- Jennifer Frankin
8 Easy & Effective Lymphatic System Actions
Your Immune System has a bestie, the Lymphatic System. They work together to keep you healthy and disease-free. It is important to support both systems so they can present a united front to wipe out viruses, infection and cancer. Your lymphatic system is a critically important part of your body and one that most people don’t appreciate or know much about. The lymphatic system is your body’s built-in sanitation center. It is the plumbing that carries away and filters out poisonous waste products from every cell, tissue and organ. It absorbs fats and fat-soluble vitamins from the digestive tract and delivers them to the cells of the body. It is also an essential part of the immune system that maintains fluid levels, fights infection and produces disease fighting white blood cells.
The lymph system is the largest circulatory system in your body. But the lymphatic system needs your help to move the fluid through your body because it doesn’t have an automatic pump like the heart, which moves the blood in the circulatory system.
Without a healthy lymph system your body becomes congested which leads to inflammation and disease. When your lymph fluid is not flowing well, your cells are poisoned from their own waste and the lymph fluid becomes toxic. Imagine if the garbage collector stopped coming or the toilet wouldn’t flush anymore. It would not be pretty.
The same is true of your lymphatic system and its need to be in tip top shape.
Compromised lymphatic system equals compromised immune system.
Just as you support your immune system, there are actions you can take to support your lymphatic system. Some of these actions will do double duty and be beneficial to your immune system as well.
8 Lymphatic System Support Actions:
1. Maintain Your Healthy Weight- Your lymphatic system works best when you are at a healthy weight. Being overweight causes damage to your lymphatic system. And obesity is linked to 12 types of cancer because it causes inflammation and hormonal imbalance according to MC Anderson Cancer Center. Eat more fruits and vegetables, especially green vegetables. Chlorophyll purifies the lymph and blood. Eat healthy organic fats such as nuts and seeds, avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, and palm oil.
2. Exercise- Your body was not designed to sit all day. Unfortunately, most of us sit for hours all day. A sedentary lifestyle is a recipe for many health problems. Even if you do have a desk or sitting job, it is helpful to get up hourly and move around. Your lymphatic system depends on your muscles and movement to stay optimized.
3. Bounce: Any form of exercise is beneficial, but one of the most effective involves Rebounding. Rebounding on a mini trampoline is an exercise almost anyone can perform, and it kicks the lymphatic system into high gear. The force of gravity on the body fluctuates, going from a heavy load at the bottom of your bounce to almost zero at the top.
You do not need to “get air” to get the benefits of rebounding. The “health bounce” is gentle and not dangerous.
4. Get A Massage- By applying pressure to the body, massage stimulates the blood and lymph vessels, helping move the fluid along. A lymphatic drainage massage is a massage technique that uses very gentle pressure to stimulate the lymph nodes to drain excess fluid. Most studies on the effects of massage on the lymphatic system are related to breast cancer patients and has been shown to help when lymph nodes have been removed. Massage is beneficial for pain and swelling and as an adjunctive therapy for stress and the hazards of a sedentary lifestyle.
5. Dry Brush Your Skin- Dry-brushing is a simple, affordable way to activate your lymph system. It helps eliminate toxic build up on the surface of the skin and increases lymphatic drainage. Brush slowly and gently towards your heart.
6. Alternate Cold & Hot Water While Showering- Lymphatic vessels contract when exposed to cold and dilate in response to heat. Following dry brushing, supercharge your lymphatic system with alternating cold and hot water in your shower. Always end with cold water and skip this action if you are pregnant, have heart issues or high blood pressure.
7. Hydrate- Of course water is necessary for overall good health. The immune system and lymphatic system rely on fluid to function. Check out our hydration article for sneaky ways to get more water and the benefits of being hydrated.
8. HRV Breathing- Breathing at 6 breaths per minute switches off your fight-flight stress mode and puts you in a calm flexible Vagus state. The immune system is best optimized in your Vagus state. The lymphatic system also gets a boost in the Vagus state AND taking deep breaths moves the lymph fluid through the vessels. Remember the lymphatic system does not have a pump like the heart to keep it flowing.
The lymph nodes and other lymphatic structures like the spleen and thymus hold special white blood cells called lymphocytes. These can rapidly multiply and release antibodies in response to bacteria, viruses, and a range of other stimuli from dead or dying cells and abnormally behaving cells such as cancer cells.
Keep your immune system and lymphatic system optimized and supported by implementing these actions.