Exercise. Lymphatic Drainage and Removing Toxins from the Body. | lymphatic system health
Exercise, lymphatic drainage and removing toxins from the body
Many moons ago when I was a student in herbal medicine we had some training from the world renowned herbalist Susun Weed.
She asked each of us what we wanted to do when we graduated and my friend who was very interested in sport said she was particularly interested in sports medicine and aiding the body in recovery and sports injury.
To which Susun replied in not the exact words because I can’t remember “nobody should exert their body to such a degree that it should cause injury. And that athletes abuse their bodies”.
Those (not so exact) words have always stuck with me and now that I know more about how the body works I have to agree.
Exercise should be taken lightly so as not to raise high blood levels of cortisol and adrenaline, because they have a negative action on the body closing down vital organs such as digestion, brain function and more.
Moderate exercise is what we should aim for and in this week’s article about a healthy lymphatic system, we will discuss a major role exercise plays in helping you remove waste, toxins, harmful chemicals, bacteria, viruses and microorganisms from the body and how to boost immunity, vitality, alertness and well-being. ENJOY!
What is the lymphatic system and how it works in the body.
The lymphatic system is a network of tubes throughout the entire body consisting of organs, ducts and nodes that filter fluid from the tissues, purifies it and empties it back into the bloodstream.
Its main role is to manage fluid levels in the body, remove toxins, waste, unwanted materials and deliver nutrients to the entire body and is the home to powerful bacteria killing, infection fighting, white blood cells.
As well as removing interstitial fluid from the tissues it absorbs and transports fatty acids and fats from the digestive system and transports white blood cells to and from the lymph nodes into the bone.
Two lymphatic trunks are located at the base of the neck connected to veins, which are responsible for draining the upper right side of the body and returning lymph to the blood stream via the right subclavian vein.
There are hundreds of lymph nodes in the human body located close to the lungs and heart as well as under the arms and groin area.
The largest lymphatic organ is the spleen located just above the kidney on the left side of the body. The spleen is responsible for controlling the amount of red blood cells, blood storage and along with the lymphatic system fights invasion from potentially dangerous bacteria, viruses and microorganisms.
How to Activate the Lymph System into Top Gear.
Movement stimulates the lymphatic system, and is the most important factor in enabling the lymphatic system to remove waste from the body.
If you are in a sedentary profession then regular movement will encourage lymphatic drainage.
It can be as simple as a compulsory 3 minute break every hour. Get up from your desk and move around a little. Do a lap around the office, better still walk up a flight of stairs, swing your arms when you walk, raise your heart beat and flush out those toxins.
A regular daily brisk walk for 30 minutes, swinging your arms, raising heart beat by going uphill and deep breathing helps flush toxins from your body via the lymphatic system.
Deep Breathing also stimulates the lymphatic system, make it a daily practice to take several deep breaths and watch how your body responds. Excellent for clearing your head and flooding your entire body with oxygen.
Taking up to 8 deep breaths through the nose filling your lungs and expelling your breath out of your mouth. Try counting to 8 when you inhale and counting to 8 as you exhale. This is a great practice before you go to sleep at night, to help you relax and have a great night’s sleep.
The lymphatic system has no pump like the heart in the circulatory system however the movement from deep breathing helps the lymph system drain.
NOTE: Constant shallow breathing congests the lymphatic system.
Hydration drink regularly, water is the best for hydration, make sure you have a bottle of water (at room temperature) handy and take a sip every 15 minutes or so to make sure you are getting enough – check your pee. If it is clear you’re drinking too much – try the hydration chart to examine optimum colour
Skin Brushing promotes lymphatic drainage and the removal of toxins from the body, even light brushing will do this as well as improving immunity, brushing the skin will aid in reducing cellulite and refresh the skin.
In the Shower make sure it is not too hot and not too cold. Showering in a moderate temperature is better, hot showers dilate the lymph system and cold showers contract the lymph system.
To help movement of the lymph system shower in a moderate temperature and heat it up for 1 minute then end your shower with a minute of cool water to finish off.
What stops the lymph system from working well?
Lack of movement– deep breathing and body movement prevent stagnation of the lymphatic system.
Stress – stress hormones in the body create an acid environment which constricts lymphatic flow leading to congestion.
Digestive stress– constipation or diarrhoea promotes lymph congestion
Processed foods – lead to sluggish congestion due to exposure to unrecognizable preservatives, excess toxins and bad fats
Chemical exposure – pesticides, home cleaning products, cosmetics, skin and body products all carry harmful chemicals your lymph system has to deal with and remove from the body – overexposure causes the lymphatic system unnecessary stress and overwhelm preventing it dispatching or detoxifying immediately.
The Importance of a healthy Lymphatic system
Lymphatic flow is important for removal of waste in the body, congestion leads to inflammation and disease, toxins, bacteria, chemical overload and other harmful by products remain trapped in a sluggish pileup that causes fatigue, infection, swelling and poor discharging of waste circulating in your body.
It is costly to your health if you have a sluggish lymphatic system, so if you want to be healthy all year round look after it, matchless and irreplaceable for your well-being, satisfactory hydration, movement and deep breathing will contribute to maximum lymphatic function.