Did you know that the lymphatic system is one of the most powerful, yet neglected systems in the body, and it is crucial to our immune health?
As we already know 90% of all chronic disease is linked to excessive or persistent inflammation. How do we get rid of inflammation? Primarily through our lymphatic system, as well as our other detoxification organs. These can include things like our liver, kidney, lungs, tongue, fat, skin, and more.
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Now let’s compare our lymphatic system to an aquarium. All of our bones, ligaments, joints, muscles, and organs are bathing inside of this lymph tissue. Let’s say that our lymph is the aquarium and if this aquarium happens to be unfiltered, toxic, and full of pathogens, then, unfortunately, all of those things within the lymph tissue are also going to be negatively affected. This means that we’re not getting the proper nutrients to our cells. That’s when we can have cell death and inflammation. This is what contributes to chronic disease.
So how is our lymph system negatively affected? First and foremost, our food and agricultural industry has changed dramatically since post-World War II. We have more GMOs, toxins, herbicides, pesticides, and we are constantly being bombarded with these things on a regular basis. That, in combination with the choices that we make and our lifestyle factors, such as eating a standard American diet, not exercising, and not getting enough sleep. All of these things can impact our lymphatic system.
3 Ways To Improve Your Lymphatic System
Now let’s discuss three ways to improve your lymphatic system.
1) Diaphragmatic Breathing
As we are diaphragmatically breathing, the diaphragm acts as a respiratory pump that pumps the lymph to the cisterna chyli, which is one of our major lymphatic ducts and drainage locations. This is located at the center of our abdomen. Breathing diaphragmatically 20,000 to 25,000 times a day is ideal. If you’re breathing more from your neck and shoulders, you can begin to slowly change your breathing pattern by starting with taking three nice slow diaphragmatic breaths every hour and building up to more.
Movement is one of the key things that move our lymph. Sedentary lifestyles will be correlated with stagnant lymph. Think about every hour trying to get up, take a walk, move around, do some squats or push-ups, any type of mobility or stability work, or just any type of movement that you can do consistently. This is not sitting all day and then exercising for one hour. Instead, think of moving most hours of each day.
3) Lymphatic Drainage
This can be a very powerful way to stimulate your lymphatic system. You’ll want to tiptoe the system and not go too fast too soon. You want to go slow with your lymphatic drainage and make sure you let your body adjust so that hopefully you can continue to progress.
How To Perform Lymphatic Drainage
To begin the lymph drainage, you will start by using a feather-light technique for five seconds, then faster deeper for five seconds, then tapping for three, and then pull in the direction of your heart for three. You want to start right above the left collarbone and then move to the right collarbone. Next, proceed to the following areas: pecs and axilla, abdomen, the inguinal area, inside the groin, behind the knee, and then inside the ankle. Make sure to always pull in the direction of your heart, and to always perform on both sides starting on the left side.
Face Lymph Drainage
The next progression is the face lymph drainage, which you will use a toothbrush. You will start with the left collarbone with the same technique of feather-light for five, faster deeper for five, tapping for three, and then pulling in the direction of the heart for three. Make sure to always start on the left side and perform on each side. After performing this above each collarbone, move to under the jaw, then lateral jaw, then next to the nasolabial lines, then the temple area, and then lastly the occipital area (you can just use your hands for this area).
Dry Brushing Technique
The next progression is a dry brushing technique. You’ll start by clearing the left supraclavicular area. You can do this just by tapping. Then you’ll start with your feet and lower leg, brushing in long, slow strokes up towards the direction of your heart. Make sure to get behind the knee in that popliteal area and then move to the other leg. Once again, several strokes in each area.
Next move to the inguinal area moving up toward the direction of your heart. Then move to the abdomen, you can just do circles around your belly button. Next, move to the glutes and then to the low back. Next, move to the arms starting from the fingertips, and make sure you go through the axilla and pec area. Lastly, moving to the upper back. Once again make sure to perform on each side. You can do this right before your shower.
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