Your body is naturally designed to heal and find equilibrium. One of the key body systems for clearing wastes and maintaining healthy circulation is the lymphatic system. Symptoms ranging from cellulite to bloating can all be related to congestion within the lymphatic system.
The Lymphatic System: What It Does
The lymphatic system is made up of tissues that produce, store, and transport white blood cells and includes a complex network of vessels, ducts, lymph nodes, the spleen, the thymus, the adenoids, and the tonsils. This expansive system is found throughout your body, removing waste from every cell while helping to regulate the immune system.
Lymph is the fluid that flows throughout the lymphatic system; it is made up of different components as it goes through different parts of the body. Sometimes it contains proteins, other times it contains bacteria and fats. Regardless of the content of the lymph at any given time, it must flow freely to ensure that waste products do not build up in the tissues. Breathing and other muscle movements help to propel lymph fluid and transport it through many filtration points known as lymph nodes. These lymph nodes contain collections of white blood cells (lymphocytes) that identify and help destroy harmful pathogens or toxins.
The Lymphatic System: Why It Matters
This network of lymphatic vessels and nodes acts like a giant drainage and filtration system for the body. Just like the plumbing in your home, your lymphatic system needs to stay unclogged and flowing well for it to work properly. When the lymph flow becomes stagnant and congested, wastes and toxins begin to build up. This can lead to weak immunity and a wide variety of health issues.
Poor waste removal in the lymphatic system can affect almost any part of your body. When your lymph vessels become congested, you may experience:
- Water retention
- Stiffness, especially in the morning
- Brain fog
- Itchy and dry skin
- Stubborn weight gain
- Chronic sinusitis, sore throats, colds, and ear issues
- Breast swelling with the menstrual cycle
- Swollen glands
- Cold hands and feet
There are a variety of causes to lymphatic congestion. Although the body is naturally designed to cleanse itself of wastes and toxins, imbalances can throw off your ability to detoxify and allow wastes to build up. Stress and digestive imbalances are two major causes of lymphatic congestion that impair your ability to cleanse efficiently.
Decongest Your Lymphatic System to Rebalance Your Body
If you are experiencing symptoms of lymphatic congestion, decongesting your lymph system may hold the key to rejuvenation and rebalancing of your body.
1. Stay Hydrated
Since lymph is made up of 95% water, adequate hydration is necessary to keep it flowing freely. Stay well-hydrated by following the Ayurvedic practice of sipping 1.5 litres of warm, purified water; sip it throughout the day to keep dehydration at bay.
2. Support Your Gut
A sluggish digestive tract contributes to congestion within the lymphatic system, so good gut health is fundamental for lymphatic flow. Healing and maintaining a healthy gut requires removing factors that cause irritation and imbalance, repairing the gut lining, and balancing the microbiome within the gut.
Follow a nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory diet that is individualised for your unique constitution, needs and sensitivities.
We swear by the Beauty Chef Cleanse Powder, which you can purchase in house.
3. Eat Lymph-Cleansing Raw Red Foods
Ayurvedic medicine teaches that naturally red food like pomegranates, cherries, cranberries, and beets help to keep the lymph moving freely. The naturally occurring enzymes, antioxidants, and bioflavonoids in these fruits and vegetables help to break down toxic buildup and combat free radicals, while the fibre in produce promotes regular elimination and cleansing of the intestinal villi to keep the intestinal lymphatic system healthy. In the warmest hours of the day, post sauna and in summer try our TRYBE kitchen Lymph loving juice.
4. Move Your Lymph Naturally
In addition to avoiding unnecessary restriction from tight clothing, you can boost the natural movement of the lymphatic fluid with physical activity and massage or self-massage. You may notice that fluid builds up and your legs get swollen when you sit for long periods of time. This is due to stagnation of lymph flow and can be prevented by frequent moving, massage, and stretching.
The rhythmic tensing and relaxing of the muscles during physical movement compresses the tissues to propel fluid through the lymphatic channels. Rebounding or bouncing on a mini-trampoline or exercise ball is one way to help pump and decongest the lymphatic fluid throughout the body.
Dry brushing, known as garshana in Ayurvedic medicine, and lymphatic massage also help to support healthy lymphatic flow in the skin-associated lymphatic tissue. The natural bristles of a dry brush encourage movement of the lymph and blood in the underlying tissues, which helps increase circulation and move out built-up toxins. Try brushing or massaging your body gently for 10 minutes each morning, working toward the heart and paying special attention to the head, neck, feet, breasts, and abdomen where lymphatic vessels are concentrated.
Physical and emotional stress contribute to lymph congestion, so it is important to have an effective routine for coping with daily stress. Two excellent ways to relax and boost lymphatic flow are laughter and deep breathing. Slow, deep breathing not only helps to relieve tension and anxiety but also moves the diaphragm and abdominal muscles to push lymph through the vessels.
In addition to deep breathing exercises, there are many other mindfulness practices to help you minimise the impact of stress on your lymphatic system, digestion, and overall health:
- Spending time in nature
6. Have a regular infrared sauna
Infrared saunas use infrared heating panels that emit light helping your body to detoxify, giving users a deeper cleansing experience. One of the biggest infrared sauna health benefits is its ability to increase your blood circulation and stimulate the sweat glands, releasing built-up toxins in lymphatic system. Regular sauna sweating can help detoxify your body for quicker lymphatic support.
When you learn to recognise your emotions and responses to stress and adopt healthy ways to become more mindful and manage stress, your lymph and life will flow more smoothly and you'll feel inner peace and outer radiance.
Incorporate these daily habits into your routine to keep your lymph flowing well. This will support natural revitalisation and cleansing of your body for vibrant skin, digestion, and health!
*Note: This information is intended for your educational use only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health programs.