Nov. 16, 2017; by Briana McDonald, Staff Writer (UtopiaSilver.com) A vast and complicated network of fluid filled nodes, vessels, glands and organs make up our lymphatic system. There is almost no part of the human body that this system does not touch which is why it is one of the most important systems to keep up maintenance on. Just like our livers, kidneys, and digestive system, the lymphatic system deserves our love and attention. In this article I have compiled some holistic natural therapies to detox the lymphatic system and show our bodies some love.
What Does the Lymphatic System Do for the Body?
Our lymphatic system has one primary task: cleanse the body of toxins and protect it from harmful intruders. This system functions by carrying our waste away from precious tissues and organs and into the bloodstream. The lymphatic system will remove toxins that are introduced to the body through external meas be it food, air, personal care products, or even our drinking water. (1)
Once our bodies come into contact with toxins, the largest lymphatic tissue in the body, the spleen, goes to work to purify. Our spleen is one of our main lines of defense and goes to work to fight infections and holds a reserve of red and white blood cells by destroying worn out red blood cells in the body.
Through this intricate network of lymph nodes our immune cells can travel to and fro fighting pathogens and prevent disease and infections. This is why keeping your lymphatic system healthy is of the utmost priority! A strong lymphatic system is directly related to the overall health of the body and will produce a stronger, more resilient and reactive immune response and defense.
However, unlike our blood which has the heart for a pump, our lymphatic system does not. It relies on the relaxation and the contraction of the muscles and the joints to move it. This system can become easily stagnated, especially if it is overwhelmed with toxic substances. This will lead to a host of system issues like impaired immunity, the development of cellulite, chronic pain, and fat deposits. A sluggish flow of the immune system can be responsible for swollen glands, chronic sinusitis, swollen ankles and eyes, eczema, arthritis, upper respiratory problems, sinus and ear infections, tonsillitis, bronchitis, and pneumonia.
How do you keep the lymphatic system healthy?
Thankfully, keeping up with your lymphatic system isn’t as difficult as you may be thinking. All you need is:
- Daily exercise
- plenty of water (and I mean plenty people)
- raw foods and herbs
Holistic Therapies to Detox the Lymphatic System
Going upside down isn’t only fun, it’s good for you too! Investing in an inversion table provides many lasting benefits. An inversion table is a padded table that allows a person to invert upside down while being strapped in by the feet. The process decompresses the joints and stimulates the lymphatic and circulatory system which brings fresh blood and oxygen into the tissues which helps to clear the muscles of toxin build-up. Gravity in this instance works with us, not against us and also improves spinal health by re hydrating the discs, reducing pressure on the nerves and relaxing tense muscles. (2)
Lymph is approximately 95% water which makes drinking water essential for the health of our lymphatic system. Stay hydrated by drinking half of your weight in ounces of water per day! The most common cause of lymph congestion is dehydration. Water, and only water, can rehydrate the body effectively. However, if you would like to speed up the process add in some lemons to your water. Lemons are alkaline and remineralizes the body and the lymphatic system. Sip lemon water throughout the day through a straw to stay hydrated and protect tooth enamel. (3)
Enzymes are made by our bodies to help break down the foods that we love so much. The body utilizes enzymes to clear up toxic waste build-up in the lymph and blood which makes supplementing with enzymes daily a key way to improve lymphatic health. By using proteolytic enzymes between meals you can help your body “digest” or break down organic debris in the circulatory and lymph systems which will increase lymphatic flow.
Dry brushing is a technique used in Ayurveda practices to help assist in lymphatic flow and boost circulation throughout the body. Simply take a dry brush with coarse bristles and brush the skin towards the heart center. This will stimulate sweat glands, open up the pores, and eliminate dead skin cells.
Raw foods offer us high levels of naturally occurring enzymes that break down toxic build up and promote the cleansing and clearing of harmful compounds in the body. Eating foods raw is a great way to keep the body alkaline which will neutralize harmful pathogens and put less of a burden on the lymphatic system.
Begin Yoga Exercises:
Yoga exercises are not just for new age hippies, it’s for every single body. Yoga exercises work in multiple ways to increase the flow of the lymph, relieving congestion and encouraging detoxification. Practicing inversions (the right way) such as handstands, headstands, and shoulder stands, or even placing the legs up against the wall reverse the effect of gravity. This is very similar to what the inversion table will do for you if you can not afford to invest in one at the moment. The twisting poses in yoga, such as the practice of twisting the abdomen, where the organs and muscles are squeezed, will help force the lymph out of the tissues. Also, the natural dynamic flow through the yoga postures causes the muscles in the body to contract and relax which is the primary way lymph moves through the body. This will prevent stagnation and accumulation of toxins and keep your lymphatic system healthy.
Briana McDonald, Staff Writer- Silver Bulletin e-News magazine