Many people start the new year with improving their health. An important first step is to detoxify the body. The lymphatic system is one of the ways that the toxins are taken out of the body. The lymph travels alongside the circulatory system.
What is the Lymphatic System?
It is a network of tissues, vessels, organs and lymph nodes which move a fluid called ‘lymph’ through the body. Lymphatic fluid is composed of white blood cells and chyle which is fluid from the intestines. The lymphatic system is a component of the detoxification pathways, immune system and helps in the utilization of dietary fat. Other functions of the lymphatic system are : protection against foreign invaders like bacteria, viruses parasites and mold. As the lymph moves through our body, the foreign invaders are passed through our lymph nodes where they are neutralized by immune cells.
How does Lymph move through the body?
It relies on the movement of our body to push it along. Your body helps lymph fluid flow by contraction of muscles, breathing, pressure change in surrounding tissues, blood vessel pulsation, intestinal peristalsis and external body compression like massage.
7 ways to support Lymphatic Drainage:
1. Dry Brushing – use a special brush with stiff bristles to massage your lymph channels. Use light pressure moving the brush towards your heart. Start at your feet, and move up along your legs and arms, gently stroking each area 2-3 times and then moving on. When you reach your abdomen, brush in a circular, clockwise motion.
2. Massage – If you are not able to have a professional massage, self massage can be effective. Many massage therapists offer a specific Lymphatic Drainage Massage. Reflexology on your feet help to stimulate lymphatic drainage. Massage the are in front of your ankle join and in the web area between each toe.
3. Rebounding – also known as a mini-trampline is one of the most effective ways to get your lymph going with physical movement. The movement of a rebounder is vertical, so, it helps to push your lymphatic fluid up along its channels. It may also be helpful in dealing with swelling in the arms and legs due to a lymph blockage or removal of a lymph node.
4. Essential Oils – help to stimulate the movement of your lymphatic fluid by stimulating your immune system. Geranium oil helps to assist in cleansing your lymph, promoting blood flow and support a healthy inflammatory response. The citrus family of essential oils is also a good choice for lymph movement, including lemon, orange and grapefruit.
5. Herbal remedies are nature’s medicine. These powerful plants often go unrecognized for their ability to help bring balance and vitality to our bodies. Yet, they have been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine systems.
There are 2 herbs which help to support the lymph. The first is cleavers. Cleavers help immune cell production and assist in the movement of circulation and lymphatic system. This boosts the body’s ability to detox. Another herb for cleansing is dandelion. Dandelion is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It helps to protect the liver and enhances the bodies’ ability to produce lymphocytes. You can find both cleavers and dandelion in tinctures, capsules or brew them in boiling water as a tea.
6. Deep Breathing – is an excellent way to calm your mind and assist in moving the lymphatic fluid. breathing, moves our diaphragm up and down. This pushes our lymph along and helps it return back into our circulation. This also helps to pick up and remove toxins from our system. By simply breathing in slowly through our nose for a count of four, hold, and then exhale through your nose. Within moments, you will feel a deep sense of relaxations our lymph and nervous system begin to find a natural and calm rhythm.
7. Hot and Cold showers – when you alternate between hot and cold water, it causes the blood vessels to dilate and then contract. This stimulates the movement of our circulation which stimulates the lymphatic flow. Start by standing in the shower under warm to hot water for one to two minutes. Then, turn the cold water tap to as cold as you can handle for 30 seconds.
Remember your liver. It produces about 25-50% of the lymphatic fluid in your body. Reflexology helps to support the liver by stimulating all of the reflexes of the body. Plus, there is a specific reflex for the liver which is stimulated during a Reflexology treatment. To book your appointment with our Reflexologist in Calgary call us (403) 816-9518.