Updated: Dec 1, 2019
Our lymphatic system works in conjunction with our liver and when we say we're 'building up our immune system', what we really should be saying is that we are building up our lymphatic system. The lymphatic system practically runs through our entire body. As I mentioned in a prior post, we have 600 lymph nodes. Three hundred dwell in the neck while the other 300 are strung together in our head, arms, chest, abdomen, groin and thighs down to our knees.
Since the lymphatic system works in conjunction with the liver, it too pushes out garbage and detoxes the body. The liver is our primary filter and when that's congested and overloaded, it alleviates the load by sending it to our lymphatic system. Lymphatic congestion can lead to fatigue, inflammation, infection and disease. A sedentary lifestyle combined with a poor diet, viruses and a toxic environment can create a congested lymphatic system.
So how do we detox our lymphatic system?
Hydrating water is crucial, but most of us don't know that it's critical to put freshly squeezed lemon or lime in our (hopefully filtered) water. Unless you're going to a water spring for your water, that essential clear liquid is no longer living as it travels in dark pipes to enter our homes. Fresh lemon or lime makes our water come 'alive' again and living water is what we need to hydrate efficiently. Side note: when water is heated, it is no longer hydrating.
A rebounder (mini trampoline) is one of the most effective ways to stimulate lymph flow since it can't pump on its own. You don't have to bounce hard; in fact, a gentle bouncing is all you need to get your lymph system to push gunk out. Gravitational pull is all you need to open and close those 600 lymph nodes! Try to build up to 20 minutes, but even a few minutes will greatly benefit your system.
Rebounding is more gentle on the body than running and is fifty percent more effective than running.
Dry Brushing also drains the lymphatic system while softening the skin. Since the lymphatic system is close to the skin, you use light brush strokes. I usually brush the same area ten times before moving on. Start at the soles of your feet, brush ten times and then move to the tops of your feet. Focus on brushing towards your heart. I divide each ligament into four sections and brush each section ten times. For example, brush one of four sections on your calf ten times, move onto the next section of the calf and continue up the same leg making sure to get the groin area and butt before moving onto the other leg. Make circular movements in your armpit and a clockwise motion over your stomach. Don't forget to brush both sides of your hands. If you're not sure how to do it, youtube has some great videos. Always dry brush before you get into the shower or far infrared sauna. If you're doing this before a shower, alternate your shower temperature from hot to cold. Lymphatic vessels contract in cold temperatures and dilate in heat. This further moves fluid in the lymphatic system.
The far infrared sauna is my favorite way to detox the lymphatic system (hey, I kill two birds with one stone as I meditate and sweat at the same time). Also, sitting and sweating in this box burns 600 calories in 30 minutes. The heat and sweat mimic exercising. The heat triggers us to sweat; thus an increase in circulation which promotes the lymphatic system to move and detox the body. I dry brush BEFORE going into the far infrared sauna-- a great way to get the lymphatic system moving before sweating. Then when showering, I alternate the hot and cold water technique. You feel incredible afterward! Most importantly, follow up with coconut water to get those electrolytes in check (and make sure there aren't any added ingredients like 'natural flavors'--that's code for MSG).
Most importantly, don't invest in a cheap rebounder or sauna. A cheap rebounder can tear while you're on it, causing a preventable injury. Far infrared saunas are at different price points because you want to purchase one with a LOW EMF output and of course you don't want the wood/glue to be toxic because heat will cause you to inhale the fumes. Here is my favorite rebounder and sauna: (the standard rebounder) https://www.radianthealthsaunas.com (saunas not stained) http://www.crystalsauna.com.
Finally, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, drink organic celery juice on an empty stomach when you can and eat those wild blueberries. One supplement we are all lacking is zinc (and the right zinc). It's critical for your lymphatic system! I use Good State Ionic Zinc, the best brand of ionic zinc out there. Right now, it's 25% off using the code CYBERWEEK! So make sure to incorporate this as well--I've gotten rid of the flu with this zinc alone...but that's another post.