- Alyssa Abrahamson
Why you need to unclog your lymphatic system
I know you brush your teeth, but have you every dry brushed your body?
Dry brushing is an age-old process of brushing the skin to stimulate the lymph flow within the body and it assists the body to naturally detoxify.
I’ve dry brushed for a few years and it’s something that’s worth trying because it has a lot of health benefits.
In addition to stimulating the body's lymphatic system, dry brushing also strengthens the immune system.
When you dry brush your body, you’re using manual exfoliation to help increase blood flow to the area. Ideally done once or twice a week for about 5 minutes, dry brushing supports healthy lymphatic flow and also reduces inflammation.
Essentially, the coarse bristles of a dry brush foster lymph and blood movement in the underlying tissues which assists moving out built-up toxins. There's a proper way to dry brush so if you're interested in learning how there are tutorials online.
We know moving out toxins that accumulate in the body is essential to staying healthy, but let’s take a look at the lymphatic system’s purpose and its link to moving toxins.
What is the lymphatic system?
The lymphatic system is a crucial part of our immune system and is a part of the circulatory system (aka the cardiovascular system, which delivers nutrients and oxygen to all cells in the body and takes away wastes).
The lymphatic system consists of glands, lymph nodes, the spleen, the thymus gland, and tonsils and serves as our body’s drainage system. It is this network of tissues and organs that helps eliminate toxins, waste and other unwanted materials from our body.
These lymphatic vessels, tissues, organs, and glands cooperate to drain a clear, watery fluid called “lymph.” Lymph, composed of white blood cells, proteins, salts, and other substances, is drained throughout the body.
The main functions of the lymphatic system include:
protecting your body from illness-causing foreign invaders (e.g. bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi)
Maintaining fluid levels in your body
Transporting and removing cellular waste and abnormal cells from the lymph
Absorbing fats from the digestive tract
The unfortunate reality is, the lymphatic system is out of balance in many people due to nutrient deficiencies, high intake of processed foods, and lack of physical activity.
Anything sound familiar here?
And sluggish or stagnant lymph leads to waste and toxin buildup, weakening the immune system and resulting in a variety of health issues.
ALERT! The lymphatic system doesn’t have its own active pumping system so it’s vital that you keep the lymph flowing!
How do you know if your lymphatic system is congested?
There are several signs and symptoms that lymphatic fluid is clogged, not moving effectively, and that toxins are building up in your body including:
Bloating, weight gain
Swelling especially in the fingers, wrists, ankles, and feet
Chronic sinus infections, sore throats, colds, or ear issues
Rashes, eczema, itchy dry skin
breast swelling and tenderness w/ menstruation
Swollen lymph nodes
Feeling sore or stiff in the joints, especially in the morning
Cold hands and feet
Constipation, sluggish bowel movements
Most of our lymph nodes are in clusters in the neck, armpit, and groin area. They're also found along the lymphatic pathways in the chest, abdomen, and pelvis, where they filter the blood.
How do you move your lymph?
Here are 8 ways to help create flow in your lymphatic system and remove toxins from your body.
Exercise and move your body regularly
Stay consistently hydrated
Dry brush a few times a week
Do deep breathing exercises
Opt for an organic, anti-inflammatory diet with lots of green leafy vegetables and foods rich with omega-3 fatty acids like wild-caught salmon, sardines, and mackerel
Avoid processed foods, food with added chemicals and artificial ingredients, artificial sweeteners, sugar, conventionally raised meat and dairy
Use toxin-free cleaning, skincare and hygiene products
Get a massage!
Remember, the body needs your help moving lymph!
When you incorporate healthy nutrition, exercise, and daily habits, you’re naturally supporting lymphatic flow and promoting optimal health. And that’s a good thing!
May 25, 2021