You may have heard of lymph nodes or lymphedema as things that have to do with cancer treatments – but have you ever given thought to how essential the lymph system is to staying healthy and happy?
You watch your food carefully, take time to exercise and get your rest but if you ignore the “drainage” system to your body your healthy lifestyle may not be as impactful as possible. Let me explain further.
The lymphatic system is one of the most overlooked systems of the body and plays a huge role in our overall health and wellness, and how well our immune system functions.
The lymph has 2 major roles – clearing out waste and immune surveillance. It has been called the “toxic waste dump” of the body. In fact, the human body contains three times more lymphatic vessels than blood and a few experts say maybe we should be examining the lymphatics more than our blood work.
Potential cloggers to the lymph system include poor hydration, lack of sleep, too many EMF’s (Electromagnetic Fields), lack of movement, viruses, infections, exposure to heavy metals and glyphosate (the pesticide roundup used on many crops such as wheat, tea and coffee).
Signs of an unhealthy lymph system may include insomnia, brain fog, constipation, lack of sweating, swollen legs, headaches, fatigue, general malaise, skin issues, allergies, and digestive issues.
So how do we keep our lymph system happy? Some things are just intuitive and others may surprise you.
- Manual manipulation/pumping of your lymph modes. If you don’t get the “channels” of the lymph open then the rest of the list will not work. The good news is it’s easy to do these self-manual pumping maneuvers. When I first started doing this I noticed an immediate difference. Kelly Kennedy is the queen of lymph and has a great instructional video here of how to effectively do it.
- Dry skin brushing – literally taking a brush with strong bristles and brushing many of the lymph points. Always brush in the direction of the heart. Here’s a short video to demonstrate but there are many of YouTube to choose from.
Just 10 minutes per day of manual pumping and dry brushing per day are enough to start to unplug the lymph and drain the toxins out of your body. These should be first and foremost.
After 1 and 2 then move on to the following:
- Movement and exercise– since the lymph does have not a central pump we need to move to activate it. Simple walks, bike rides, playing with your dog, kids, or grandkids helps move toxins through your body.
- Infrared sauna – 10-30 minutes 1-2x/week – a super helpful gentle way to sweat the toxins out of the body.
- Not wearing tight fitting clothes – i.e. clothes that create dents in your skin (tight jeans, socks, and even underwire bras). Wherever we bend we have the most lymph nodes.
- Using a rebounder/trampoline daily – a gentle way to get the lymph moving daily, with recommendations of 5-10 minutes per day.
- Make sleep a priority – not getting your rest results in lymph stagnation which in turn lead to a host of other health concerns.
- Hydrate with salt with minerals (sea salt) which can increase hydration by 22%.
If you have a healthy lifestyle and still have some nagging medical issues, clearing the lymph may be one of the keys to start the process of unwinding whatever needs to be addressed. The good news is – it’s free and only requires a small amount of your time each day!