Drain the lymph right
Given the moniker of ‘the garbage collector’, the lymphatic system is one of the most overlooked yet significant systems in the body
Given the moniker of ‘the garbage collector’, the lymphatic system is one of the most overlooked yet significant systems in the body. This large circulatory process collects wastes and toxins from every corner and drains them out.
While it has several functions, including the regulation of the immune system and transportation of fats, its primary job is detoxification. This built-in garbage disposal system prevents the holding up of impurities that may lead to poor skin and hair, headaches, bloating, water retention, brain fog, chronic fatigue and several other health issues, including cancer.
While cancers are multifactorial and no one reason can be attributed to them, most lymphomas and carcinomas found in breast tissue are closely related to a jammed lymphatic system, or toxic residues that create the perfect environment for faulty genes to express themselves.
Another thing to note is that unlike blood, which is dependent on the pumping of our heart for effective circulation, the lymphatic system does not have a heart or pump of its own. It solely depends on physical movement.
This is another reason why you should be active because a sedentary lifestyle can lead to stagnation of
toxins and lymph fluid. And if you cannot move, just stretch or press the soles of your feet regularly.
If you are experiencing symptoms like a puffy face, water retention in your fingers and toes, it could signal the need for a lymphatic detox. There are a number of ways in which a lymphatic system clean-up can be conducted for better health.
Eat a rainbow diet: A colourful diet helps the lymphatic system. Add more reds such as pomegranate, beetroot, and cranberry, along with yellows and greens such as cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and radish.
Cultivate a happy state of mind and work towards a healthy heart: Meditation, deep breathing and laughing are some of the best ways to lower stress and keep the lymphatic system in good shape.
Dry brushing and lymphatic massage: Special techniques like lymphatic drainage massages and dry brushing put special focus on areas where lymph nodes are concentrated like the breast, armpits, and groin.
Rebounding exercises: Jumping on a trampoline or skipping are beneficial for your lymphatic system.
Drink water: The more dehydrated you are, the thicker and less fluid the lymph gets, which affects its circulation and detoxification.
Sweating: This is a good way of flushing out toxins from the body and keeping the lymphatic system clean.
Cut down on deodorants: By using deodorants you are pushing all the toxins back into your body. Let those pores breathe. Also, wearing tight undergarments can compromise lymph circulation.
Finally, don’t get too caught up in trying to do everything at once. Sometimes it is just about stepping back and seeing what small steps can be taken to better support your body. It is already well-designed to do its job well, but you can do your bit to support it further.
The author is a holistic lifestyle coach - Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine