Keep Your Lymphatic System Moving!
Posted on 17 March 2016
The body is very proficient at detoxifying and cleansing itself. It has a variety of systems in place to move and carry toxins from all areas of the body. The lymphatic system is one such system that works throughout the entire body and is especially helpful to the skin.
The lymphatic system detoxifies the body by transporting lymph fluid through it. The system is comprised of a group of nodes, ducts, organs and lymph fluid which works to drain waste products and excess fluids from the body's skin cells, with help from the circulatory system.
With a healthy lymphatic system, fluids freely travel throughout all parts of the body constantly. When the lymph fluid is blocked, waste proteins begin to build up and illnesses and infections can occur. The skin uses a waste protein called melanin which results with sun damage, freckles and hyper-pigmentation. It is used as the body's protection against environmental hazards like sun damage and UV rays.
Exercises for Lymphatic Health
There are several exercises to perform to help the lymphatic system stay healthy, and keep the lymph flowing throughout the body.
Stretches, yoga, and good old exercise help the muscles move and encourage lymphatic system movement.
Next, there are several large lymph nodes on the face, neck and chest that assist the detox process. Facial lymphatic massage is a wonderful way to assist the drainage of blocked fluids. Blocked fluids in the face often present themselves as puffiness in the face and under the eyes. Gently manipulating the fluids trapped under the skin of the face with the pads of your fingers can nudge the fluids to the lymph nodes in the face and neck for detoxification. Facial lymphatic drainage massage can be practiced as often as once a week. Natural lymphatic drainage massages can be done all over the body as well.
Skin Brushing (also known as Dry Skin Brushing or Body Brushing) is another wonderful way to keep the lymphatic system happy and healthy. Skin Brushing is exactly what it sounds like. It is a gentle brushing of the skin with a natural-bristled brush (never synthetic!) It is most effective just before a bath or shower.
Always brush in the direction of the heart, which is the same as the lymphatic system. You want to encourage the movement, not fight against it. Lymphatic valves are one-way, so brushing in the proper direction is essential for success. The strokes used should be long, sweeping and light. Do not scrub, use circular motions or sweep back and forth. Any redness of the skin indicates brushing too hard.
Skin Brushing Techniques
Skin Brushing not only encourages the discharge of metabolic waste, but also encourages the removal of toxic residue from moisturizers, soaps and deodorants as well as dead cells and other toxins excreted by the skin.
A long handled brush, like the Sublime Brush, is held in the picture here by the founder of Sublime Naturals, Kathy Heshelow, helps you reach your back easily, but the portable Sublime brush is preferred by some because of the control.
Brush everywhere except the face, and don't brush over open sores. Don;t share your Skin Brush with others, either. Start at your feet and work your way up, front and back. Once you get the hang of it, you can brush your body in about 10 minutes - it is great to do in the shower BEFORE your shower, so you can wash away those dead cells!
Exercise, lots of water and proper nutrition also go a long way in helping the lymphatic system in its many jobs.