Your lymphatic system is the forgotten hero when it comes to your health. It contains between 400-800 lymph nodes constantly removing toxins, waste and pathogens, in fact, it plays such a crucial role in your health that Ayurvedic medicine considers it to be the "water of life."
Your lymphatic system is responsible for a number of important functions in the body:
Supporting a healthy immune system: this system is responsible for defence against infections and diseases. Lymph nodes or organs filter and remove viruses, bacteria and toxins from the body. The lymph fluid also contains lymphocytes which are responsible for remembering bacteria they have encountered and fighting against them.
Absorption of nutrients: the lymphatic system is responsible for absorbing fats and fat-soluble nutrients to help them enter the bloodstream and move throughout the body.
Fluid Balance: the lymphatic system is also responsible for helping maintain the homeostasis of fluids within the body.
Unfortunately, your lymphatic system is often overlooked when talking about overall health. With no pump to move the lymphatic fluid, this system relies on gravity, breathing, muscle contractions and movement to keep it flowing.
There are a few ways you can help support a healthy lymphatic system, let’s talk about them!
Dry-brushing: a self-care technique that will not only help stimulate the circulation of the lymphatic system but also restore your skin's radiance, that technique is called dry brushing. Dry brushing is a self-care technique that you can incorporate into your daily routine by simply investing in the right brush. Dry brushing will exfoliate your skin and improve its ability to eliminate toxins through your pores as well as stimulate the circulation of the lymphatic system and circulatory system. The best part, dry brushing is really easy. Once you purchase the right brush all you need to do is stand in the tub or shower (to catch all that falling skin) and brush the skin using long, overlapping strokes from the feet up the legs, from the hands up the arms, down from the neck to the chest, paying special attention to anywhere with lymph nodes, and always brushing towards the heart. Make sure to avoid any broken skin, and clean your brush with soap and water often. Then shower as normal!
2. Exercise: because the lymphatic system doesn’t use a pump, moving your body through exercise helps to move the lymphatic fluid. This can be by simply doing a gentle stretch, going for a walk or a swim, or using a rebounder (which is essentially a mini-trampoline) to get that lymph flowing! Some studies show that one hour of rebounding burns more calories than one hour of jogging!
3. Hydration: In order for your lymphatic system to drain properly you must be adequately hydrated. Even mild dehydration can cause a slower-moving lymphatic system with more toxins build up.
4. Sweating: One of the best ways we can keep our lymphatic system in tip-top shape is to sweat. Sweating helps move toxins out of the body and keeps your lymphatic fluid clean and working properly. You can do this by hitting your local sauna, exercise, and avoiding using antiperspirant deodorant.
Supporting a healthy lymphatic system will support a healthier you!