The lymphatic system in the body is considered to be the body's second circulatory system, but it doesn't transport blood. Rather, it carries lymph tissue and fluids around the body through the lymph vessels and operates as part of the specialized immune system. It is home to specific immune cells called lymphocytes that fit disease and foreign particles in the body and protect you from "outside invaders".
Where the heart pumps blood around the body, the lymphatic system doesn't have a built-in pump system. This can cause problems of lymph drainage which is how we get toxins and other byproducts out of our body. Without it, stagnant fluids accumulating in interstitial fluids and the lymph nodes. This lack of drainage is implicated in many different health issues and can cause serious immune system compromises that need to be regularly addressed.
To get lymph fluid draining, there are a number of natural therapies that can get things flowing again so that the junk can be removed and the immune system can function properly.
1. Massage: Lymphatic massage, also called lymphatic drainage or manual lymph drainage, is a technique developed in Germany for treatment of lymphedema.The therapist gently rubs, strokes, taps or pushes the skin in directions that follow the structure of the lymphatic system so that accumulated lymph fluid can drain through proper channels. Lymphatic drainage is very gentle, is not painful and doesn’t have a stimulating effect.
2. Dry Brushing: This is a technique for exfoliating skin using a dry, natural bristle brush to gently brush the skin. It is also called skin brushing or body brushing. This technique not only promotes healthier skin by removing dead skin cells on the surface of the skin, but also by stimulating and increasing skin cell production, giving your skin a healthy glow all year long. But the benefits are not just skin deep - dry brushing both increases blood flow and circulation and enhances detoxification through the skin.
3. Rebounding: Jumping on a mini-trampoline might sound like pure fun but it, surprisingly, has serious health benefits as well ! Rebounding (or bouncing on a resistant surface) literally shakes lymph fluid loose and stimulates its circulation around the body. Just 15 minutes a day is enough to have regular lymphatic drainage and have some fun too !
4. Lemon Juice: A fabulous addition to spice up your water, fresh-squeezed lemon juice also stimulates lympathic drainage, particularly when consumed first thing in the morning after the body has been at rest and fluids have stagnated overnight.
This article was written by Nakita Valerio, B.A, CSN, BMSA Technician. She has been working for Optimum Health Vitamins since 2007, during which she has gained a deep appreciation and understanding for the complexities of human nutrtition, and has spent hundreds of hours researching the topic. Her current position is online media assistant - a job she currently enjoys from Morocco!