Do you know what most people neglect when they think start a detox program? The lymphatic system! It's is a network of tissues and organs consisting primarily of lymph vessels, lymph nodes, and lymph fluid. It's vital to detoxification and also to the health of the immune system in fighting infections. When there are blockages obstructing its flow, stagnation occurs, causing illness and an accumulation of toxins (such as cellulite).
A main component of the lymphatic system is lymph fluid. As it moves through the body, it collects wastes and toxins, and disposes of them via the bladder, bowels, lungs and skin. Because of this, the Lymphatic System has been called the "metabolic garbage disposal" of the body!
The lymph also works with the circulatory system to deliver nutrients, oxygen and hormones from the blood to the cells. Since the lymphatic system isn't equipped with its own pump to keep it flowing, we can take action to assist it in performing its vital functions. In addition to eating an organic, unprocessed diet, and avoiding toxins (such as cigarette smoke & alcohol), here are my 7 easy tips to keep your lymphatic system flowing clean, clear and easy:
This is a no-brainer! When our bodies are properly hydrated, everything flows freely, including the lymph system! In addition to pure water, my two favorite go-tos for assisting lymph are: (1) fresh squeezed lemon juice and (2) cranberries (which also emulsify fat). Each will ensure your lymph flows free and clear.
2. Bounce on a trampoline.
While most exercise is beneficial to the lymph system, the gold standard is rebounding on a mini trampoline, which can dramatically improve lymph flow by providing muscular contraction, gravitational pressure, and internal massage to the lymph ducts (all 3 criteria needed to activate lymph flow!)
3. Wear clothing that fits properly.
Tight clothing restricts your lymph system and contributes to blockage. Say sayonara to tight girdles and constrictive bodywear! This is also the reason women are told not to wear a bra for more than 12 hours a day and to forgo underwire!
4. Breathe deeply
The lymph system has three times more fluid than blood in the body, yet no heart-type organ to pump it. One of the main ways it moves is through deep breathing.
5. Dry Skin/Lymphatic Brushing
Dry skin brushing is based on the principles of ancient Chinese concepts of acupuncture and accupressure. Traditional Chinese medicine recognizes three million nerve points spread over the surface of the skin and dry skin bushing takes advantage of these connections. By applying friction to the acupuncture points, your entire nervous system is stimulated and invigorated and the beneficial effects are directly conveyed to every organ, gland, muscle and ligament in your body, and helps move the lymph back to the center of the body to be processed and detoxified. Two tips: (1) Use a natural bristle brush, and (2) Before showering, brush your skin in long upward strokes toward the heart.
6. Essential Oils
Essential oils are natural aromatic compounds found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. They can be both beautifully fragrant and powerfully healing. These function as catalysts to deliver nutrients to starving cells! They also aid in stimulating and detoxifying the lymphatic system. Citrus oils are especially potent for helping the lymph move along. Adding a few drops to coconut oil and applying to your body is an easy DIY lymph enhancing formula. You can also add some EO's to Epsom Salt and add to a bath for a lymph detoxifying spa experience!
7. Lymphatic Massage
Massage frees trapped toxins. While most massage therapy will help, there are two special types of massage that specifically targets lymph flow in the body (lymphatic drainage and aromatherapy massage). Whatever type of massage you choose, make sure it's gentle, too much pressure may feel good on the muscles, but it doesn't have the same lymph-stimulating effects.