Why is the Lymphatic System so important?
The Lymphatic System is a system of fluid passages in the body comprised of vessels that work in conjunction with the circulatory system to regulate bodily fluid and protect immune health. The main glands involved in maintaining this intricate balance of the body’s system include: the bone marrow, spleen, thymus and lymph nodes. This very special system is responsible for moving toxins out of the body through a fluid called ‘lymph’ which is comprised of lymphocytes, white blood cells, and other waste products (bacteria, fats and proteins). In cases of illness or metabolic disturbance the lymph system can get backed up leading to feelings of fatigue, sluggishness or difficulty moving water or waste from the body. This inability to move waste from the body can cause disturbance in any organ system, ultimately taxing and burdening on the Heart and other blood vessels.
How can I support my lymphatic system?
Much like we clean our teeth, hair, ears and digestive system, we must ‘clean’ our lymphatic system. This can be done by stimulating the skin and the glands resting underneath the skin through Dry Skin Brushing. Dry Skin Brushing is a simple and effective way to help the body detoxify from daily stressors as well as aid lymphatic drainage easing tension on the bodily systems. The action of brushing stimulates the lymph glands to drain toxic mucus into and subsequently out of the colon.
You may notice any and all of these benefits. I especially like to combine dry skin brushing with therapeutic use of essential oils to increase the detoxifying benefits based on a client’s constitution.
- Decreased water retention or pathological edema
- Optimized circulation for Heart health
- Wei Qi Stimulating (Strengthening the Immune System)
- Breaking up of cellulite and light fascial constrictions
- Skin softening and toning
I have often found when working with patients with immune dysfunction or glandular disease (asthma, cancer recovery, autoimmune, thyroiditis) there can be a incredible change when one incorporates this practice into their daily ritual.
Step 1: Purchase a natural bristle dry skin brush at your local health food store OR you can also use a loofah. For an added treat, our gardeners out there can grow luffa gourds for use after they have been dried and cleaned.
Step 2: Undress and begin to brush your skin using firm long strokes. (This may feel strong the first few times you begin this practice). Always work your strokes toward the Heart Center or the area of the Large Intestine. I always start at my feet and work my way up the body, finishing with the arms and armpits. Note: You do not need to brush the face.
Step 3: Shower. This will cleanse the body of any excess skin that may be sloughed off
Step 4: For an added treat, massage the body with oil after your shower. Stay tuned for Body Oil recipes and instructions on giving an indulgent self massage
Step 5: Repeat this practice when starting out 1-2x / day for three months. After three months, you can most likely begin move to doing this 2 x / week increasing in cases where you feel your lymph may be backed up (swollen glands) or in incidences of illness.