“Detox” is the buzz word of this century in our well being culture, particularly during Spring. Basically, detoxification means cleansing the blood. This is done by removing impurities from the blood in the liver, where toxins are processed for elimination. From kitchari, to juices, to water fasts, drinking lemon water, dosing on turmeric, we get the point that we need to clean our bodies.
But what actually is the main internal system in our physical space that drains toxins?
The “lymphatic system”.
The lymphatic system is a network of vessels/lymph nodes connected to different organs that help remove toxic waste from our bodies. Simply put, it’s our body’s garbage disposal system. Clogged up it can cause fatigue, weight gain, cold hands and feet, swelling, cellulite, brain fog, bloating and inflammation. The tonsils, spleen, and thymus are all part of this system. The spleen, located on the left side of our body and helps to fight infection. The tonsils are considered our first line of defense when it comes to our immune system and the thymus, just above the heart it helps to destroy cancer cells and infections. Unlike blood, lymph flows in only one direction, upward.
Your body is naturally designed to heal and find balance. Due to stress and digestive imbalances, the lymphatic system can get damaged or blocked up.
What can you do to support proper lymph drainage?
Here are four key ways to support your lymphatic system:
1. Stay hydrated. Since lymph is composed of 95% percent water staying hydrated is key to keep it flowing. In Ayurveda, sipping warm to hot water throughout the day helps to break up fat cells and move lymph. This is one of Ayurveda’s easy weight loss tips.Two liters of water a day is a good measure to begin.
2. Ever watch kids when they get bored? They naturally start bouncing, letting their jaw be loose with arms and legs moving like jelly.
There’s something to this. Try exercising on a “rebounder”. Similar to a trampoline but woven tighter, a “rebounder” allows you to bounce away and increase lymph removal. Especially if you have a busy lifestyle, working full time and have children. A rebounder can be a great short exercise routine that can substitute heading for the gym. Your kids may want to use it too!
3. Ayurveda recommends massaging your body with oil daily to increase circulation and to boost the lymphatic system. This ancient ritual helps to reduce stress and improve digestion. Mixing a base oil such as sesame or coconut oil with “lemon” or ” orange” essential oil can customize your self-massage. Try adding five drops of essential oil to up to 8-ounces of carrier oil and use daily before showering for self-massage. You may also follow with dry brushing in an upward direction to maximize this process.
* Therapeutic grade or organic essential oils are best used on the skin.Cypress, and juniper berry oil help to increase circulation.
4. Physical and emotional stress lead to lymph congestion so it is important to have daily strategies to combat stress. A simple approach is to take time for deep breathing. Ten deep belly breaths in the morning on an empty stomach before breakfast is a simple routine that can bring presence of mind to begin the day. Don’t have time in the morning? Try it at your desk in between appts. or before lunch.
According to Ayurveda, dis-ease stems from the build up of “ama” toxic waste.I
n Ayurveda, “You are what you digest.” If you can’t digest it, you’ll get imbalanced! This undigested food (and emotions) turns into ama, which is a toxic, sticky, cloudy, smelly substance that can spread from the digestive tract to other parts of the body.Ayurveda also identifies numerous ways to rid the body of excess ama. Sweating through physical exercise, for example, is a highly effective way to release ama from the tissues and channels of the body. After breathing, sweating is the body’s second largest method of detoxification. Special dietary practices, such as drinking cleansing teas or fasting, are also effective.
These practices will support a natural revitalization of your body, mind, and spirit while awakening your lymphatic system.
My recommendation, apply these simple practices in your day with regularity and you will soon see results.
Happy Mother’s Day and especially to our great mother- earth. (She needs our love!)
with warm regards,