There’s an ancient Ayurvedic principle to strive for every day:
~ move your body well
~ move your blood well
The greatest part is that this can be accomplished with one piece of advice: GET MOVING! By doing so, you will be activating a powerful system in your body to detoxify and rejuvenate.
It’s this little thing called the lymphatic system:
- What it does for you:
- The lymphatic system removes waste and toxins from every cell in your body – you have more lymphatic fluid than you have blood!
- It supports all other systems in your body for the optimal health of your immunity, digestion, detoxification and your nervous system
- Think of a facet as being your lymphatic system. When turned on, the water flows and any junk is flushed down the drain. Your lymph is like the drainage system of your body. But when the facet is turned off, or the lymph is stagnant, nothing can be flushed out and it can become clogged.
What happens then?
Once stagnant and clogged all sorts of things can go awry:
How your body may first speak to you:
- Appetite loss
- Swelling of hands and feet (ever felt your rings suddenly tighten on your hands? This could be a factor)
- Muscle cramping
- Mental fog
- Worsened allergies and sensitivities
- Joint pain
and the list, of course, goes on.
When you don’t listen:
- An unhealthy lymphatic system can lead to serious infections and cancer.
It’s truly the underestimated key to youth and health of the body.
Eight keys to a happy, healthy lymph:
The trick here is to get the lymph flowing so it can do what it’s designed to do – clear out the junk!
- Get Moving! You should be moving in some way at least every 40 minutes. So if you’ve been stagnant watching t.v., do jumping jacks at the commercial break or run the stairs, something to get your blood pumping and your lymph flowing. A rebounder is a great option. It’s a mini trampoline to absorb the shock to your knees and I run on it every day about 10 minutes at a time.
- Use a dry brush – 3-4X/week. The circular action will increase blood flow to stimulate the lymph
- Drink up – what good is a facet without water flowing through it?! 6-8 glasses of water/day
- Eat clean – Reduce the consumption of refined products, sugars and caffeine. Focus your diet on fresh fruits and vegetables and whole foods.
- Clean your beauty regime – limit your exposure to toxic substances. The one I see most often is the use of aluminum-based antiperspirants clogging the lymph nodes below the armpit. Antiperspirants block the sweat which is how the body detoxifies. It’s as though you are purposely clogging the drain. Switch to natural deodorants and beauty care products as much as possible.
- Breath awareness meditations – this includes the practise of yoga or simply sitting and focusing on your breath. This will not only stimulate the breath to move the lymph but will double as relaxation to reduce your overall stress.
- Keep your clothes flowing to keep the lymph flowing – Clothes that are too tight will restrict the lymphatic flow. Particularly for women: never, and I mean never, wear a bra to bed at night!
- Examine the mental, spiritual link – lymphatic stagnation may occur when we feel stuck in a particular pattern or situation or unable to fully express ourselves. Examine the areas of your life or emotional thought patterns that feel stagnant. Remember that what happens in the mind will manifest in the body.
The above video shows one of my best friends and I headed out for an early morning bike yesterday, but there’s never an unadventurous moment with us! We went through THREE bikes and an exceptionally sweet neighbor who took pity on our rusty tire pump, to get out for our early morning bike ride, down to the beach for yoga and lunch and errand running (which we oddly LOVE to do together) and back home again.
My typical workout regime:
- A headstand as soon as I get out of bed (some days my head hits the floor before my feet do) 😛
- Yoga for about 20-60mins depending on the day
- Yoga sporadically throughout the day
It’s always different. I love to hike and bike and dance but between school and work, this is what works for me. When I don’t adhere to this, I feel it! And while I’m at school, I run the stairs to the washrooms several floors down on our breaks to wake myself up and get the oxygen to my information overloaded brain 🙂
So my advice as a holistic nutritionist to you: get that miracle lymph system moving every beautiful day!