The lymphatic system is the sewer system of your body. It consists of fluid-filled nodes, vessels, glands and organs that affect the functioning of your entire body and overall health. The lymph’s main job is to circulate immune cells and remove cellular debris from your body. The lymphatic system cleanses toxins and protects against foreign invaders introduced from both external and internal factors by carrying bodily waste out of the tissues and into bloodstream to be processed by the spleen. Immune cells travel around the body through lymph nodes and pathways, fighting infection, disease, and pathogens. A strong lymphatic system means a more efficient and resilient immune system.
Maintaining a healthy lymphatic system keeps fluid flowing freely and easily throughout the body to prevent stagnant fluid. Unlike the bloodstream, the lymphatic system does not have a pump; it relies on the contraction of muscles and joints to move it throughout the body. Lymph fluid can become sluggish, especially if overwhelmed by toxic debris. The stagnation of lymph fluid can result in numerous health problems including edema (fluid retention), chronic pain, fatty deposits and cellulite, and be the core cause of chronic sinusitis, swollen glands, ankles and eyes, eczema, arthritis, upper respiratory, sinus and ear infections, throat problems, colds, tonsillitis, bronchitis and pneumonia.
Taking care of your lymphatic system is one of the best preventative medicines you can do to preserve your health, keep your skin glowing, and feel energized and vibrant from the inside out. Fortunately, keeping the lymph system healthy is pretty simple! Daily light exercise, eating raw alkaline foods, and relaxation all contribute to lymphatic health. Here are 5 of our favourite ways to keep the lymphatic system healthy and free flowing!
- Lemon Water- the lymph system is 95% water, so staying hydrated is key to keeping the lymph fluid flowing. Dehydration is a common cause of lymph congestion. Add some lemon to room temperature or warm water for extra alkalizing effects!
- Dry Brushing & Exfoliating- a Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic practice, dry brushing stimulates circulation to assist lymphatic flow. It open up pores, sweat glands, and sheds dead skin cells in order to promote movement of lymph fluid throughout organs and tissues to release built-up toxins. Brush the skin up towards the heart and clockwise on your abdomen. As an added bonus, the exfoliation will also diminish cellulite!
- Eating Raw Foods- raw foods contain an abundance of wonderful enzymes that break down toxins and cleanse harmful substances from the body. Raw fruits and vegetables will keep the body alkaline in order to neutralize pathogens, and keep you hydrated. Grapefruit is an amazing fruit to eat for your lymph system, as the soluble fiber lowers cholesterol and burns fat that contributes to cellulite deposits.
- Rebounding- remember how fun it was to jump on a trampoline as a child? Jumping is actually a fantastic way to help your lymphatic fluid circulate around your body and keep it moving! Rebounding is the practice of jumping on a trampoline (you can get a small one to tuck into a corner of your living space) for 10-30 minutes. Rebounding will also help build muscle tone; yes for multi-tasking!
- Reducing Stress- taking the time to relax every day will positively benefit your health in numerous ways. Studies show that stress and anxiety reduce immune function, increase congestion, and give strength to pathogens. When your body and mind are at ease, the systems working hard to keep you healthy are also functioning at ease. Go for a walk in nature, read a book, go to a yoga or meditation class, listen to music– find your personal oasis!