In a recent post I shared with you the importance of a healthy lymphatic system.
Following are 11 ways to improve and detox your lymph system.
1. Deep Breathing – when you practice deep breathing using your diaphragm you create pressure and expansion that helps pump your lymphatic fluid. This allows it to transport toxins into your blood before they are detoxified by your liver. So breathe in long and deep, fill your body with healing oxygen and breathe out toxins. Increasing oxygen levels in your body makes it more alkaline as well.
2. Leafy Greens / Red Foods – Chlorophyll, the green nutrient that captures sunlight, has powerful cleansing properties and beneficial effects on your blood and lymph system. Use dark greens high in chlorophyll like kale, arugula, turnip greens, dandelion leaves, broccoli, and mustard greens. Red foods like berries, beets, cherries, cranberries, and pomegranate also get the lymph moving and support the liver.
3. Reduce Stress – Stress is bad news for your lymph system and can cause it to stagnate. Use the following techniques to help improve the flow of lymph fluid through your body by limiting both mental and physical stress:
- Deep breathing
- Yoga and pilates
Reducing stress also supports immune function, relieves congestion, and stimulates the removal of pathogens from your body.
4. Massage – By applying pressure to your body, massage stimulates the blood and lymph vessels, helping move the fluid along. Lyme expert, Stephen Buhner is a big fan of massage for Lyme and recommends it weekly if one can afford it.
Alternatively, you can do a quick self massage to get you’re your lymph flowing.
5. Cupping – Cupping is practiced by many acupuncturists and is an alternative medicine therapy that uses cups to form a suction on your skin. This supports detoxification by stretching open the lymphatic vessels and increasing the movement of lymph locally and systemically.
6. Sip Hot Water / Hydrate – Dr. John Douillard recommends sipping hot water every 15 minutes (while awake) for 2 weeks to get the lymph flowing. This causes your tissue to vasodilate, loosens lymph fluid up, and gets it flowing.
Lymphatic fluid is about 95% water so drink a lot of purified and mineralized water. The rule of thumb is to drink at least half your weight in ounces of water a day. When you are dehydrated lymphatic fluid cannot flow properly. Another option is to add lemon to your water. Lemon water is alkaline and this helps to mineralize your body and lymph. Try sipping on warm lemon water throughout the day, but don’t forget your straw! This protects the teeth’s enamel from the lemon.
7. Bouncing Exercises – All exercise increases oxygen supply to tissues and cells and stimulates blood circulation and will improve lymph flow. When the body does not regularly move, toxins remain in muscle and this is why sitting for extended periods of time is so bad for you.
Bouncing exercises increase lymph even more and you can achieve this by bouncing on a mini trampoline. As the body moves against gravity, the lymphatic system is stimulated to pull lymph fluid carrying toxins through the vessels and circulate. If you don’t have access to a trampoline you can lightly jump on the grass or a matt or you can jump rope to achieve a similar effect.
8. Herbs – Herbs are another great way to help detoxify the lymphatic system and remove toxins. Dr. John Douillard recommends Manjistha. It’s a powerful antioxidant, protects your liver, cleans your blood, protects fat cells from oxidation, and gets your lymph moving.
He also recommends eating the white part of citrus peels or pomegranate peels since they contain diosmin, which supports microcirculation, venous circulation, and lymph drainage.
Brahmi is another herb that supports function of your lymphatic system and as an added bonus it helps with mental clarity, stress, protects the lining of your stomach, and helps you have healthy skin.
9. Sweat – Sweat or perspiration is one of the ways the human body eliminates toxins. To maximize perspiration, use an infrared sauna to sweat toxins through your pores. If you don’t have access to an infrared sauna a dry sauna can work as well.
10. Dry Brushing – Dry brushing helps with the removal of toxins on your skin and gets your lymph moving. To dry brush simply brush gently along your skin in the direction of your heart. This stimulates sweat glands, supports circulation below the skin, exfoliates dead skin, reduces cellulite, and makes your skin softer.
11. Inversion Table – An inversion table is a machine that straps in your feet and allows you to hang or invert upside down. The process of being inverted decompresses your joints and stimulates your lymphatic and circulatory system. This brings blood and oxygen to your tissues and helps clear your muscles of toxic build-up. Inverting allows gravity to work with you body, encouraging the movement of the lymph. It also improves spinal health by rehydrating the discs, reducing pressure on the nerves and relaxing tense muscles.
Lots of times you can find an inversion table on Craig’s List pretty cheap.
To improve your body’s ability to detox, make one or a few of these a regular practice. It will help you keep your lymphatic system in prime shape.