Most people have not heard of the body’s lymphatic system and as a result do not understand the importance of maintaining the lymphatic system for optimal health. The body’s lymphatic system is a drainage and garbage system that is similar to the circulatory system. The lymphatic system is comprised of a network of small vessels and filtering collection spots, known as lymph nodes. This system circulates a thin, white, watery fluid called lymphatic fluid.
The primary function of the lymphatic system is to support the optimal function of the immune system by producing white blood cells (lymphocytes) and filtering toxins, hormones, viruses, bacteria and other foreign matter from the body. Once these toxins have been filtered through the lymphatic system, they then are delivered to the kidneys, liver, spleen, skin and other organs to be filtered again and ultimately removed from the body. In order for someone to experience optimal health, and free from disease, the lymphatic system must be cared for regularly.
Although similar to the circulatory system in many ways, the lymphatic system does differ from the circulatory system in one vital way. The circulatory system has the heart that continuously pumps blood through the blood vessels, but the lymphatic system has no pump to continuously pump lymphatic fluid through the body. So, it needs help in order to filter out toxins. Without that help, there will be a buildup of excess fluid in the tissues, and an increase in viruses and disease.
If you do not help circulation in the lymphatic system, you may experience lymphatic congestion. This is a result of a buildup of toxins in the body. Some common symptoms of congestion are:
- Cold hands and feet
- Brain fog
- Water retention
- Dry skin
- Itchy skin
- Breast swelling or tenderness with menstrual cycle
To help keep your lymphatic system healthy, there are simple things that you can do each day to move the lymphatic fluid and help your body filter out toxins.
Exercise, is a simple way to move lymphatic fluid through the body. Any type of aerobic exercise will help to move the lymph, but one of the best forms of exercise for this is rebounding. Rebounding is a simple form of exercise in which you jump on a mini trampoline. It is an invigorating form of exercise and is gentle on the body and increases lymphatic movement significantly more than other forms of aerobic exercise.
Daily deep breathing exercises can help to circulate the lymphatic system. As you breathe, the expansion and contraction of the diaphragm stimulates circulation of the lymphatic system. Doing 10-20 minutes a day of deep breathing can have a significant effect on helping the body to detoxify.
Skin brushing takes only a few minutes and is a gentle and relaxing way to increase your immune system and allow lymphatic fluid to drain. Dry brushing only take approximately five minutes to do daily and it’s best to do right before taking a shower or bath. You will need to purchase a natural bristle brush with a handle, so that you can reach all areas of your body. Undressed, begin brushing, starting at your feet and making long sweeping brush strokes up your legs and towards your heart. You will always want to brush towards your heart. Do several brush strokes in each area and make sure that you cover all of the skin. Once you’ve finished brushing all areas, take a shower or bath. This will help to remove dead skin cells that have been exfoliated by the dry brushing. Use caution around the areas of the body where the skin is sensitive when you first begin a dry brushing routine. The skin will become less sensitive after you’ve been dry brushing for awhile. After you finish your bath or shower, apply natural oil, like sweet almond oil, jojoba or coconut oil.
Manual lymphatic drainage is a form of massage that can be done by a professionally trained massage therapist. They can assist you in helping to circulate your lymphatic system.
Stress, germs, viruses, bacteria, medication use, chemical food additives, smoking, alcohol consumption and environmental toxins all bombard your body with material that needs to be filtered. Without the filtering of those toxins, they are allowed to buildup in the body. Without this filtering, you will experience a significant increase in health issues and your quality of health will become compromised.
But when you actively work to keep your lymphatic system healthy, you will notice that you are able to fight viruses and disease much more easily. You are guaranteed to not only be healthier, but you will have more energy and feel better too.