I have heard people say “that person is toxic.” In truth, all of us have toxins in our body we need to drain out, physically, seriously. I have pondered if we consciously did this, would our behaviors, attitudes, our spirit be less toxic? I don’t know, it is a scientific experiment worth funding.
What are toxins in your body?
Pesticides & Food Additives
Preservatives, pesticides, herbicides, and food additives like refined sugar, chemicals, and food coloring all put a strain on the lymphatic system.
Consuming non-organic, highly-processed sugary and fatty foods creates a larger workload for your lymphatic system.
Eventually, eating enough of these without draining them from your body will prevent it from properly filtering toxins and bacteria, which can eventually lead to chronic disease.
Smoking & Second-Hand Smoke
This relates back to the toxin concept.
Smoking increases your body’s receptivity to developing fungal or viral infections, parasites, ulcers, cancer, bronchitis, high blood pressure, and many more issues.
Smoking depresses the body’s immune response, and since our immune system is essentially our lymphatic system, then smoking directly impacts the way our lymphatic system functions.
Prescription drugs are toxic to the body.
They contain harmful chemicals and dyes and these compounds suppress the immune system.
Yes, I know your doctor says to take them and you should follow your doctors orders. Sometimes asking for an alternative to a prescription drug never occurs to folks. Ask.
Animal products have a very low pH, meaning they are more acidic than say a fruit or vegetable. This means meat, eggs, and dairy can contribute to a sluggish lymphatic system if you don’t take steps to maintain your lymphatic system.
Six different things you can do:
1. Focus on Foods
Eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables is essential to ensuring your lymphatic system is clean and flowing free.
- Green Plants
Plants with a green pigment, have chlorophyll, which is responsible for the absorption of light to provide energy for photosynthesis. Its molecule contains a magnesium atom held in a porphyrin ring. Green leafy vegetables and plants help with blood detoxification, odor control, wound healing, gut health, energy, immune system support and cancer prevention.
- Citrus Fruit
Citrus fruit have wonderful astringent properties that help increase lymph flow and remove any blockages. Melons are great for helping alkalize the body, while berries are packed with antioxidants that keep our immune system strong. A body that is better equipped to fight against disease takes a lot of stress off the lymphatic system. I personally love RED fruit (raspberries, cranberries). Seedless oranges are the perfect snack. Cut, peel away the rind and eat. Refreshing!
- Healthy Fats
Eating healthy fats like avocado, nuts, and seeds is also important to ensure we get enough essential fatty acids that help protect and nourish our lymphatic system. Think: walnuts, roasted almonds, pine nuts, avocado, pomegranate seeds, quinoa, flax seeds.
2. Hydrate Yourself
When was the last time you drank a glass of water? If the answer was hours ago, you might want to go fill up a cup.
Proper hydration allows lymphatic fluid to flow more freely throughout the vessels. Without enough water in our body, that fluid stays stuck and stagnant.
Essentially you want your pee to be a very light yellow, not clear because that means you are drinking too much water which is dangerous also. That could mean you are flushing out all your salt and minerals that you need. You don’t want orange pee though, that is way to dark, therefore, drink more water, even a cup or two cups more will make a difference.
Massaging is a great way to encourage natural drainage of the lymph from the tissue spaces in your body. I love deep tissue massage but a light Lymphatic massage will give you results also.
Studies have shown that lymphatic massage can increase the volume of lymph flow by as much as 20 times, vastly increasing the system’s ability to remove toxins and infectious materials as well .
Exercising is critical to keeping your lymph system open and flowing!
When your muscles move, they also help move and pump the lymph within its vessels.
Walking, yoga, running, swimming, stretching and strength training are wonderful ways to keep the lymph flowing.
Dancing (with lots of up and down movement) or rebounding is particularly helpful because the vertical motion of the exercise opens and closes the one-way valves that comprise the lymphatic system (and can increase lymph flow by up to 15-30 times!).
5. Dry Brushing
Dry brushing helps increase circulation and helps improve your skin tone if you suffer from cellulite.
Brushing your skin while it’s dry helps to boost slower-than-average lymph.
All you need is a dry brush, and a dry body to get started!
Starting on your arms, or legs, brush toward your heart with long strokes. Do this for 5 minutes all over your body before going into the shower.
6. Deep Breathing
Breathing deep is very important. Why?
Proper movement of air through the lungs helps move and pump fluid through the lymphatic system while providing it with fresh oxygen.
Becoming conscious of your breathing throughout the day and getting out of the habit of shallow breathing is a great way to start.
You can do this laying on the floor with your legs relaxed over the edge of a couch or bed. Hold one hand over your chest, and one on your belly. Take a deep breath in, and let it all out. On the inhale, focus on breathing from only your belly, so that your hand on your belly moves upward, while the hand on your chest stays still (your chest shouldn’t be moving). Continue doing this for 5-10 deep breaths. You may find this calming and relieves anxiety also.