People often forget the lymphatic system as an organ of the body that needs to experience detoxification.
We remember to detoxify the colon, liver, and kidneys but often don’t give much regard to the lymphatic system.
So what exactly is the lymphatic system?
The Anatomy of Your Lymphatic System
This system is made up of lymphatic vessels found throughout your entire body, lymph nodes, and a large aggregation of lymphatic tissue called the Gut Associated Lymphoid Tissue (GALT). The GALT is important because waste drainage in the intestines is a big key to health and longevity.
Lymph nodes conveniently collect and filter the lymph. You can find them in your neck underneath your jaw bone, armpit, chest, arms, groin, and behind your knee. When the nodes enlarge, it’s a sign that those nearby areas are congested and need detoxification.
The lymphatic vessels carry waste matter away from the tissues where it is lodged. Specifically, lymph is a combination of fluid and plasma proteins that come from the interstitial space and capillaries. Your veins then return the lymph to your circulatory system.
Have you ever seen someone whose skin looked dull? This is a sign that the lymphatic vessels are clogged and need extra help removing waste.
It’s the same thing when you see legs, thighs, arms and belly that appear to be “cheesy” with little pockets of congestion or cellulite. This congestion is within the lymphatic vessels.
Lymphatic vessels are different than blood vessels and nerves, which are generally deeper in the body tissues. The lymphatic vessels are close to the surface of the skin. In the arteries, blood flows from the central part of the body to the extremities, and gravity helps the circulation flow, along with the pressure of the blood in the arteries from the heart pumping the blood. With nerves, nerve flow is propelled via ions and action potentials; no gravity is needed.
But with lymphatic vessels, the flow of waste matter has to move against gravity. These vessels need muscle action to move the waste matter out of the immediate area.
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How Can You Detoxify Your Lymphatic System
There are dozens of ways you can detoxify your lymphatic system, and it’s an important step in your health maintenance plan. If you have a serious illness, detoxifying the lymphatic system becomes critical to your survival.
One of the worst things for your lymphatic system is sitting too much! Yet we all live in a society where sitting for 8 or more hours a day has become the norm. The longer you sit, the longer the waste matter becomes trapped in the lymphatic vessels and you stay toxic. Sitting too much is a good way to block the lymphatic flow located below your waist.
#1 Way to Cleanse Your Lymphatics: Walking Briskly
The simple act of moving vigorously – as in exercising – will get the lymphatic system moving. But here is the #1 way you can start detoxifying your lymphatic system: walk briskly for 20-30 minutes daily  . It’s something that most people can do – and can get done quickly.
Walking briskly means swinging your arms as you walk; don’t keep them planted at your side. When you do this, you use your arms and legs as a pump for the lymphatic vessels. Not surprisingly, when you finish your walk, you will feel the buzz of invigoration that occurs when the lymphatic vessels are clean on the inside.
#2 Way to Cleanse Your Lymphatics
The second easy way to cleanse your lymphatic system is to breathe deeply. By taking a deep breath, lymphatic fluid from your legs is pulled upward. The lymphatic fluid from your arms and head are also pulled in towards the chest. Lying on your bed in the morning before arising and at night before bed, you can easily do deep breathing exercises.
Take a deep breath, hold it for a count of three and then let it out. Do one to two sets of 10 deep breaths each day. This in combination with walking briskly once during the day will do a lot for your body’s lymphatic system.
#3 Way to Cleanse Your Lymphatics
The third way to cleanse your lymphatic system is to work on your digestion. When you do this, you assist the GALT, that aggregation of lymphatic tissue in the GI tract. It’s probably best to know what NOT to do to keep the lymphatics flowing. By preventing a buildup in the first place, you go far to restore and/or maintain your health.
Here are a few more things that could also help:
- Make sure your gut bacteria is up to par. Taking a probiotic is pretty essential these days, and you’ll need more than one or two strains. Go for the probiotics with 8, 12 or even 30 different strains, and ones that are high potency. Probiotics do a lot to help you digest your food and have many functions yet to be discovered.
- If you aren’t digesting your food properly, take enzymes.
- Eat a raw salad daily and don’t be afraid of eating five cups each day!
How NOT To Help Your Lymphatic System
- Don’t eat large amounts of fat. Your lymphatics have to deal with fat molecules that are too large to enter into your bloodstream. And the more fat you eat, the more you overwhelm your system .
- Don’t eat large amounts of food for a meal. By eating less food, your body can handle it better, and you’ll find your appetite is naturally curbed.
Cleansing your lymphatics is a bit different if you have knee issues, lymphedema due to surgery. For example, you can find one way to increase lymphatic flow in your legs by cupping your fingers and perform a scooping motion in the back of your knees towards the groin.
Check out the document, Manual Lymphatic Drainage Techniques and Its Effects on Edema After Total Knee Replacement Surgery, for further information.