I don’t know about you, but whenever I engage in a lymph detox, whether it’s through dry brushing or hot yoga, I feel a warm glow of loving energy flow through me, easing my body’s burden and allowing my complete circulatory system and energy field to glow. ✨
A few years ago, I would have told you that the only two things you need to do to get healthy are to switch from processed foods to fruits and vegetables and find a regular exercise routine that fits your lifestyle. But the more I engaged in communities (and now, dear friends!) who live a completely whole lifestyle full of nourishing supplements and bodily routines far beyond the basics, I become so much more enlightened to just how our entire bodies move to help us flourish.
And, as with most things in life, I’m always looking for enhanced energy abundance, and creativity for our fellow musicians and artists here on the blog, I wanted to gather up the simple ways we can enhance a healthy lymphatic system so we can feel more energetically clear and inspired to do our best work.
What is your lymphatic system?
At the very core of your being, nestled intricately within your body, and lymph vessels, lies an unsung hero – your lymphatic system.
Like a gentle river flowing through your body, the lymphatic system is an intricate network of vessels, nodes, and organs, working to transport lymph fluid throughout your body.
What is lymph? Lymph is a clear fluid containing things like white blood cells, bacteria, and cellular debris, and helps remove toxic buildup from the body through lymphatic stimulation, then removing toxins through:
- Your breath ?
- Your bowels ?
- Your sweat ✨
Why do you need to practice lymph detox?
Consider a healthy lymphatic system like a cleansing river– as long as it has a clear, flowing movement, it’s constantly draining out what’s not needed as it moves through the body. But every time the river gets littered, we’re making it harder and harder for it to run and flow properly, causing lymph congestion and making us feel congested and sluggish in return.
When our lymph stops moving as it should, the vital flow of nutrients and waste removal is impeded. Everything from stress to environmental toxins, poor dietary choices, and sedentary lifestyles can contribute to lymphatic congestion and can make this cleansing river start becoming a backed-up sitting body of water. ?
(If your lymphatic system is blocked, it can cause bloating, swelling, stiffness, soreness, and even lymphedema, which causes fibrosis, or skin swelling.)
Translation: as we allow for more flowing movement in our lymphatic lymph system itself, we allow our bodies to have their own flowing movement, giving us the invigoration, creativity, freedom, and weightlessness we need to access our highest selves in times of creativity. ??
How does lymphatic fluid naturally detox?
In its innate wisdom, your body has designed the lymphatic system to possess its own natural detoxification mechanisms. While our active participation is also beneficial– sometimes called manual lymphatic drainage— there are also instances where the lymph detoxes on its own, effortlessly restoring balance within.
Whenever we walk, sweat, breathe, or go to the bathroom, it means our lymphatic circulatory system is properly working. Our lymph nodes, which are located all around our bodies, are little filtration centers, which remove toxins into the lymphatic ducts (or thoracic ducts). That’s why through the sheer power of movement and exercise, lymph flow is already being stimulated and enhanced.
Every step you take, every yoga pose you embody, and every dance you grace contributes to the rhythmic dance of your lymph, gently sweeping away toxins and other waste products.
5 holistic ways to detox your lymph for energy, creativity, and flow
The easier it is to maintain our own lymphatic function and health, the more invigorated and energetically flexible our whole body and spirit can feel– letting us embrace the activities, people, and art we love the most. Here are 5 natural ways to actively enhance lymphatic flow so you can improve both your overall health and your inspiration:
1. Dry brush.
Reintroduce yourself to all the parts of your body
One beautiful way to reconnect with your body and support lymphatic detoxification is through the practice of dry brushing. Using a natural bristle brush, gently stroke your skin in upward motions, starting from your feet and moving toward your heart.
Dry skin brushing exfoliates the skin, stimulates blood flow, and encourages lymphatic drainage. And, as you lovingly brush your body, you can take this opportunity to rediscover every inch of yourself, embracing the sensations and reconnecting with the remarkable vessel that carries you through life.
I used to unknowingly dry brush in acting school during our voice and speech classes with our hands. After just 20 seconds of dry skin brushing with our palms we all felt a significant gain in energy and inspiration. Now, imagine that with a natural bristle brush early in the morning before exercising or showering. ?♀️✨
2. Sweat in a sauna
Let go of self-judgment
Stepping into a sauna, you’ve already entered a sacred space of healing and release. But as you allow the warmth to envelop you, the heat’s grace does more than just relax you– it helps you sweat, an essential aspect of lymphatic circulation and detoxification.
If you’re looking to invest in your own sauna, I would definitely suggest a near-infrared sauna like the Sauna Space. In comparison:
- Traditional saunas like ones found in gyms use electric or wood-burning heat to run.
- Far infrared saunas offer some light therapy, which has benefits for the body but only covers the surface. Many of them also emit EMFs which are harmful to our bodies, although some companies are working to minimize them.
- Near-infrared saunas combine light therapy and heat therapy and can penetrate up to 9 inches into the body
I’m looking to take the plunge soon on the Sauna Space Faraday which has heat and light therapy, which reap benefits far beyond the lymphatic system, and can allow me to have a beautiful, peaceful sweat right in my home!
Related: the 7 best portable saunas of 2023
3. Bounce on a trampoline
Embrace your inner child
Jumping on a trampoline isn’t just for children– in fact, invite your inner child back into the party and reconnect with your playful essence… all while invigorating your lymphatic system.
The rhythmic bouncing encourages deep breathing, which is one of the simple ways our lymphatic system detoxes. Embrace the joy of buoyancy, allow your body to move freely, and feel the sense of lightness that comes with each leap.
As you bounce, imagine yourself releasing stagnant energy and embracing a vibrant, flowing state– and really, when was the last time you really bounced on a trampoline as high as you could?!
Channel your inner child, and let the exhilarating bounce on the trampoline ignite your creativity, encourage bodily flow, and restore your sense of wonder while you’re at it. ?
4. Take lymphatic-centered herbal teas and/or supplements
Introduce the most natural part of healing to your diet
Nature has provided us with a wealth of botanical allies that can support our lymphatic system’s detoxification process. Consider incorporating lymphatic-centered herbal teas or supplements into your daily routine, like burdock, red clover, calendula, echinacea, astragalus, and dandelion to name a few.
These gentle yet powerful allies work in harmony with your body, promoting lymphatic flow and aiding in the elimination of toxins. You can purchase them as an herbal tea, an absorbable supplement, tinctures, or glycerites, or even grow and create them yourself.
5. Engage in hydrotherapy
Use water as your healer
While I personally haven’t explored hydrotherapy in detail yet, its benefits for lymphatic detoxification are worth mentioning, along with its ability to improve immunity and manage pain. With roots stemming from ancient Egypt, China, and India, you can do this just as easily as taking a shower and alternating between hot and cold water, with a final rinse in cold water before stepping out.
And if you’re interested in the colder water approach, you might be interested in the Wim Hof technique, which shows the proven methods of cold water for your focus, immunity, and willpower.
Bonus: drink water, exercise, and eat clean. ✨
In addition to the five holistic ways we’ve explored, there are a few foundational practices that can significantly support the lymphatic system and enhance the human body’s detoxification journey, which comes as a more baseline approach to many who are already immersed in more holistic ways of living.
Simply, it’s staying hydrated, exercising, and eating a whole diet full of whole and natural foods!
Frequently asked questions
How to unblock the lymphatic system?
If you feel your lymphatic system is blocked or congested, there are several strategies you can try, like incorporating the holistic practices we’ve discussed like dry brushing, sweating in a sauna, bouncing on a trampoline, and engaging in hydrotherapy, which can help stimulate lymph flow and alleviate blockages.
How to drain your lymph nodes?
To facilitate lymph node drainage, you can gently massage the areas where swollen lymph nodes are located using gentle, circular motions with your fingertips to stimulate lymphatic flow in those regions. However, it’s important to note that if you have swollen or tender lymph nodes, it’s important to explore the reason behind your lymphatic health so you can make educated decisions.
How to improve lymphatic drainage in the legs?
To improve lymphatic drainage in the legs, you can incorporate a manual lymphatic drainage massage into your daily routine, and exercises that involve leg movements, such as walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming. Here’s a guide on how to do a self-lymphatic massage on the lower half of your body!
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