The lymphatic system is often mentioned, but its importance is not always understood. This unique system is comprised of a series of vessels and nodes that are absolutely pivotal for optimal health. The lymph system transfers blood to all parts of the body, circulates nutrients, and assists with waste removal. When it becomes overwhelmed it can negatively affect the fluid levels of the body as well as the digestive and immune systems, can contribute to depression and skin conditions like acne and eczema, and can even cause weight gain. The lymphatic system is key for fending off toxins and transferring white blood cells — so when it becomes overwhelmed, it leaves the body more susceptible to viruses and bacteria.
The lymph needs proper nutrients to help transport toxins out of the body. So if you have been under stress, you’re likely nutrient deficient. Additionally, if your diet contains a lot of processed foods, sugar, and chemicals, this adds more for the system to detoxify; if you lead a sedentary life, it is harder for the lymph to move; and/or if you have been exposed to excess toxins (possibly environmental or heavy metals) the lymph becomes overloaded and can lead to more stagnation.
There are many tools that can help to clean up the complicated lymph system. In my office we use a machine called the Light Beam Generator, which is a phenomenal way to pull toxins out.
When cells are overburdened they can clump together and result in chronic inflammation.
The Generator uses cold gas light photons and low electromagnetic frequency patterns to separate these cells and their fluids. This helps the body rid itself of abnormal blockages, inflammation, and cell growths. This machine can benefit people with edema, weight loss issues, digestive imbalances, migraines, Lyme disease, pain, inflammation, acne, burns, and even cancer.
However, when treating the lymph it is important to address it from many different angles.
Diet is truly the key to healing. Consuming an organic diet whenever possible and incorporating lots of anti-inflammatory leafy greens and antioxidant rich foods (like berries) can be very helpful. Also incorporating omega-rich food like wild salmon, free radical scavengers like turmeric, ginger, onions and garlic, fiber rich foods like flax and chia, as well as cherries and red foods like beets and pomegranates have also been shown to help.
Other things to be mindful of are your skincare and cleaning products, detergent, makeup, and shampoo. Anything that contains chemicals has to be processed by the lymph — so choose wisely!
The lymph responds well to massage, dry skin brushing, and foam rolling. Another easy detoxify hack that draws out toxins in a gentle way is to place a castor oil pack on your abdomen (an area with some of the largest concentrations of lymphatic vessels) along with a heating pad for about 40 minutes twice a week. It can help to reduce fluid, assist the digestive system, and move blocked energy.
Exercise is also extremely important to helping this system function optimally, “rebounding” being one of the best exercises you can do. Rebounding is jumping on a mini trampoline, for at least 10 minutes per day. It’s an excellent way to detoxify the lymph, without putting extra stress on the joints. If you do not have a rebounder you can sit on a large yoga ball, and bounce gently while pulling your abdominal muscles in. Overall, exercise is pivotal for moving lymph stagnation, so even if you don’t have a rebounder or ball, just moving your body will help! Additionally, yoga is a great tool as well, because all the twisting helps drain the lymphatic fluid.
Finally, it is important to look at your emotional wellbeing, as healing the physical without the mental can oftentimes serve as a mere Band-Aid. Finding the source of your stress is just as important as having outlets for it.
Maybe you need to find ways to digest your life better, or move throughout life more freely (feelings of being trapped can contribute to a blocked lymph)… or maybe you simply need to laugh more, spend more time in nature, or adopt a breath work practice.
The key to healing is to listen: your body is not your enemy — you might just have to learn its unique language.
Nicole Glassman is a holistic nutritionist, blogger, public speaker, and the founder of Mindful Health and the Mindful Mosaic® Program. She completed her Masters in Food Studies at NYU, received her Holistic Health Counseling Certificate at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, and was one of the first practitioners to complete Dr. D’Adamo’s Blood Type Certification course. Her philosophy toward health stems from her own life-changing struggles with stress and troubled digestion. She has hosted numerous workshops and retreats that empower people to live with passion and purpose and is currently working on her first book. She sees her client’s health struggles as unique to their bodies, with a mission to support wellness from within.