What is Your Lymphatic System?
Think of your lymphatic system like a giant highway of fluid that runs parallel to all the blood in your body. From your head to your toes.
Now imagine that all the excess waste, debris, and old dead infections are the cars that are traveling along that highway system trying to find their exit. These exits are by way of urine, feces, or sweat. When the immune and lymphatic system are working smoothly, all the cars move and flow and get to where they need to go on time. If you are dealing with a lot of toxicity then you have a lot more cars all trying to move along the highway.
Now imagine one of the “heavy hitters” of toxicity, like a heavy metal or a petrochemical or pesticide as being a large semi truck. You get enough semi trucks driving down the highway and other cars are going to get stuck or slowed down behind them. With all that congestion on the road, it makes an accident or dis-function pretty inevitable.
So now imagine there is an accident on the highway. This blockage is akin to a blocked lymph node (of which you have 400-700 of them!). Now the body is trying to send an ambulance (these would be the antibodies) but it’s not easy for the ambulance to navigate through all that traffic and congestion leading up to the blocked area of the road.
Of course with time the ambulance can do its job and take care of the issue and eventually the area is cleared and the flow of lymphatic fluid can move adequately again. But this takes work and resources, so keeping the roads clear and the traffic flowing easily is the best way to ensure you can handle anything facing your lymphatic system.
So how do we Improve Lymphatic Health?
- CHILL OUT! Did you know that stress can decrease nutrient absorption, decrease thyroid and sex hormones, increase inflammation, and increase food sensitivities.
So what are some things you can do to de-stress?
- Anything that makes you laugh or smile or brings you joy!
- Take a hot bath with epsom salt and/or aromatherapy oils like lavender
- Have your partner give you a massage or use a tennis ball for self massage
- Relax your core with a hot water bottle or heated blanket over the abdomen
- DRINK HOT WATER! You wouldn’t use cold water to unstick food from a plate or dish. Likewise, it’s much easier to get the internal “gunk” moving in your body when you drink hot water instead of cold water. As for keeping your immune system safe, most viruses cannot survive when exposed to heat greater than 80° F (27° C). So drinking hot water is also a great preventative measure against viral infections.
- GARGLE! Gargling with salt water (very alkalizing and balancing for the mouth microbiome) or silver solution (very antimicrobial) can minimize or eliminate microbes in the mouth before they have a chance to drain into the lymphatic system or elsewhere in the body.
- Eat REAL food with real nutrition! A real food is anything that remains in its natural state and has not been manufactured or processed in any way. For example, a potato is a real food. A potato chip is not a real food.
- Rebounding & Dry Brushing
6. It is important to be aware of the “depth,” direction and rhythm of your lymphatic massage techniques. Your lymph fluid system is located just below your skin, and it moves slowly. Gentle stretches of the skin effectively move the lymph. Unlike traditional massage, pressing into the muscle tissue will only compress your lymphatic vessels and won’t provide the care you’re looking for. Use a gentle touch and listen to your body for the best results.
7. Be aware of excess toxicity in your environment. Do you have filters on your shower? Do you have an air purifier in your house? What kind of cookware do you use (ex. With or without aluminum coating)? What kind of deodorant do you use (aluminum free)? What do you clean your floors with, especially if you walk around the house barefoot?