What is the lymphatic system?
It’s a major part of our immune system, a network of organs, nodes, ducts and vessels that move a clear fluid called lymph from tissues to our blood stream. Lymphatic vessels travel through our circulatory system alongside blood vessels and carry the lymphatic fluid. This fluid is made up of immune cells that are used to fight off foreign invaders like viruses as well as cleaning up abnormal or damaged cells in our body.
The Importance of Lymphatic drainage
The Lymph collects at specific drainage areas throughout our body and because it is used to carry waste materials out of our bodies, having that fluid drain properly is essential for recovering from illness and overall good health. On the other side, poor lymphatic flow increases fluid retention, allows toxic wastes to accumulate in the body and can lead to higher appearances of cellulite.
4 Ways You Can Naturally Restore Lymphatic Drainage
- Dry Skin Brushing
Dry Skin brushing exfoliates your skin, removing dead skin cells but it also stimulates your lymphatic system by increasing circulation. This helps to promote the flow of lymph, in turn removing toxins and decreasing the appearance of cellulite.
Start with a dry skin brush or loofah, available at most pharmacies or health food stores; dry brush your skin in soft strokes towards your heart. Begin at your feet, brushing up the legs and buttocks. Then brush from the tips of your fingers upwards towards the shoulder.
For your middle – the abdomen and back, brush in short circular strokes. Avoid your face and neck as this skin is too delicate. It’s best to do a dry skin brush before your daily shower.
- Alternating Hot and Cold Showers
After you have finished your dry skin brush treatment, end your daily shower with an alternating bursts of hot and cold water. This works to boost your circulation which both supports your immune system through lymph flow and gives an invigorating start to the day.
At the end of the shower, stand under hot water for two minutes then switch the water to cold for 30 seconds. Rather than jumping straight into extreme temperature, it’s recommneded to start with warm and cool, and slowly work your way up. Note, for your safety be careful not to burn yourself with water that is too hot and avoid your head while doing the hot/cold showering.
- Eat the Right Foods
Foods that you have a natural sensitivity to will cause inflammation, water retention, weight gain and poor circulation in your body. Sugar and highly processed foods should be avoided to allow your bodies lymphatic flow to work properly however you also need to notice if other foods are causing discomfort in your body, like dairy or bread and perhaps be tested for allergies.
There are a few foods which naturally detoxify and decrease inflammation which include:
- Dense green, leafy vegetables like kale or spinach
Exercise is one of the best way to increase circulation. Moving your muscles literally pumps fluid around your body, including lymph. Being active every day supports your circulation and your overall health.