The lymphatic system is a network of organs, vessels and nodes that form an important part of our immune system. It helps to protect us from infection and disease by filtering out toxic substances such as bacteria, fungi and viruses. The lymphatic system also transports nutrients and waste products throughout the body, helping to keep all cells healthy and functioning properly.
The primary function of the lymphatic system is to collect and transport bodily fluids such as blood plasma, interstitial fluid, and extracellular fluid. This is done by a network of vessels and nodes called lymphatics. The main components of this system are lymph capillaries, which absorb fluids from the interstitial spaces; vessels that carry the fluid to larger nodes or vessels and specialized organs; lymph nodes, which filter the fluid before it goes back into circulation; and finally, lymphatic organs such as the thymus, spleen, tonsils, and bone marrow.
The lymphatic system is also important for your brain. Referred to in your brain as your glymphatic system, it serves as a waste management removal system to help your brain function. Sleep is one activity that is essential to your brain for a well-functioning glymphatic system.
The lymphatic system is also important for joint health. Without a healthy lymphatic system, our joints may become painful, swollen, and stiff due to a buildup of fluid in the joint. This is because the lymphatic system helps to absorb and eliminate toxins, as well as any excess fluid that accumulates in the joints. Additionally, it transports nutrients such as proteins and fats to our cartilage and bone tissues so they can remain healthy and strong.
In order to keep your lymphatic system functioning properly and promote joint health, there are certain lifestyle changes that you can make. Here are 10 ways to maximize your lymphatic flow:
1. Deep breathing exercises: Taking deep breaths helps to move lymph and encourages drainage of the nodes.
2. Skin brushing: A dry-brush massage helps stimulate your lymphatic system and flush toxins from cells and out through the body.
3. Exercise regularly: Exercise increases circulation, which in turn helps promote proper lymph flow throughout the body. Exercises that can help increase lymphatic flow include walking, rebounding (jumping on a mini-trampoline), yoga poses such as the bridge and bow pose, swinging arms while walking or running, side bends and twists, deep breathing exercises, and swimming.
4. Eat a balanced diet: Eating nutrient-rich foods can help keep your immune system in check and maintain proper lymph flow. A diet rich in fiber, antioxidants, healthy fats and leafy greens can help to boost your overall health while also promoting a better functioning of the lymphatic system. By eating these nutritious foods regularly, you can give your body the support it needs to keep everything flowing smoothly.
5. Drink plenty of water: Staying hydrated is essential for helping the body flush out toxins and increase blood circulation to help with lymph flow, too!
6. Reduce stress levels: Stress can cause a decrease in lymph flow and impair the body’s ability to fight infection.
7. Avoid processed foods: Eating processed and artificial ingredients can cause inflammation, which can lead to stagnation of the lymphatic system.
8. Get regular massages: Massage therapy is great for stimulating circulation, improving drainage, and helping improve lymph flow throughout the body.
9. Use essential oils: Aromatherapy with essential oils like eucalyptus oil is beneficial for breaking up stagnant lymph, increasing immune power, and reducing stress levels.
10. Sleep well: Getting sufficient sleep helps to keep your immune system strong and supports proper lymphatic functioning! Good quality sleep helps reduce stress hormones which can further contribute to improved lymphatic flow by reducing inflammation in blood vessels that are connected to the lymphatic system.
In conclusion, the lymphatic system plays an important role in keeping our bodies healthy and functioning properly. It helps to filter out toxins, transport nutrients and waste products, and keep our joints healthy and strong. By making some simple lifestyle modifications such as eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly, we can ensure that our lymphatic system remains in top condition and continues to do its job of protecting us from infection and disease.
I am a Master’s prepared RN, National Board-Certified Health & Wellness Coach, Board-Certified Functional Wellness Coach, and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner. I help people fix their chronic inflammation & pain with in-home lab testing, client assessments, personalized natural healing protocols, and online coaching to help them move from pain to peace so that they feel better, move better, and live better.