Monday 16 March 2020

The Lymphatic System and How You Can Help It

Your lymphatic network is basically your cells waste disposal system - it drains and filters fluid which has been discarded from cells and tissue. It also absorbs fats and fat soluble vitamins from the digestive tract and delivers them to the cells.

It is an essential part of the immune system, maintaining fluid levels, fighting infection and producing white blood cells. It's often called the second circulation system but unlike blood it isn't pumped around the body, it relies on the squeezing of muscular contraction to push it through the vessels.

A sluggish lymphatic system can cause all sorts of problems from headaches, brain fog, swollen glands, excessive mucus, sore throats, ear popping, bloating, swelling to pins & needles, acne, dry skin and reduced ability to fight infection. And there are a number of causes, sedentary lifestyle, poor diet and genetics to name but three.

So there are some things that you can do to keep your lymphatic system working well and therefore help keep your immune system tip top.

1. A few minutes deep breathing - which uses muscles and helps the flow.
2. Hydration - drink enough water, it makes up a major part of lymph, blood and interstitial fluid. You don't need to over do it, a few sips of room temperature water every 15 minutes is enough but for those who want to you can calculate how much you need to be drinking a day - I used this one from Good Housekeeping.
3 Dry brushing - these brushes are available from lots of places.
4. Move - any movement is good, remember it's the contraction of muscles that really help keep the lymphatic fluid moving. Yoga is great for this.
5. Go for a walk
6. Massage - body brushing works as a form of massage for the body. I've given some examples of facial massage below.
7. Consider your makeup and skincare - Skin is your largest organ, what goes onto and into your skin adds to the waste load.
8. Eat healthily - whole foods, all the colours, green vegetables and try to resist the processed fast foods.

This is how I incorporate this into my morning cleansing routine so there are some cleansing movements in here but here are the ones that are for lymphatic drainage.
1. Thumbs under jaw bone and ring finger on inside of eyes, slight rocking pressure applied and sweep out to the edge of the face. 2. Thumbs under jaw and ring finger applying slight circular pressure to the outer corner of the eyes and pulled out to the side 3. Up across the nose and forehead and out to the edges of the face. 4. Fingers on the brows and rocking motion with slight pressure. Bring the fingers up to the hair line. 5. Sweeping motion from the inside of the face to the outside edges.


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