How to Keep that Lymph Moving!
Helping your detoxification system will help immensely when it comes to clearing out environmental toxins as well. Keeping our livers and lymph system moving is essential.
What is the Lymph System?
The lymphatic system is one of the most important systems in the body. It is absolutely essential to keep this vital system functioning properly.
The lymphatic system is very complex and it is a major part of our immune system. The main purposes of the lymph system are to
- remove excess fluid from bodily tissues
- absorb fatty acids and subsequently transport fat as chyle to the circulatory system
- produce immune cells such as lymphocytes and monocytes
.The lymphatic system is vital for both detoxification and the immune system, so when it is not working properly, many kinds of illnesses can occur.
Some of the symptoms that your lymphatic system is not properly functioning are: edema, swollen glands, constant infections or viruses, recurring tonsillitis or sore throats, constipation, chronic congestion, fatigue, and a clogged feeling in the head or behind the ears. You can read a little more about the lymph system here.
Rebounding is a great, low-impact exercise that helps detox. This is just bouncing on a small trampoline for about 10 minutes a day. This exercise is actually used in NASA because it helps to regain bone and muscle mass. Rebounding helps to literally move the lymph around and it helps cellular energy levels, as well as increasing lymphocyte activity. So rebounding is amazing for immune health and the lymph system. Read my whole post about rebounding here.
Castor oil Packs
Castor oils packs are an old remedy that have been proven to be effective at reducing tumors, helping endometriosis, reduces inflammation, boosts lymphocyte activity, and help the liver work more efficiently. You can find many ways to do castor oil packs but I like this simple way: soak an old white (undyed) cotton shirt or rag with the castor oil after folding it a few times. Apply this over the afflicted area- you can put it over your liver, adrenals, lower back, upper back, neck, or anywhere that you feel needs assistance. I put a clean towel over the soaked rag so I don’t stain my clothes or the blanket once I lay down. It is best to lay down and relax for at least an hour with the castor oil pack on. It can be very relaxing so it is perfect to do before bedtime. Many directions for the packs have complicated instructions, like laying on plastic wrap to not stain your bedding- I have found that the towel or small blanket over the pack prevents this from happening. I do the packs at least 4 consecutive days a week and I have found this to be one of the most effective treatments for liver congestion for me. It is simple, cheap and very relaxing.
Most of us know now that plain water can be dehydrating. It is very important to keep our electrolytes balanced as well as keeping up with fluid intake. The lymph cannot move properly without adequate water intake. The general rule is drink half your body weight in ounces, but honestly I believe that it differs day to day depending on activity, stress, and whether or not you are in detox mode. Using salt water sole is a good way to keep sodium levels up, and using coconut water, blackstrap molasses, and the adrenal cocktails is a good way to keep potassium up.
Yoga, walking, swimming, and low impact cardio are amazing ways to keep the lymph going! You don’t have to go crazy and do an hour long Zumba session (unless you can handle it), but even just a brisk walk can help get things moving. Even stretching can help the lymph!
This is very important. If your diet has anything artificial in it, then that will negatively impact your whole body. Stay far away from processed foods, especially ones that have MSG, artificial colors and flavors, artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, and try to avoid GMOs when possible. These are all foreign to the body so they can clog up our detoxification system. Stick with as much organic and grass-fed foods as possible. If you are on a budget, just try to stay away from GMO at least! The most common GMOs are corn, potatoes, bananas, apples (new!), beets, squashes, and canola.
Dry Skin Brushing
This is a very simple method to helping the lymphatic system. Before showering, use a natural bristle brush to brush your dry skin in circular motions upward from the feet to the torso and then from the fingers to the chest. You will want to work in the same direction as your lymph flows which is towards the heart. Dry skin brushing helps to increase the circulation to the skin so it helps your body discharge metabolic waste. It also helps your skin to breathe because it removes dead skin cells as well as opening clogged pores. Check out more on skin brushing in this article.
Who doesn’t like a good massage (whether from a professional or with a tool like this)? I think the way to benefit most from massage is to get it done at a chiropractor’s office. You can go in for a chiropractic adjustment and then get a nice relaxing massage. Both of these methods help to keep the lymph system working properly. Most chiropractors take insurance, so you would only spend a small amount of money to get these services done! Some massage therapists even offer specific lymphatic drainage massages.
Along with massage, things like this infrared heating pad can be very helpful for stimulating better circulation.
Herbs for the Lymph
Some helpful herbs for keeping the lymph going include Echinacea, goldenseal, cleavers, astragalus, nettles, and wild indigo root. Red root is also amazing for the lymph- and you can find that in the Liver Life formula that I’m always talking about!
So there you have it: 8 tips on healing the lymph system!