Signs you should cleanse
your Lymphatic System
You’ve always heard of the lymphatic system, but if you’re like a lot of people, you arent really sure it’s purpose or how to make sure it’s performing its best. In this article, I am discussing the signs when you should cleanse your lymphatic system and how. The lymphatic system is one of the most important systems in your body. It affects the performance of our immune system, the ability to remove waste and toxins from our cells and organs. Its pretty much a built-in sanitation center for your body. Consider it like a filter for carrying away the bad waste from every cell, organ & tissue. This is where the term metabolic waste comes from. It includes cancer cells, dead cells, viruses, heavy metals, nitrogenous waste and tons of other things that are harmful to the body. It has three times more fluid than our arterial system does, but unlike blood, it doesn’t have a pump built in!
If we make poor diet choices, dont move our bodies, experience constipation, on top of all of the environmental toxins & stress, it cant function like it should. When the lymphatic system is congested and cant filter freely, what happens is our body becomes full of toxins, and inflammation sets in. For a period of several months, my mom was affected by Polymyalgia Rheumatica, and I cant help but wonder if her lymphatic system wasn’t at it’s optimized state, causing her pain throughout and hardly able to walk. It eventually went away and cleared up, but she was prescribed prednisone for that time period.
Symptoms begin to occur
Symptons begin to occur when the lymphatic system is congested, such as: Headaches, brain fog, weight gain, lower immune system(getting sick often), swollen glands, swelling in fingers or ankles, sinus infections, bloating, sore throat, food sensitivities, increased allergies, as well as skin issues(dry or itchy skin). You will also start to notice swollen lymph nodes(caused from an infection, bacteria or a virus).
Lymph nodes or lymph glands are the tiny glands that act as the filter. They include tonsils, thymus, bone marrow and spleen. The shape of a bean, these soft nodes are there to filter lymph. While they’re located throughout our bodies, you might notice swollen lymph nodes in your neck, under your chin, armpits and groin. Swelling in them is a sign they are fighting toxins, like a virus, injury bacteria or cancer cells.
How does it move throughout the body
The lymphatic system sits right under our skin, transporting a watery fluid called “lymph” that contains white blood cells throughout the body. White blood cells are important because they help fight infections and help the body rid toxins, waste and other unwanted materials. Since there’s no pump in it, the best way to keep it moving throughout our body is with exercise, deep breathing, manual massage and gravitational pressure. Exercise is by far the number one way to keep it moving! I’m going to tell my husband I need to set up monthly massages to help my lymphatic system stay healthy… (insert smile).
Detox & How to Cleanse
other key things that can help are:
- go bra-less as much as you can(seems I have that going well for me, already)
- wear sunscreen that is free of toxic chemicals
- wear an all natural deodorant
- All natural moisturizer
- sleeping in loose fitting clothes(our body does a major detox between the hours of 10 p.m and 2 a.m.
- Eat anti-inflammatory foods
- Stop eating/drinking dairy
- Drink ACV(apple cider vinegar)
- Don’t overload your protein
- Add lemon to your water
- Rebounding(what the heck is rebounding? Think mini trampoline & leg warmers), turns out this is more beneficial for you than running. This is not only a great source of gravitational pressure, but its easier on your joints, your heart, engages the same areas of the body w/ less impact, and uses the same amount of oxygen thats used in running. Also a great tool for exercise to use when you have physical limitations!
- Infared Saunas-sit in one of these for a variety of benefits, but a main benefit is that it doesn’t have the solar radiation effects, resulting from the sun
- Hot and cold water therapy-tons of benefits for this one! Cold water causes our blood vessels to contract and head to surround our organs to keep them warm, hot water causes our blood vessels rush to the surface of our skin to release the heat, to protect our organs from high temperatures. So if you switch from hot to cold water several times in your daily shower, this back and forth of temperatures is a great way to get your lymphatic system moving.
- Foam rolling– or also known as myofascial release. I foam roll a lot after my weekly workouts and there are a ton of benefits from it. See my article for benefits and how to here.
- Drink plenty of water– you knew this one had to be on the list!!! Aim to drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water each day!
- Warm Epson Salt Baths
- Legs up the wall-sit with your legs up on a wall to 90 degrees will in fact get your lymphatic system stimulated. You can also do other yoga poses such as a headstand, down dog, handstands or shoulder stands, or an inversion table!
It’s apparent that our lymphatic system is one of the most important systems in our bodies, and in order for it to take care of us, we need to reciprocate and incorporate any number of these ways to help flow! Leave me a comment and let me know if you do any of these things already in your daily regime!