Thinking about clearing your system? It’s time to consider removing toxins from the lymphatic system – a widely neglected system to maintain a healthy body.
The lymphatic system is our body’s sewerage system that functions by flushing all the fluids.
In this article, we’ll be walking you through expert tips on maintaining excellent lymph health by improving the lymphatic system through the lymph drainage massage, dry brushing, yoga and exercises, diet, and much more. Let’s get started.
The lymphatic system is an intricate and extensive network of nodes, tissues, and vessels forming a part of the immune system. These vessels carry lymph – a clear or whitish fluid that carries white blood cells and chyle (fluid from the intestines consisting of proteins and fats).
The lymphatic system is responsible for shielding your body from infections/diseases, absorbing fats from the digestive system, and evacuating cellular waste.
Let us discuss the benefits of healthy practices contributing to better lymph health.
Lymphedema, also known as lymphoedema or lymphatic edema, is a swelling due to the excessive accumulation of lymph. There are lymph nodes occurring in small groups in various body parts, such as the neck, armpit, groin, center of the chest, and abdomen.
Lymph vessels collect fluid that leaks out of blood vessels and cells, and when these lymph vessels get damaged to injury of any sort, this fluid can accumulate, resulting in swelling.
The accumulation of lymphatic fluid is most commonly observed in the legs and arms.
How can one keep their lymphatic system healthy?
To keep your lymphatic system strong and healthy, one should prevent exposure to toxic chemicals, drink plenty of water, eat clean food, and exercise regularly.
Unlike the circulatory system, the lymph system does not have a pump to move the fluids in the body. Instead, the movement of the fluids depends on muscle contractions. In the absence of a lymph system, fluids and waste consisting of bacteria and viruses would gather and cause swelling.
Lymphatic drainage massage
One of the many ways to improve lymph health is lymphatic drainage massage. It involves moving the lymph through the vessels and accelerating lymph circulation throughout the body by massaging with light fingers with gentle pressure to create a flushing effect.
A lymph drainage massage is generally conducted by an expert/certified specialist. One can also execute a self-massage, but one must be aware of the position of lymph nodes and the flow of the technique. Example: Massage the lymph nodes first at the neck, the armpit, and the top of the thigh and abdomen. Simultaneous deep belly breathing contracts the thoracic duct to help move one’s fluid.
Garshana, (pronounced: gar-shun-uh) is a Sanskrit word that means ‘friction by rubbing.’ Also known as dry brushing, this Ayurvedic practice involves boosting & detoxifying the lymphatic system. As a result, it revitalizes your skin and mind. Garshana involves using a dry bristle brush or silk gloves – depending on the skin sensitivity. It stimulates the lymphatic flow, getting rid of dead skin cells and clearing up built-up toxins.
The valves in lymph vessels open & close about six to twelve times per minute, facilitating the movement of the fluid. Hence, the lymphatic massage should be slow, light, rhythmic, and intentional.
According to Lisa Levitt Gainsley (a Certified Lymphedema Therapist, Manual Lymphatic Drainage Practitioner, Author, Educator, and Speaker), one should massage the lymph nodes first in the neck. The massage should consist of gentle strokes using the soft pads of your fingers in one direction and not in circles. Such massage helps one to relax, feel energetic, and relieved. Lisa says that some people also claim to have lesser brain fog, making a huge difference.
Physical activity, including Yoga, is one of the most effective ways to promote drainage. It promotes health, flushes toxins, boosts the immune system, and reduces inflammation. Inverted positions like handstands, headstands, shoulder stands, and legs up the wall pose aid to drain the lymph where it is eventually cleaned and filtered. Twisting, stretching, and bending also help squeeze the lymph out of the tissues. Yoga promotes contraction and relaxation of the muscles, which in turn help the lymph to move easily.
Some breathing exercises in Yoga (Pranayamas Bhastrika Pranayama and Kumbhaka or Breath Retention Pranayama) also benefit lymphatic drainage.
Another great way to take care of good lymph health is to pay attention to what one consumes. Organic, anti-inflammatory foods consisting of green leafy vegetables and food rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals are beneficial to the lymphatic system.
Raw fruits and vegetables contain enzymes that can break and flush the toxic build-up in the system. Herbs like red clover aid faster lymph flow, Manjistha is an ayurvedic herb that decongests the lymph, Bupleurum and Rehmannia maintain cleanliness by naturally removing the toxins. It’s best to stay away from processed foods and artificial additives.
An effectively functioning lymphatic system is vital for comprehensive well-being. It is necessary to drink plenty of water to aid the lymph movement throughout the body and flush out the waste. Maintain a wholesome lifestyle with regular exercise and a nutritious diet. Indulge in massage therapy by the experts or a self-care massage session as guided by an expert. Talk to your healthcare expert if you are concerned about the effects of lymphatic drainage massage on your physical health.
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