The lymphatic system is one of the most vital parts of your immune system and is made up of tons of little organs called lymph nodes. Many traditional medicine practices are focused on promoting the healthy function of the lymphatic system through a lymph massage, lymph detoxes, and whole-body type cleanses.
Western medicine has seemed, as a whole, to view the lymph system as important—but also as being a non-major organ system. However, with recent research showing the lymph system is much more systemically integrated into our body, it is becoming abundantly clear that the lymph system should no longer be regarded as a secondary organ system (R).
Effective Lymph System Cleanses
Very recently, research has shown that the lymphatic system is deeply embedded throughout your central nervous system—brain included—and likely plays a large role in affecting almost all bodily functions (R) This revelation has confirmed what many holistic, integrative, and traditional Chinese medicine practices have expressed for centuries—that a healthy lymph system is key to a healthy body! Here are some tips for ensuring that your lymph system is staying healthy!
Yoga is a great way to promote the movement of lymph fluids within the body, as it provides extended periods of aerobic movement, the constriction, and release of muscles, as well as the overall heating of your body that is experienced with many other forms of exercise (R). Your body’s fluids are like many other fluids in the world, in that the warmer they become, the lower their viscosity becomes. Lower viscosity means easier to move, and easier to move means easier to detox!
Walking is another great practice that nearly everyone is able to do. If you haven’t been engaged in a regular exercise routine for years, and perhaps feel as though rekindling such a routine would be difficult—walking is a great place to start! Many people have told us they find tremendous aid in participating in local walking groups, and that the support of others helps their motivation.
Jogging and running is another pillar of many healthy lifestyles, but it’s not for everyone. If you have joint or muscle issues, higher-impact exercises like running, sprinting, or jogging can be a bit stressful for your body. If you feel comfortable with running or jogging however, it can be one of the greatest aerobic exercises you can undertake!
Riding a bicycle is a great alternative to running for many, as it provides a much more strenuous workout than walking in most cases, but also is much lower-impact than running and jogging. Most local health clubs and gyms have a wide array of cycling equipment which accommodates a wide range of preferences.
Weight conditioning and working out is an often overlooked way at stimulating the flow of lymph fluids, but is actually very effective at just that. The repetitive constricting and releasing of muscles during workouts is much like an internal massage for organs and your immune system. Assuming you are working out at a pace fast enough to get warm and break a sweat, lifting weight will also lower your body’s lymph viscosity to help things flow a little better. If you’ve ever noticed that you have the urge to ‘hack’ up mucus during workouts (similar to when you have a cold), you’ve already noticed how well it helps the lymph system to move!
(called lymph drainage, or MLDTs in sports therapy) are a great way to stimulate lymph flow throughout the body, and have a very similar effect to the deep tissue stimulation of lifting weights. While much more subtle and sustained, massages can help provide a much needed support to the immune system—helping to eliminate accumulated toxins. Lymph Drainage is a type of massage therapy that is focused primarily on the lymph system and can have a tremendous effect on boosting overall immune health, and rejuvenating energy levels! (R)
Saunas and heat therapy
are great ways to help your body release toxins that are deeply embedded in tissues and organs. Scandinavian cultures have been using saunas as a means to help boost health for centuries, and such practices are becoming much more common in other cultures such as the United States. A popular new types of sauna therapy is to use an infrared sauna, which utilizes infrared lights to heat your body from the inside out. Traditional Scandinavian saunas heat the air in the room, which then heats you from the outside in. The near infrared sauna types are thought to be much more efficient and powerful in aiding the detoxification and cleansing of your body—especially your lymphatic system!
are a type of supplement containing powerful ingredients that help to dispose of ‘rouge’ proteins wandering around in your body. While there are quite a number of different enzymes that could fall into this category, the ones most commonly considered ‘proteolytic’ are Amylase, Protease, Lipase, Bromelain, Papain, and Serratiopeptidase. Supplements that contain these ingredients can help any number of health issues such as parasites, fungal infections, joint issues, food intolerance, and especially long-standing lymphatic issues. Proteolytic enzyme supplements are good to take when you’re not exactly sure what’s wrong with you, but you want to feel better! These proteolytic enzymes can be found naturally in many fruits such as pineapple—which has been proven to help heal leaky gut syndrome and reduce inflammation
Motivation & Balance
Cleansing the lymphatic system is a long, constant process and involves fighting against any number of outside factors. Exercising everyday, somehow, is one of the best routines you can start for your health. Just walking for 10-15 minutes a day, has been shown to greatly reduce primary and secondary risks of cardiovascular disease (R)! In addition to the above-listed practices, you should take a serious look at your diet as well.
Foods high in sugar are the first culprit in fueling the flames of chronic issues, followed shortly thereafter by wheat and dairy. An organic, whole food diet rich in seasonal foods and low in sugar is one of the most-powerful changes anyone can make for themselves. In addition to lymph system cleansing, an Elimination Diet can help rid the body of toxins as well. This type of change is also one of the hardest changes anyone can undertake, often taking years to fully adapt. Your taste buds change, your hormones change, you change! We are so very influenced by what we eat that the thought of our food not being directly related to any issues we are having is crazy.