|Four Ways to Clean Your Lymphatic System
End of winter, early Spring is an appropriate time to be thinking of detoxing according to Ayurvedic wisdom. The junction between seasons offers us an opportunity to reset our bodies for the coming season.
Simply put, detoxification means cleansing the blood. This is done by removing impurities from the blood in the liver, where toxins are processed for elimination.
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. In other words,it’s our body’s garbage disposal system. Clogged up it can cause fatigue, weight gain, cold hands and feet, swelling, fibroids,headaches,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 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 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: And you may start now before considering a more in depth cleanse before Spring.
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! if you don’t have a rebounder, consider dancing to some fun music and letting your body work up a little sweat.
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 with essential oils such as cypress, or peppermint will increase circulation.. 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 and yoga. 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. Feet up the wall pose called “Viparita Karani”( mother of all poses) allows the blood to flow upward and move lymph. This pose is restorative and rejuvenating. Be sure to be on an empty stomach and if you have high blood pressure you may skip this pose. Sit sideways next to a wall and bring your feet up the wall- spread open the hands and relax up to ten minutes.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.Infrared saunas are another good option for detoxing the body.
These practices will support a natural revitalization of your body, mind, and spirit while awakening your lymphatic system.
Here are some other sources for cleansing the lymphatic system:
1. Chopra Center article
2. Hamsa Ayurveda is offering a Free Masterclass Thursday evening. You can sign up on the website.
Gedalia A few of Gedalia’s paintings are at the restaurant Grace 1720 located in the Forum in Alpharetta. The ambiance is like being in Tuscany.
I have two pastels there. See Ashley for details.
Starting to feel a little of the dreariness of winter?
You might consider planning a yoga retreat.
I’ve recently connected with Sheila Ewers at Johns Creek Yoga. She is so lovely and is crazy about traveling. Here are some yoga retreats she’s got planned this year.
Check them out.
John’s Creek Yoga Retreats
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