What is lymph and why would we want to drain it?
I’ll just give you guys a simple overview – if you want to dive deeper, there are many amazing videos on YouTube about the lymphatic system.
Our lymphatic system is responsible for transporting and screening interstitial fluids and removing toxins and waste from our body. If our lymphatic system is functioning optimally, we will have fewer toxins circulating in our bodies, a stronger immune system, better stress response and better overall circulation. If our lymphatic system is sluggish, toxins and waste can build up, leading to various illnesses, allergies, serious diseases, brain fog, cellulite and water retention. Not good.
There are various ways to keep our lymphatic system is tip-top condition. I’ll go over a few of my faves…
Regular movement and exercise – being sedentary is the absolute worst thing for your lymphatic system. Actually it’s probably one of the worst things for your overall health and wellbeing, so stop sitting and get moving! Rebounding is particularly beneficial to the lymphatic system and it’s a wonderful low-impact and fun way of exercising. Don’t stress if you don’t have access to a trampoline, any kind of movement is beneficial. If you’re low on motivation, or need some professional guidance, get in touch and we can schedule one-on-one training or even partner and group exercise sessions. Try to break a sweat on a daily basis – saunas and hot baths count too for a more passive sweat and detox.
Dry brushing with a firm bristle body brush. This is an amazing and inexpensive home treatment that you can do on the daily. Brush your entire body in long sweeping motions. Start at your feet and always brush towards your heart. Best done on dry skin before a bath or shower. You’re guaranteed to see an improvement in the texture and quality of your skin due to improved circulation. It also feels extra invigorating when done just before a cold shower!
Hydrate – If your body isn’t sufficiently hydrated, it won’t be able to transport and eliminate toxins – that’s your lymphatic system’s role. Make sure you’re drinking quality clean spring, filtered or mineral water (preferably not from a plastic bottle!) You can also add a tiny pinch of sea salt or Himalayan salt to your water for extra minerals. Lemon water is also a wonderful alkalising and detoxifying aid.
Loosen up – your clothing that is! Tight, constrictive clothing doesn’t allow your lymph to circulate properly. Try to wear looser clothing in natural fabrics. If you do have to wear something tight – exercise clothes for example – try to change out of them as soon as possible. Ladies, tight bras that constrict the lymph flow around our breasts and where we have very big and important lymph nodes and glands are obviously not great to wear every day for hours on end. Try to find wireless bras and go braless or wear a softer support camisole whenever possible!
Cupping – I’ve been using silicone cups to massage my legs and bum at home to aid circulation and improve the appearance of cellulite. They feel really nice; I can see them working and it’s also great for muscle recovery after a workout. I use this brand.
Lymph Drainage Massage – While any kind of massage will be beneficial for your circulation, lymph drainage is where it’s at for really detoxing and aiding the lymphatic system. I discovered Ana at Yin & You late last year, and she’s been a game changer! Proper lymph drainage massage is super light and gentle and I find it supremely relaxing. Within four sessions, I could see an amazing difference in the quality of my skin, how I felt energetically and my water retention levels definitely decreased.
Eating whole, unprocessed foods, smart supplementation, managing stress levels and not consuming excess amounts of alcohol and other toxins are some more ways to support a healthy lymphatic system.
Hope you found this helpful. Do you have any questions? Which of these methods do you use to support your lymphatic system?