The lymphatic system works as drainage of waste and toxins from human body, all while protecting our body from harmful invaders. Just like plumbing your home, it is important to keep your lymph flowing. Otherwise, toxins and waste begin to build up, and your immune system collapses. Thus it is important to know how to keep lymphatic system healthy and take care of it the way you take care of the rest of the body.
Some common signs you might be experiencing when your lymph vessels are congested:
- Water retention
- Itchy and dry skin
- Morning stiffness
- Swollen glands
- Breast swelling during period
- Weight gain
- Chronic pain
- Sinusitis, pneumonia, bronchitis, ear infection and throat problems
- Cold hands and feet
- Brain fog
Loads of digestive issues, digestive issues, and serious edema might happen if your lymphatic system is not taken care of.
Luckily, taking care of the lymphatic system and rebooting it doesn't require that much effort. Here are some simple ways which will best be incorporated into your daily routine for best results and long-term wellbeing.
Detox your environment
First, clean your surroundings. Maybe there's mold hiding somewhere in your home. Get some fresh air inside your home at least 4 times a day. Reduce the number of chemicals you are exposed to daily, that includes personal hygiene products, cosmetics and cleaning products (here is a guide to making non-toxic cleaning products yourself!). Responsibly dispose of old and unused makeup and old cosmetics. Next time you go grocery shopping, don't restock on as much junk food as you're used to, but rather invest in organic, wholesome and fresh produce.
Lymph fluid is more than 90% water. Imagine adding more and more waste of it while it cannot be washed out properly, all while not having a sufficient water intake. That leads to clogging and dehydration. To get the lymph going again, make sure you drink more water and less sugary soft drinks and processed juices, as well as ass caffeine and alcohol. My favorite way to freshen up my lymph fluids is by drinking a generous glass of warm lemonade in the morning.
Try incorporating more organic and raw foods into your daily life. Pay that visit to the farmers market – not only will you know what you eat, you will also have a good excuse to move outside a bit and get some fresh air first thing in the morning. Generally speaking, what benefits lymphatic system best are veggies, fruit, and herbs, that are primarily alkaline and full of enzymes and antioxidants. Keeping the veggies and fruits raw and unprocessed when eating them will ensure more of the enzymes to get through. Some of the foods that are highly recommended and beneficial for lymphatic health are beets, sprouts, seeds rich in O3s, leafy green veggies, lemon, pomegranate, blueberries, brussels sprouts, echinacea, nuts, horseradish and so on.
Naturally, breathing movements should be enough to keep the lymph fluid going. However, a modern and highly busy human being does not move nearly as much as we should move, not to mention all the stress we are succumbing to. That's why it would be smart to incorporate some gentle pranayama or breathing exercises (maybe you'd like to read about why shallow breathing is so dangerous) and yoga into your life (yin yoga is supposedly the most beneficial for lymph health). Inversion asanas are especially helpful with lymph. If you are a fan of tai chi, that is also a way to go.
Another thing that is highly recommended is jumping. Yes, you read that right, jumping. Try jumping around 5 minutes every morning and let go of all the stress and frustrations. You'll feel better and our body will thank you.
Get yourself a thorough massage every now and then. Even a classic massage is enough, or you can invest in a lymphatic massage that targets the flow of lymph and encourages its circulation. Opt for manual lymphatic drainage massage. Sauna or cryotherapy will also do you well, so why not take your better half or a friend for a weekend retreat at a spa? Then there is one more lovely thing you can do without spending money on a spa – kneipping, which is a form of hydrotherapy. While showering, switch between cold and warm water and let the contrast awaken your body.
I dry brush my whole body first thing in the morning. Not only it helps getting rid of cellulite, that's just one of the visible benefits, but it promotes the whole lymphatic health. At the same time, you will get rid of dead skin cells and stimulate opening the pores up. Make sure to always brush with coarse bristles towards your heart. Pay special attention to the spots where lymphatic nodes are located – neck, abdomen, breasts, feet, and head.
Mindfully work through stress
One of the mains reasons for weak lymphatic flow is stress. There is a bunch of ways you can reduce stress you put yourself under and a bunch of ways that help you control the stress and deal with it. Try pranayama, gratitude practices, journaling, yoga, meditation, mindful walking, exercise, or whatever helps you. Be kind to yourself and get as much rest as you need.
I wish you good luck on your lymph healing journey.
Written by Masha