KEEPING YOUR LYMPHATICS FLOWING
Activating your lymphatic system doesn’t always require a trip to a medical professional. You can boost your lymphatic flow at home in many ways. Our lymph system comprises lymph nodes, vessels, and lymphatic fluid. Unlike the circulatory system, the lymphatic system does not have a pump to move fluids, so it relies on our movement and other factors to keep things flowing smoothly. Therefore, the most significant focus for lymphatic health is movement.
The lymphatic system is essential to the human body, fighting infections and diseases. Self-managing your lymph care is necessary when your lymph system is compromised. Let’s discuss some ways to boost lymphatic fluid flow at home.
Exercise is one of the most effective ways to move lymphatic fluid. Any physical activity that increases your heart rate can help, but jumping or bouncing movements are particularly beneficial. Examples include jogging, jumping jacks, and trampoline exercises. Yoga, stretching, and low-impact activities like walking or swimming are also helpful.
Massage can help to stimulate the lymphatic system and promote fluid movement. Lymphatic drainage massage is a specific type of massage that targets the lymphatic system. It involves gentle, rhythmic movements that help to move lymphatic fluid toward the lymph nodes. You can self-massage at home or seek a professional lymphatic drainage massage therapist.
Wearing gradient compression garments like socks, stockings, gloves, or sleeves can help to improve circulation and reduce swelling. In addition, compression garments apply pressure to the limbs, which can help to push lymphatic fluid toward healthy lymph nodes to move the lymph fluid. Different types of gradient compression are better for containing swelling and helping move lymph. Consult your medical professional to discuss the correct garment for your needs.
Dehydration is one of the most common reasons for congestion in the lymphatic system. Drinking enough water is essential for overall health, but it is crucial for the lymphatic system. Dehydration can cause lymphatic fluid to become thick and sluggish, making it harder to move through the lymphatic vessels. Therefore, drink adequate water daily to keep your lymphatic system healthy and hydrated. The amount of water you require varies between individuals. Consequently, it’s best to consult your medical professional to determine what amount of water is right for you. If your lymphatic system is not functioning correctly, it’s advisable to be cautious when taking water pills to reduce swelling, as this can also cause dehydration and sluggish lymph fluid.
Deep breathing exercises can help to stimulate the lymphatic system and promote fluid movement. Diaphragmatic breathing, also known as belly breathing, is particularly effective. To practice diaphragmatic breathing, lie on your back and place one hand on your belly. Then, take slow, deep breaths, filling your belly with air as you inhale and exhale slowly.
Dry brushing is a technique where you use a natural-bristled brush to brush your skin in circular motions gently. This helps to stimulate the lymphatic system by improving circulation and promoting lymphatic drainage. Start at your feet and brush towards your heart, using light pressure and avoiding sensitive areas like your face. Focus primarily on places where lymph can become stagnant, like your armpits, neck, chest, and groin.
Hydrotherapy involves alternating between hot and cold water to stimulate blood and lymphatic flow. You can do this by showering and alternating between hot and cold water for 30-60 seconds each. For example, start with hot water for 30 seconds, switch to cold water for 30 seconds, and repeat several times. If your lymphatic system is compromised, be careful not to use extreme temperatures.
AVOID TIGHT CLOTHING
Tight clothing can restrict lymphatic flow, especially around the waist, hips, and thighs. Avoid wearing tight clothing that constricts these areas, and opt for loose-fitting clothes instead. This will help to promote circulation and lymphatic drainage.
ELEVATE YOUR LEGS
Lymphatic fluids flow counter to gravity, so any type of inversion can be beneficial. For example, spending a lot of time sitting or standing can cause lymphatic fluid to pool in your legs. Instead, try elevating your legs above your heart to promote lymphatic flow for 15-30 minutes daily. You can do this by lying down, propping your legs on a pillow, or using a footstool while sitting. Another option is to swing your legs up against a wall while lying on the floor, using the wall to support your legs. Do some deep breathing and relax in this position.
REDUCE SALT INTAKE
High-sodium diets can cause water retention, making it harder for lymphatic fluid to move through the body. Try reducing your salt intake by avoiding processed foods and adding more fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet. This can help to reduce swelling and improve lymphatic flow.
MOVING LYMPHATIC FLUID
There are several ways to move lymphatic fluid at home. Exercise, massage, compression garments, hydration, and breathing techniques can help keep your lymphatic system healthier and functioning better. Incorporating these practices into your daily routine can help to reduce swelling, improve circulation, and boost your overall health.
Do you have any favorite ways to boost your lymphatic fluid flow at home? Please share in the comments below and help others keep their lymphatic flow moving.
Disclaimer: This blog is for general information purposes only. Furthermore, the information contained in this blog is not a substitute for medical advice – always consult a licensed healthcare professional for advice on your specific condition.