Many times, I hear the questions: “Do we really need to detox? Doesn’t the liver detox for us?"
You absolutely DO need to support detoxification in a modern toxic, stressful world, and that includes supporting your lymph system for your best health!
In this post, you’ll learn about what the lymphatic system is, the signs and symptoms of lymph congestion, what causes it, and how to get it flowing so you can feel your best!
How The Lymphatic System Works
Think of your lymphatic system as the sewage system of the body. It's a network of vessels packed with immune cells that collects fluids (like "used" plasma), toxins and pathogens (things that shouldn't be in the body) for processing and removal. It even plays a part in injury and inflammation support. This toxic mess inside your lymphatic vessels is called lymphatic fluid, aka lymph.
Tiny lymphatic capillaries reach almost every last corner of your body. When your lymph isn’t flowing optimally (like a traffic jam), immune defense is compromised.
Signs Your Lymph Is Congested
The top reasons for lymphatic congestion are chronic stress, poor diet, extra weight, dehydration and lack of exercise. With almost half of Americans are obese, it's easy to see that lymphatic congestion is happening in many of us!
Possible symptoms of lymphatic stagnation:
Puffy appearance; swollen joints
Swollen lymph nodes or tonsils
Lack of energy
Recurrent sore throats
Morning mucus or mucus drainage (maybe after dairy or wheat)
Fluid backup in the ear (especially in children)
Ears popping or ringing
Frequent colds or flus
Inability to lose weight
Soreness or stiffness, especially in the morning
Bloating, swelling, or heaviness in extremities or ‘creases’ of body
Arms or hands fall asleep while sleeping
Pain, pressure, or stiffness along your spine and shoulders
Sore breasts or breast swelling with your menstrual cycle
Acne, dry skin, puffy skin, itchy skin, scleroderma or other skin issues
Irritated or heavy feeling in the gut
Root Causes of Lymph Stagnation
The lymph may still be backed up in those who have mostly healthy habits. Some of the below root causes can be a factor in backed up lymphatic fluid.
Common root causes of backed up lymph:
Lack of movement
Chronic digestive imbalance
Processed or inflammatory foods
Toxic mold and chemical exposures
High blood pressure
Chronic pain and inflammation
If you are curious about your own causes and would like to run functional labs or have our team review your labs, click here to book your free Discovery Call.
25 Ways to Detox Your Lymphatic System
The lymphatic system is unlike blood vessels. It does not have valves or pumps. In order for lymph fluid to move, YOU have to move!
Doing some of these detox habits daily, will support your lymphatic system and you’ll see results. You don’t have to do all of them, but slowly learn and implement the ones that are appealing and accessible for you:
Eat fresh fruit and vegetables: the ‘water’ in melon, cucumber, oranges and more is nutrient rich!
Try a coffee enema.
Get compression therapy.
Try Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT).
Use essential oils: grapefruit, lemon, orange and juniper oils are a few good choices.
Get lymphatic massage: This is a MUCH lighter take on a traditional massage. Take a binder beforehand.
Take binders: these will help remove toxins through the stool so that they don’t recirculate.
Use glutathione (a powerful antioxidant supplement to combat toxins), Cellcore's LymphActiv or Drainage Activator (to mobilize and drain the lymph): Create a Cellcore account and use the Patient Direct code f5sm3NtA for access.
Make green drinks: alkalize and hydrate your body AND supply chlorophyll for detox!
Avoid inflammatory foods such as wheat, dairy and sugar.
Go for Craniosacral therapy (CST): This is great especially if your symptoms are related to the brain or head.
Practice meditation/mindfulness/gratitude/laughter: This is a good one, since stress taxes the lymph system.
Alternate warm/cold: You could practice this with alternating cold and hot showers, pool/hot tub, or packs on the neck and body.
Stretching/yoga/postural work: chronic tension and inflammation stress the lymph system.
Watch what you wear: try for natural fibers (linen, cotton, silk, wool, cashmere, hemp) and loose-fitting clothing and footwear. Avoid tight, restricting clothes and underwire bras.
Avoid aluminum in deodorant: I'm currently loving the Each & Every brand!
Jump around: You could do this on a rebounder 4X a day (a rebounder is a mini-trampoline), with a jump rope, or on an exercise ball, for example. Identical results can be seen with using a Vibration Plate for those who aren't able to jump!
Consider testing: Sometimes the best way to know that’s going on is to get testing on gut health and toxicity: book your Functional Lab Consult here.
Your lymphatic system plays such a huge role in inflammation, immunity and detoxification. If you give it some TLC, you'll see some big improvements!
Hopefully you enjoyed these ideas to get your lymph flowing! Feel free to share this article with a friend who needs it!