Imagine your kitchen sink. It’s backed up because the drain is clogged. Would you drink that standing water? I don’t think so! What’s more, if the water was left to stagnate in your sink, it would eventually pollute the kitchen and attract bacteria.
In your body you also have a drainage system; it’s the largest circulatory system in your body and it’s called your lymphatic system. This system helps keep your tissues and organs alive and healthy by moving fluid throughout the body so waste doesn’t pool around your cells.
Some key indications you may have stagnation in your lymphatic system are: bloating, swelling, rashes, cellulite, pain in the hands and feet, fatigue, lethargy, and breast swelling around menstruation. In the ancient Indian tradition of ayurvedic medicine, when a person suffers from such chronic symptoms, you look to destagnate the lymphatic system before moving on to other treatment. You need to improve your body’s efficiency in moving waste out.
To optimize lymph movement, Dr. John Douillard, DC, of the ayurvedic healing center LifeSpa, and the team at LymphNotes.com recommend the following:
Hydrate— Drink up to ½ your weight in ounces daily, preferably hot water, which dilates your cells and opens them up for much-needed rehydration.
Breathe Deeply— Breathing deeply exclusively through your nose during exercise or otherwise is a potent lymph mover as it stimulates the rib cage to move more fully (the rib cage is one of the major lymph pumps in the body, responsible for pulling toxic waste from the intestinal track).
Destress— Stress-fighting hormones, called cortisol, are extremely acidic and lymph doesn’t drain well in an acidic environment, so you need to find ways to relax!
Alkalize— Eating lots of greens, beets, berries and other alkaline food encourages lymph movement. Avoid overly sweet, salty, processed, or fried food as this makes the body more acidic.
Exercise— Bouncing on a rebounder (mini trampoline) is the most efficient exercise for destagnating your lymphatic system, but walking is also potent. (Remember to nose breath throughout for best results!)
Encourage Sweating— Don’t block sweat glands by using antiperspirant (especially if it contains aluminum)! Try to make sweating part of your daily routine through exercise, saunas, steam rooms, or Epsom salt or fresh ginger baths.
Dry Brush / Massage— Go for a manual lymphatic drainage massage or dry brush your body focusing on areas where the lymphatic system resides. Gentle stimulation through the skin is a highly effective means of getting lymph moving.
If you are truly clogged, it can take several months to get the pipes cleared up. But patience and persistence will help you establish new lymph-supporting habits. Once you are flowing freely again, you’ll be glad you made the effort as you wonder where your cellulite went!
LifeSpa Ayurveda — http://www.lifespa.com/
Author’s content used under license, © 2012 Sprouted Content, LLC
Lymphatic System Diagram — http://www.lymphoma.org/atf/cf/%7B0363CDD6-51B5-427B-BE48-E6AF871ACEC9%7D/The%20Immune%20system%20450.jpg