Activating The Lymphatic System

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It may be a revelation for many of us that – other than the blood which circulates in the body – there is another vital fluid called ‘lymph’ that is transported in the body through the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is part of our immune system and is made up of tissues, organs, and vessels. This system gets rid of toxins, waste and other unwanted material from the body.  Its main function is to transport lymph – a fluid containing infection-fighting white blood cells – throughout the body.  The bone marrow, spleen, tonsils, adenoid etc. are all part of the lymphatic system.

The spleen controls blood storage in the body and helps fight infection.  People who have lost their spleen may be prone to infections. The thymus helps activate T cells which destroy infected or cancerous cells. Tonsils are groups of lymphatic cells found in the pharynx. They act like the body’s “first line of defense” when bacteria or viruses enter through the nose or mouth.

So, the lymphatic system is vital as it manages the fluids in the body and helps fight the invasion of external organisms.  It also aids with the detox process by removing toxins at the cellular level. Otherwise, the toxins pile up leading to various chronic conditions.

When this system is efficient, we feel healthy, alert, and vibrant. Below are some tips to ensure that our lymphatic system functions at its best.

Water: Drinking enough water daily keeps the lymphatic system healthy.  For each person the amount of water needed differs. One way to know if you are drinking enough water is if your urination looks like water (if you are not on any medication).  If not, it could mean that you are not drinking enough water. Having adequate fluids circulating in the system is vital for detoxification and for maintaining good health.

Movement: Contracting the muscles encourages lymphatic flow. Yoga, walking, running, cycling and other high or low intensity exercises help maintain this flow.  People with sedentary lifestyles should do stretching and walking frequently during the day to help this flow.

Diet:  Processed food contains additives and artificial chemicals that create toxins in the system. Having fresh fruits and cooked vegetables or salad (unprocessed foods) is good for the lymphatic system.

Triphala:  Triphala is an herbal supplement and is widely available.  It is an ayurvedic concoction of 3 tropical fruits.  Consuming triphala with a little bit of water or milk or honey will ensure that the cleansing in the system will happen properly.

Breathing:  Deep breathing calms the mind and alleviates stress. This helps activate the lymphatic system drainage. Remember to take deep breaths for 5 – 10 minutes at a time throughout the day.

Dry Brushing: Take a dry brush and with light pressure and wide circular movements brush the skin about twice a week.  This helps with detoxification. Massaging the body is also very helpful to release the toxins from the lymph.

The lymphatic system works silently in the background. It plays a vital role in keeping our body healthy and disease free. It behooves us to pay attention to this important system and take appropriate care.

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