Today’s sedentary life-style, general lack of exercise, and use of antiperspirants keep people from perspiring sufficiently. As a result, toxins and metabolic waste products become trapped in the body instead of being released with sweat. Dry skin brushing stimulates the sweat glands and opens pores, allowing your body to breathe and enhance proper organ function. Dry skin brushing also increases blood circulation to underlying organs and tissues of the body.
Use a natural bristle brush (I prefer the Japanese style) and always use it dry. Brush gently over the skin starting at the extremities to the center of the body. Best results are achieved by brushing twice daily and before bathing or showering. You’ll feel an invigorating, tingling sensation. As a bonus – the skin will become more soft and supple, with a healthy glow. (Never dry skin brush on your face or directly on the breasts).
Note: Dry skin brushing done concurrently with rebounding or a lymphatic massage is extremely effective in moving lymph fluids.
2) Lymphatic massage is done much like dry skin brushing only with gentle kneading motions starting at the outer most points and working inward. Elevate your feet for five minutes every day, then gently massage lymph node areas.
Note: Ask your professional massage therapist for a lymphatic massage.
3) Exercise on a Rebounder or Mini Trampoline. Gently jump for 3-6 minuteswithout your toes or ball of foot ever leaving the mat, bouncing ONLY your heels. Be sure to hold onto either a bar or piece of furniture to avoid losing balance. Best results are achieved when performed 2-4 times per day.
Note: Start any exercise period with deep breathing which helps release toxins and boosts circulation AND drink plenty of water.
4) Avoid food preservatives and additives, as they cause swelling and fluid retention. Be especially careful to read all labels because the following usually contain monosodium glutamate (MSG) disguised with other ingredients. (MSG is an ”excito-” and ”neuro-toxin” identified by leading neuroscientists because of its degenerative and deadly effects on the brain and nervous system – neurons are over-stimulated to the point of exhaustion and cell death.) Also avoid:
Commercial Soup or Sauce Base
5) Nutritional Recommendations: Squeeze juice of a 1/2 fresh lemon into a cup of warm pure water and drink every morning. Include fresh vegetables and potassium-rich foods like broccoli, bananas and seafood, like wild salmon, in your diet. Drink 8 to 10 glasses of pure water every day.
Supporting your lymphatic system is vital for good health and is a natural way to assist with the prevention of pain, inflammation, circulatory and immune disorders. Plus, a healthy lymphatic system boosts the body’s immune response. Start today before the cold and flu season is upon us.
The best complex I’ve used and recommended to both assist in detoxifying the lymphatics, as well as supporting their function, is a homeopathic that contains ingredients for supporting the lymph, kidneys, and liver….all in one complex that you take 6 drops under your tongue once or twice a day….it doesn’t get much easier!