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How to Maintain Lymphatic System Health

Edited By: Krista Mc'Farlene

 Your body is designed to heal and find balance, and one of the ways it clears waste and maintains healthy circulation is through the lymphatic system. Symptoms range from cellulite to bloating and it can all be related to congestion within the lymphatic system. 

But what does the lymphatic system do? It is made up of tissues that produce, store, and transport white blood cells, including 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 flows throughout the lymphatic system. It is made up of different components as it goes through different parts of the body. At times it contains proteins, while at other times, it contains bacteria and fats. Regardless, lymphs must flow freely ensuring that waste products do not build up in the tissues. 

 

lymph nodes

This network of lymphatic vessels and nodes acts like a giant drainage and filtration system for the body, and much like the plumbing in your home it needs to stay unclogged and flowing well for it to work properly. When it becomes stagnant and congested, wastes and toxins begin to build up, leading to weak immunity and a wide variety of health issues. When lymph vessels are congested you may experience: 

  • Fatigue
  • Bloating
  • Water retention
  • Stiffness, especially in the morning
  • Brain fog
  • Itchy and dry skin
  • Cellulite
  • Stubborn weight gain
  • Chronic sinusitis, sore throats, colds, and ear issues
  • Breast swelling with the menstrual cycle
  • Swollen glands
  • Cold hands and feet

Decongest Your Lymphatic System to Rebalance Your Body

So, if you are experiencing any of the above signs, decongesting your lymph system may hold the key to rejuvenation and rebalancing of your body. Here are six ways to rebalance your body: 

1. Stay Hydrated
lymph nodes

Lymph is made up of 95% water. For this reason, adequate hydration is necessary to keep it flowing freely. Stay well hydrated by sipping warm, purified water which you can sip throughout the day to keep hydrated. You can also add freshly squeezed lemon to your water first thing in the morning. This will help flush out toxins. In addition, avoid soft drinks, processed juices, sports drinks and alcohol, all of which add an additional metabolic burden on the body. Stay clear of too much caffeine too. 

2. Heal Your Gut

A sluggish digestive tract can also contribute to congestion within the lymphatic system. For this reason, good gut health is fundamental. 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 individualized for your unique needs and sensitivities. Be sure to include omega-3 fatty acids, leafy green vegetables, vitamins A and D, and balanced probiotics, which can help heal the lining, reduce inflammation, and provide a diverse array of beneficial bacteria, making the digestive tract more resilient to the impacts of stress.

3. Eat Lymph-Cleansing Raw Red Foods
lymph nodes

According to ayurveda, naturally red foods like pomegranates, cherries, cranberries and beets, they all help to keep the lymph moving freely. The enzymes, antioxidants, and bioflavonoids in these raw fruits and vegetables help break down toxic buildup and combat free radicals, all while the fiber in the produce promoted regular elimination and cleansing of the intestinal villi, ensuring a healthy intestinal lymphatic system. Beets have been shown to be especially promising in reducing inflammation. Try a fresh raw beet juice, or grated raw beets in your salad. 

4. Dress Smart

Because the lymph does not have a mechanical pump to propel it through the body, it relies on unrestricted flow and natural muscle movement, keeping it flowing. A simple way to prevent restricting lymphatic flow is to avoid tight clothing. earing anything fitted or restraining like a bra with an underwire, or even tight briefs or jeans can restrict the drainage of lymph fluids from surrounding tissues. Opt for looser-fitted clothing. 

5. Move Your Lymph Naturally
lymph nodes

You can boost the natural movement of the lymphatic fluid with physical activity and massage. Fluid tends to build up in your legs, which can 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. Try dry brushing which will help support healthy lymphatic flow in the skin associated lymphatic tissue. The bristles of a dry brush encourage movement of the lymph and the blood in the underlying tissues, helping to increase circulation and move out built-up toxins. Aim to brush or massage the body gently for 10 minutes each morning, moving toward the heart. 

6. Breathe and Remain Mindful

Physical and emotional stress contribute to lymph congestion, so it is important to have an effective routine to help you manage your daily stress. Two ways to relax and boost lymphatic flow are laughter and deep breathing. Slow, deep breathing helps relieve tension and anxiety and moves the diaphragm and abdominal muscles to push lymph through the vessels. In addition to deep breathing you can try meditation and yoga too, tai chi, or spending time in nature.  

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