The lymphatic system plays an important role in our immunity and overall health and there are many ways to support our lymphatic system. You probably know about dry brushing; find out other ways to improve our well our lymph system is working.
What is our Lymphatic System?
Our lymphatic system consists of six organs, 400 to 600 nodes, lymphatic fluids, capillaries, vessels, ducts, and trunks.
Its primary functions are to:
- circulate and balance fluid through its action on interstitial fluid transporting nutrients and removing cellular waste products
- sample, surveille, and maintain self-tolerance for potentially dangerous substances
- transport large molecules such as proteins, fats, and vitamins
- cleans the brain via the glymphatic system
- contributes to metabolic balance by helping to regulate dietary fat absorption and balancing cholesterol
Check out this e-book for a simple to understand explanation for the lymphatic system. This is one of the free gifts you receive immediately when you sign up for the free Lymphatic Summit (June 13 to 19, 2022). Just reading these e-books, I’ve learned a lot more about the lymphatic system and picked up some great tips.
5 Ways to Support Your Lymphatic System
The lymphatic system needs physical movement to function properly. The pressures from our actions activate the movement of our lymph. This can be as simple as walking or as pleasurable as gua sha. Lymphatic drainage is not the primary “goal” of gua sha which is about overall internal balance. The action of gua sha, whether you are using a board, a crystal mushroom, or a good ol’ porcelain spoon, you are supporting lymph drainage. We do this with gently moving the gua sha tool down our neck, for example.
Other movements include rebounding (lightly jumping on a low trampoline), stretching, and yoga.
You may have heard of or have received a lymphatic drainage massage, a gentle and specific protocol that activates flow. What I love doing myself is gently lifting my skin, a Seifu technique that supports oxygenation and circulation. I also give myself massages on my arms and legs to stimulation circulation. For me, I find both very relaxing.
Like many of you, I love dry brushing. It’s one of the first recommendations people give for lymphatic health. I initially started to help remove dead skin and since then, I’ve gathered a small collection of brushes. Some of my favourite dry brushing tools are Living Libations’ Energy Brush, De la Heart’s Body Tool, and Lanshin’s Pro Gua Sha Tool. Also check out Stefanie’s marketplace on Woodland Beauty. I did a fun 21-day Gua Sha Challenge with her and a group of ladies from Eastern Canada.
Here’s a tip I learned from Kelly Kennedy and – instead of starting with dry brushing is to activate the area above the collar bones by gently pumping it. I do that by pressing with my fingertips. This is the drainage point and if it’s blocked, the lymph doesn’t drain properly.
So do this first, then dry brush, moving towards the heart. I do this before showering and then afterwards (and before sleep), I apply this natural lymphatic cream. If I’m feeling under the weather, I apply this cream on my cheeks, sides of neck, and along my nose to move the congestion. It’s one of my favourite creams!
Breathwork helps especially with people with lymphedema that can happen when the lymphatic system is function sub-optimally. Blockages can happen for a variety of reasons. Breathwork helps ease sites of lymphedema such as the arms and legs by supporting the flow into the chest area. With massage being an external pressure, deep breathing is an internal pressure that helps lymph to move. (If you have lymphedema, check out the Godoy and Godoy Method. I’ve also used specific Jin Shin flows to help with edema or when I myself have hurt my ankle.)
I recently shared three types of breath work on my Instagram account – 4,7,8 breathing, box or square breathing, and the 36 Breaths. Be sure to read the caption for instructions. Conscious breathing can help us relax, activate the parasympathetic nervous system, and be present. It is an important part of how we address stress in our life. Stress is often overlooked and somehow just accepted as “that’s just life” mindset. Reducing our sources of stress makes a pivotal positive change to our health, well-being, and relationships.
Castor Oil Packs
I love doing castor oil packs. It can get a bit messy so preparation is key. I put down towels on my bed and lay down with a good book, a movie, music, or I do my Jin Shin practice. I’m not keen on using plastic or a heating pad so I don’t and I’m thinking of getting a heat lamp, like the TCM practitioners use, instead of a hot water bottle.
Castor oil packs comes highly recommended by mystic and medical medium, Edgar Cayce for lymphatic health. I followed his recommendation of placing the pack on my liver and gall bladder area two or three days apart, for an hour to two hours. My supplies includeI the wool flannel and the organic castor oil from Heritage Store. I chose this specific one as it comes in a glass bottle. I’m about to start another round of castor oil packs and I’ll be getting Earthley’s castor oil which now comes in a glass bottle as well. (The photo on their website is outdated and I’ve confirmed with them about the glass bottle.) Earthley is having a 20% off sale from June 10 to 13, 2022 (use code : HERHEALTH20) You can also get 10% off your first order with the code “NEWTOEARTHLEY” any time.
Lymph is mostly water and so hydration is very important. When you feel hungry, you’re likely thirsty. When you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. The ways I get my hydration is – water with hydrogen gas (or brown gas), tea (right now it’s Cistus tea), bone broth and because it’s in season, watermelon.
I use the Echo Go™ to get my water with hydrogen gas. Studies show that it isn’t the alkalinity that helps heal the gut and other health issues. It’s the hydrogen gas. Here’s more about why hydrogen gas, gut flora balance, and overall health are all interconnected.
Our lymphatic system is integrate our immunity and overall health. Aside from these five ways of supporting our lymph health, I also recommend reducing the chemical load on the body by choosing cleaner personal care, cleaning, and other products, reducing exposure to heavy metals, addressing and processing emotional chaos and trauma, and reducing wifi which has shown to disrupt the negative potential of our cell walls.
I also have a Jin Shin practice to enhance organ function energy and health. A simple way to support your spleen, the largest organ of the lymphatic system, is to hold your thumb daily or placing your right fingertips on the inside of your ankle and the left hand on your tailbone. Switch hands for the other side.