Self Lymph Drainage Massage by MassageByHeather.com in Louisville, KY
How to Cleanse the Lymph System
Your lymphatic system acts as your body’s drainage system, filtering and removing waste products from your body. Without your lymphatic system, your cardiovascular and immune systems would begin to shut down. When the fluid in your lymphatic system is thick and sluggish with toxins, your muscles don’t get the blood they need, your organs feel painful and tight, and your energy levels are low.According to natural health practitioners, its important to cleanse your lymph system. Every part of your body feels the pain of having a clogged lymphatic system, as every cell in your body relies on a well-functioning lymphatic system to stay healthy.A clogged or blocked lymph system may contribute to health issues like heart disease, lymphedema, and lymphatic cancer.
Adjusting Your Diet and Lifestyle
Avoid processed foods.Although scientific research has not proven that sugary foods lead to a buildup of toxins, cutting back on processed foods, especially processed foods that contain sugar, can lower the amount of toxins in your body. Try to reduce processed foods made with simple sugars and carbohydrates, or foods containing artificial flavoring in your diet. The less waste your lymphatic system has to filter, the more easily it will flow and clean your body.
Cut out red meat, shellfish, and hydrogenated fats.Red meat and shellfish are hard to digest and can clog up your lymphatic system, according to natural health practitioners.If you do need to eat animal based protein, go for organic meats. Hydrogenated fats can be oxidized easily and this will lead to a clogging of the arteries and lymphatic system.
Reduce the dairy and white flour in your diet.Though there is no scientific evidence these foods can cause lymph issues, dairy and white flour form mucus in your body that can congest your lymphatic system. Limit your dairy consumption by substituting regular milk for almond or rice milk. Cut back on white flour by using whole wheat flour or trying gluten free products.Whole wheat flour is better because it has more vitamin and nutrients.
Eat organic fruits and vegetables.When shopping at the grocery store, look for organic stickers on your fruits and vegetables. Or ask your local produce producer at your farmer’s market about organic produce. Organic produce will help to limit the amount of toxins that will need to be filtered by your body via your lymphatic system. They will also provide powerful enzymes and acids to cleanse your lymphatic system.
- The label on an organic fruit or vegetable at the grocery store will contain a “9” in front of the PLU code (the bar code identifying the product).
- In the US, “organic” describes raw or processed agricultural products and ingredients that have been organically farmed. These foods also cannot be farmed with: synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, sewer sludge fertilizers, genetic engineering, growth hormones, antibiotics, artificial ingredients, or synthetic additives.
Go for whole grains, nuts and seeds, beans, and legumes.Whole grains like brown rice, as well as nuts and seeds like walnuts, almonds, and chia seeds all provide important vitamins and minerals to keep your body healthy and help your lymphatic system work properly.
- Vitamin A should be consumed in the amount of 700-900 mcg/day. It works in the gut to help prevent germs and viruses from entering into the body. Next,
- Vitamin C's recommended daily allowance is 75-90 mg/day. Vitamin C has been hypothesized by Linus Pauling to boost the immune system and prevent infection from viruses.
- Vitamin E has a recommended daily amount of 15 mg. This vitamin acts as an antioxidant and prevents redox reactions that can potentially be harmful to the arteries and the lymphatic system from occurring.
- Vitamin Bs are a class of vitamins that help with energy and boost the immune system.
- Zinc is a mineral that works to boost the immune system through protein production.
Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.Your body needs water to stay hydrated and allow your lymph fluid to drain and flush out any toxins. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of filtered or purified water a day. Avoid sodas, sports drinks and sugar-laden fruit juices.
Get tested for any allergies or dietary issues.If you haven’t been tested already, ask your doctor to conduct food sensitivity or allergy tests to determine if certain foods are affecting your digestion. Your body’s ability to detox starts in your digestion system, and any foods that cause digestion issues can lead to a clogged lymphatic system. Determining if you are allergic to certain foods or products, like dairy or gluten, can help you to eliminate these foods from your diet and prevent blockage in your lymphatic system.
Use natural deodorant.Aluminium-based antiperspirants can block sweating and actually add to your toxic load. Natural health practitioners believe these chemicals can also clog up your lymphatic system.Aluminum build up has been proposed to lead to Alzheimer's Disease.
- You should also avoid using chemically laden beauty products on your skin. Most commercially available lotions, toothpastes, creams, and sunscreens are full of chemicals that can end up in your lymphatic system.
- Buy natural, organic beauty products with limited to no chemical by products. You can also make your own chemical-free beauty products at home.
Using Exercise and Physical Therapy
Stick to a regular exercise routine.Regular exercise that involves lots of movement, including jumping and running, will stimulate lymph flow. As your muscles move, they massage your lymphatic system and improve lymph flow.
- Walking, running, and playing sports that involve a lot of movement are all great activities for stimulating lymph flow. Try to complete 150 minutes total of moderate exercise a week in intervals of at least 30 minutes to one hour of exercise a day.
Schedule Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage Sessions with a Vodder Certified MLD Therapist.This particular modality is only certified to physicians, nurses, PTs, OCT, Massage Therapist, Therapist assistants through continuing education. Lymph vessels are also found under your skin and these vessels support your blood circulation. When your lymph flow slows down, your skin may appear dull or slightly yellow, or worse, you may experience signs of autoimmune disease. Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage is a gentle rhythmical technique that works to improve lymph flow throughout your body.
- Try to incorporate Dry Skin Brushing after a soak in a warm bath or while in a warm shower.If in the shower, take advantage of cool/ warm transitional hydrotherapy. When dry skin brushing, use a natural, bristle body brush, preferably with a long handle.Use long gentle strokes, but not too harm. This will stimulate your skin and remove dead skin.
- Brush your entire body, in the same directional format as your MLD massage that was conducted by your MLD specialized health practitioner.
- You can also incorporate salt into the massage by applying sea salt and a small amount of aromatherapy oil on the brush before you begin the massage. This will stimulate your skin and draw out toxins through your skin.
Practice twisting yoga postures.Yoga practitioners believe yoga postures like “Twisting Chair” and “Seated Twist” can help to wringing out any toxins in your body.
- To do Utkatasana (Twisting Chair): Stand with your feet hip-width apart on a yoga mat.
- Place your hands in prayer at the heart center, or middle of your chest. Inhale, then exhale and place your left elbow on the outside of your right thigh, just above your knee. You should be twisting to the right, with your prayer hands facing the right side of the room.
- Check that your knees are in line with each other and your hips are square to the front of the room. Use your left elbow to press against the outside of your right thigh and help you twist further to the right with each inhale and exhale.
- Hold this posture for 5-6 breaths and then return your prayer hands to the middle of your chest. Complete the same posture on your left side, with your right elbow sitting against the outside of your left thigh.
- To do Marichyasana 3 (Seated Twist): Sit on a yoga mat with your legs extended straight in front of you, toes flexed towards you.
- Bend your right knee and draw the foot to the inside of your left thigh. You can keep your right foot on the inside of your thigh or cross it to the outside of your left thigh for a deeper twist. You can also keep your left leg straight or bend it at the knee and draw your left foot back to the outside of your right hip.
- Hug your right knee towards your chest with your left arm. Raise your right arm and rotate your body to the left. Place your right hand about a few inches behind you on your mat.
- Continue to hug your right knee towards your chest as you twist to the left. To deepen the twist, press your left elbow to the outside of your right thigh. Inhale to lengthen your spine and exhale to rotate further to the left.
- Hold this post for 5-6 breaths and then repeat it on the other side.
Do deep breathing exercises.Though there is no scientific evidence that deep breathing stimulates your lymphatic system, doing breathing exercises can help to improve overall health, including your lymphatic system. When you breath in, the pressure in your chest decreases and the pressure in your abdomen increases. This can pump lymphatic fluid upwards from your legs and suck lymph from your arms and head to drainage points behind your clavicles. Your clavicles are one way valves, so toxins cannot go in reverse and are essentially being cleaned out of your body. To practice deep breathing:
- Lay on a flat surface, like a bed or a yoga mat on the floor. Take a deep breath through your nose. As you inhale, tilt your head back and point your feet away from you. Hold the breath for a count of 5, taking in as much air as you can.
- Exhale slowly through your nose, and at the same time point your feet towards your head. Tilt your head so your chin moves closer to your chest.
- Repeat these deep inhales and exhales for 8-10 breaths, breathing through your nose only. If you get lightheaded, don’t be alarmed as this is a natural response to deep breathing.
- Try to practice deep breathing at least once a day, for 8-10 breaths.
Soak in a sauna or a steam bath.A weekly soak in a sauna or steam bath can facilitate a healthy sweat, allowing you to sweat out toxins in your body. Natural health practitioners believe saunas and steam baths can also support your lymphatic function.
- After a long soak in a sauna or steam bath, be sure to drink lots of water to flush out toxins in your body and to allow your lymph system to do its job.
Get lymph system acupuncture done by a licensed acupuncturist.Acupuncture is a health care system that originated in China. The general theory of acupuncture if based on patterns of energy flow (Qi) through your body that are essential for health. Disruptions of this flow are believed to be responsible for disease and illness.
- One of the major focuses of acupuncture is on de-clogging your lymphatic system. Before you undergo lymphatic system acupuncture, check that the acupuncturist is a trained and certified practitioner.
- Side effects of acupuncture can include infections from unsterilized needles and a partial collapse of your lung due to accidental puncture of your lung with a needle. If your acupuncturist has the correct training and hygiene standards, these side effects should be minimal.
Using Supplements and Detoxes
Talk to your doctor about enzyme supplements.Before you take any enzyme supplements, talk to your doctor about how these supplements will work for your body. According to natural health practitioners, enzyme supplements help the lymph system to break down complex fats and proteins and aids the digestive system.
- You can take digestive enzymes with your meals and take systemic proteolytic enzymes between meals.
- Proteolytic enzymes are the primary tools your body uses to digest organic debris in your circulatory and lymph systems. Supplementing this improves your body’s ability to do this.
- Proteolytic enzymes also help to remove Circulating Immune Complexes (CICs) from your body. As CICs accumulate in your body, they can trigger an allergic response from your immune system and overwhelm it. Taking proteolytic enzyme supplements eases this burden on your body and frees up your immune system to do its real work: prevent disease and illness.
Do a three day lymphatic cleanse.There is no scientific evidence that cleanses benefit your overall health. But some natural health practitioners believe a cleanse can help to activate your lymph system and flush out other toxins in your body.Try a three day cleanse if you have never done a cleanse before and are looking to clean out your lymph system. Three days is considered the minimum time it takes to flush out your lymph system. One week prior to the cleanse, try to adhere to a meat free, flourless and sugar-free diet. One or two days before the flush, eat only raw fruits, seeds, nuts, sprouts, and vegetables.
- Choose one juice you’d like to drink for the full three days: apple, grape, or carrot. The only other juice you’ll be drinking during the cleanse is prune juice.
- In the morning, have one glass of water, followed by 8-10 ounces of prune juice, mixed with the juice of one lemon. This will promote bowel movement. Sip the juice slowly and chew it so it mixes well with your saliva.
- Drink alternating glasses of your chosen juice and filtered water all day until you have consumed close to 1 gallon of juice and 1 gallon of water. You can add lemon juice to the water or the juice.
- Mix together 1 tablespoon wheat germ, flax seed, or borage, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon kelp or dulse powder, and ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper. Drink this 1-3 times a day.
- By the end of each day, you should consume 2 gallons of liquid. You can also consume anti-microbial herbs like garlic and echinacea. Your bowels should be eliminated each day. If your bowels are sluggish, drink another glass of prune juice with lemon before bed to stimulate them.
- During the three day detox, it’s important to stimulate your lymph system with 30 minutes - 1 hours of exercise. But if you feel tired during the cleanse, don’t push yourself too hard. As toxins are released from your body, you may experience physical side effect such as nausea, headache, backache, or dizziness. These symptoms are a sign of the toxins being eliminated from your body and should lessen after the first day of the cleanse.
Try an herbal cleanse for 7-10 days.Natural health practitioners think some herbs, such as echinacea, goldenseal, red clover, poke root, and licorice root, can enhance lymphatic function. These herbs also strip away layers of debris from your lymph system’s filtering system. Look for cleanses at your local health food store. Avoid using these cleanses for extended periods of time, no more than 7-10 days.
- Echinacea is also theorized to help the immune system work better.
- If you are on other medications, speak to your doctor or a herbalist before you try an herbal cleanse. You should avoid herbal teas and herbal cleanses if you are pregnant or lactating.
QuestionI only have one kidney and was told to limit my fluids to 64 oz. Is it worth it to cut dosages in half to stay within my particular health parameters?
Family Medicine PhysicianFamily Medicine PhysicianExpert AnswerIf you have lost a kidney, I would talk to a nephrologist about the bioavailability of the drug dosage that you are taking. The concentration of drug in the body maybe affected by the loss of a kidney. Some drugs are metabolized by the kidney, while others are metabolized by the liver.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I cure a yeast infection under my breasts?
Family Medicine PhysicianFamily Medicine PhysicianExpert AnswerYou will need to get an antifungal cream with steroids from your primary care practitioner or dermatologist.Thanks!
QuestionIs it safe to do a detox if taking prescription medications, such as Dilantin for epilepsy?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerDo not detox if you are an epileptic. A detox will make you dizzy and take Dilantin from your liver. You could even have seizures.Thanks!
QuestionAre swollen lymph nodes due to a backup of toxins in the lymphatic system?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerSometimes, this might be the case but, usually, lymph nodes swell when you're sick, have allergies or have an viral infection. If your lymph nodes don't return to normal size, go to a doctor to get them checked out.Thanks!
QuestionWhat does it mean if I have some soreness in my groin area above my genitals?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerConsult a doctor or other medical professional. It could be swollen lymph nodes or something more serious. It's best to consult a trained professional, especially if this is a persistent problem.Thanks!
QuestionIs it safe to take a lymphatic drainage supplement and antibiotic concurrently?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou should consult a medical professional in order to find out if it is safe to take these simultaneously.Thanks!
QuestionDoes CBD reduce inflammation?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, the cannabinoids in both CBD oils and cannabis are known anti-inflammatories.Thanks!
Can I do a Lymph cleanse if I do not have a gall bladder
Can I follow the article methods if I have had nodes removed from my armpit?
I can activate the lymph nodes on my own, when I suck a lot of air. Why is that?
My sister in law has lymphoma cancer, and want to try a lymph gland cleanse, is it okay? Do I need to consult with my doctor first?
Sources and Citations
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