Spring is just around the corner! Although there are a lot of snow patches that are melting slowly, when sun comes up it feels like spring already. The fact that farmers starting to collect maple sap indicates that trees and nature are beginning to awake from the long winter and starting to move their fluids. It is the same for our bodies as well, that is why spring is considered a great time to cleanse and detoxify our body. Our fluids especially blood and lymph getting more circulation just because the days are getting longer and we are more exposed to sunshine. Isn’t it wonderful feeling and being a part of nature?
What is a lymphatic system?
Lymphatic system is a complex network of fluid-filled nodes, glands, and tubes that bathe our cells and carry the body’s “sewage” away from the tissues and neutralize it. It is probably the most neglected cleansing and healing system in the body, yet it is very powerful.
A recent study found that 80 percent of women have sluggish lymphatic systems and that getting them flowing smoothly is the key to easy weight loss and improved feelings of well-being. Another study found that women with cellulite showed lymphatic system deficiencies.
Symptoms of Sluggish Lymphatic System
Almost every condition and disease process can be linked to poor waste removal in the lymphatic system. If you experience any of the symptoms below, your lymphatic system is probably congested.
- swelling of the body – holding onto water (rings getting tight on the fingers, ankles swelling, puffiness around eyes)
- rashes or itchiness of the body
- chronic colds
- decreased immunity
- auto immune conditions
- belly fat – “love handles”
Three major causes of lymph congestion is stress, chronic digestive imbalances like constipation and diarrhea, and iodine deficiency. Lymphatic system is not only designed for detoxification, the immune system’s cells are most active in the lymph nodes of the body. So, if the lymph is sluggish our immune response may be compromised as well.
How to keep lymph moving?
I find it is harder to keep lymphatic system active during winter time as the temperature gets colder we wear a lot of clothing making skin harder to breathe. Also during winter humidity tends to be lower and the air drier, making your body less hydrated. Here is what I found works for me and you can try too.
- Hydrate properly. Try to sip hot water every 10-15 minutes throughout the day. Do it religiously for one day. If by the end of that day you are experiencing a dry mouth and are now thirsty for this one tasteless sip of hot water, this is a good indication you are dehydrated and your lymph is congested. If this happens, try this re-hydration therapy: sip hot water every 10-15 minutes for 2 weeks straight. Keep a thermos of hot water nearby to make it easy to follow this protocol.
- Get moving. Exercise also ensures the lymph system flows properly. The best kind is rebounding on a mini-trampoline, jump rope, Zumba (is my favorite one), and aerobic exercise also works well.
- Dry skin brush before showering. Use a natural bristle brush or exfoliating glove. Brush your skin in circular motions upward from the feet to the torso and from the fingers to the chest. You want to work in the same direction as your lymph flows–toward the heart. I noticed that after dry skin brushing I can use colder water during shower and feel more energized.
- Breathe deeply or try Hot Yoga. The lymph system has 3 times more fluid than blood in the body, yet no heart-type organ to pump it. One of the main ways it moves is through breathing deeply. Hot yoga works really well and I love it in winter as it is warming, relaxing, and sweating through the skin improves lymph flow and detoxification process.
- Add some greens to get adequate chlorophyll to help purify your blood and lymph. Especially during cold months of winter I like to supplement green vegetables with a powdered greens blend such as Isagenix Greens!
What could be better as it gets warmer, we put away our winter clothes and radiate with our glowing skin, bright eyes, and feeling light from within!