Lymphatic System Support
The lymphatic system is the powerhouse of the immune system. It has two functions which support our body’s immunity:
1. It detoxifies the body by filtering out harmful bacteria and waste products.
2. It transports defensive cells (like white blood cells) to where they are needed in our body.
In addition, it also plays a supportive role in our body’s circulatory (blood) system and helps our body digest and use fats. Needless to say, this is a very important organ system for building and maintaining immunity. The purpose of today’s lesson is to show you simple methods for maintaining and supporting your lymphatic system.
How to know when your lymphatic system needs support
Before I show you how to support your lymphatic system, I want to take a moment to help you identify if it even needs your help. Below is a list of common signs that your lymphatic system may be over-worked and stressed.
- Cystic acne
- Bloating or other digestive issues
- Stiffness and soreness (especially in the morning)
- Swelling in your fingers (e.g. rings fitting more tightly)
- Brain fog
- Lowered immunity (sinus infections, colds, flu, allergies, constant fatigue, signs of parasites, etc.)
- Skin problems (dry or itchy skin)
- Excess weight
- Cold hands and feet
- Food sensitivities
- Enlarged lymph nodes (see locations on diagram above; however this may be hard to self-diagnose)
Of course, our body is not so simple as identifying one physical root cause for your ailments. But if you do have multiple symptoms from this list, it will be well worth adding simple lymphatic support habits to your daily routine.
Supporting our Lymphatic System
To start with, I want to congratulate you on already supporting your lymphatic system by doing this cleanse. One of the best ways to help this system is to eat high quality foods, and you’ve already made changes in this area.
If you want to really add an extra punch to your lymphatic support, eat some of the following every day:
- dark leafy greens
- cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower)
- wild fish
- fermented foods
- high-quality nuts and seeds (raw & unsalted)
- herbs (especially parsley and cilantro)
- spices (especially turmeric, ginger, garlic)
- sea vegetables (spirulina, blue-green algae, chlorella, seaweed snacks)
- greens powder (TerraGreens)
In addition to these power-packed foods, you can greatly support your lymphatic system by implementing some of the following habits:
1. Dry skin brushing. This is done by purchasing a dry skin brush and then brushing your skin with it (here’s a video tutorial). Doing this will support your lymphatic system’s drainage which will help you detoxify your body. I recommend doing this for 5-10 min before you shower everyday.
2. Exercise. Moving, in general, really helps your lymphatic system. Twisting motions which rotate the spine are especially helpful. Personally, I have a swimming routine which includes plenty of twists and keeps me active. As an alternative, many find that doing movement sequences which flow from posture to posture is a healing motion for the lymphatic system.
3. Inversion. This is simply putting your feet above head. You can accomplish this by putting your feet up a wall, using an inversion bed, or going through some inverted yoga positions. I recommend doing inversions before bed for about 15 minutes for best effect. It’s really helpful to do inversions because the blood flows down towards head and pituitary gland which drains the lymphatic system and greatly supports thyroid function.
4. Breathing and meditation practices. Having a grounded relaxation routine which gets your attention into your body and out of your thoughts is deeply healing to your whole body and especially your lymphatic system. One of the many reasons is because this allows your over-tense cells to relax and release toxins stored in them. There are powerful breathing techniques which have been proven to greatly boost the strength of your lymphatic system. The name of the breathing technique which is most researched and proven is the Wim Hof technique.
5. Cold therapy. By alternating cold and hot water on your body in the shower, you can quickly strengthen your lymphatic system. To do this shower properly, go directly into the cold water for 30 seconds to a minute and then hang out in hot water for as long as you like. Add in as many cold intervals as you wish, but, before you get out, make sure you end the shower in 30 seconds of cold water. The Wim Hof technique also incorporates cold therapy.
6. Infrared light. Taking time to go under an infrared light is healing to your lymphatic system. The most common way to do this is in an infrared sauna.
Choose the Customization Path which feels right for you.
- Choose one of the six lymphatic boosting habits and incorporate it into your daily routine.
- Choose one of the foods listed above which supports your lymphatic system and add it into your diet.
- Choose two or more of the six lymphatic boosting habits and add them into your daily routine.
- Choose two of more of the foods listed above which support your lymphatic system and add them to your diet.
How many of the stressed lymphatic system symptoms do you have (from the above list of 13)?
A. 3 or less of them.
B. 4 or more of them.
If A: I recommend the Steady Path.
If B: I recommend the Impact Path.
Affirmation: I am so happy and grateful that my lymphatic system is strong and healthy. I joyfully relax and release all toxins and allow my body to naturally heal and restore.
If you have swollen lymph nodes and you want some immediate relief, I recommend using doTERRA’s frankincense, peppermint, wintergreen, and / or ginger essential oils. I would either add them to a warm compress, bathe in warm water with the oils added, or simply massage the oils onto the swollen lymph nodes, diluted with fractionated coconut oil to reduce skin sensitivity. You can also massage your lymph nodes using this technique.