Lymphatic Stagnation Support
The Lymphatic System is an amazing pump. We do not realize it is working nonstop to keep us healthy and feeling good - until it is backed up, congested and inflamed; at which time is our bodies way of communicating with a vengeance that something needs attention.
The lymphatic system is a complex drainage or “sewer” system that consists of glands, lymph nodes, the spleen, thymus gland, and tonsils. Its role is to cleanse our cells by absorbing excess fluids, fats, and toxins from our tissues and into the blood where it can eventually be filtered out by the liver and kidneys.
Unfortunately, due to our toxic burden, nutritional deficiencies, and relative inactivity, this system has become increasingly polluted.
If you suffer from any of the following, it may be a sign your lymphatic system is clogged and needs a serious cleanse:
Skin conditions, Arthritis, Unexplained injuries, Excess weight or cellulite, Headaches, Chronic fatigue, Sinus infections, Digestive disorders and/or Enlarged lymph nodes
body movement 20 - 60 minutes in excess of your ADL (activity of Daily Living) to elevate your heart rate, promote blood circulation and encourage sweating
2. Alternative Treatments:
If exercising isn’t in your wheelhouse yet, or you want to add on some additional body work, you can also consider alternative treatments that can get the lymph flowing; i.e. Lymphatic Drainage Massage, infrared sauna, Acupuncture and Ion Detox Foot Bath
3. Hot/Cold Showers:
Heat causing dilation and cold causing restriction, jumps starts your lymphatic pump for lymph that is stagnant. Caution to those who have heart conditions and/or are pregnant.
4. Dry Brushing:
Using a natural bristle brush, brush your dry skin in a circular motion before showering. Start with your feet and move towards the torso, and do the same from your fingers to the chest. You want to flow in the same direction as your lymph circulates, towards the heart.
This stimulates the lymphatic system into action as well, and helps open up the pores for easier toxin removal (a hot and cold shower after this dry brushing session would be ideal).
5. Drink adequate amounts of clean water:
At least half your body weight in ounces daily; i.e., 150 lbs. = 75 ounces of clean water daily
6. Avoid restrictive clothing:
It’s important to not wear tight clothing that can cut off proper circulation within the lymphatic system. This can cause blockages to occur and toxins to build up in different areas of the body.
Areas of particular importance where this may occur is bras for women that may be too tight in the axillary lymph node area (armpit area), and in the inguinal lymph node area (groin) where tight fitting underwear could cause a problem over time.
It’s fine to wear something tight from time to time, but avoid being excessive and keep the bra off as much as possible.
7. Breathe Deeply:
Another method of “pumping” lymph properly comes from deep breathing. Since our bodies have 3x more lymph fluid than blood, this exercise becomes increasingly important in order to get the toxins into the blood so they can be detoxified by your liver and kidneys.
So breathe deeply, and exhale smoothly to facilitate this process. And laughing, belly laugh - is always a great way to get the lymph moving and its good for your mental state as well.
8. Eat foods that promote lymph flow:
A sluggish digestive tract also congests the lymphatic system. Ayurvedic medicine teaches that naturally red foods like berries, pomegranates, cherries, cranberries, and beets keep the lymph moving freely. Beets are particularly valuable as they help thin the bile for healthy fat digestion, scrub the intestinal villi where the lymphatic vessels originate, and help keep the lymph flowing. Incorporating raw foods into your diet is another way to keep the lymphatic system healthy. The naturally occurring enzymes and bioflavonoids in raw fruits and vegetables help to break down toxic buildup and free radicals while fiber promotes regular elimination and cleansing of the intestinal villi to keep the intestinal lymphatic system healthy.
9. Avoid foods, personal care products that promote stagnation:
Half the battle of cleansing your system is providing it with enough power to do so, and that can’t be accomplished if you keep polluting your body with a variety of toxins.
This means avoiding conventional personal care products loaded with parabens, petroleum, and phthalates, and staying out of heavily polluted areas by opting for more oxygen rich environments.
In addition to that, avoiding the following foods are critical to improving your lymphatic health:
Sugar, Artificial sweeteners, Conventional dairy, Conventionally raised meat, Refined grains, Processed foods, Soy, Preservatives and additives, Table salt and Baked goods.
10. Use herbs to stimulate lymph flow:
Herbs are great natural stimulators, and when used appropriately can be very useful for kick-starting various areas of the body. Your lymphatic system is no different.
Some great herbs to consider for teas, juices, and more include:
Echinacea, Astragalus, Goldenseal, Wild indigo root, Red clover, Pokeroot, Parsley, Cilantro
11. Essential oils to add to your regime:
Cypress, Grapefruit, Helichrysum, Lemongrass, Lime, Myrtle, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sandalwood, Orange and Tangerine.