The lymphatic system is a key pathway of detoxification and stimulating this pathway can help our bodies cope with the daily toxic burden of synthetic chemicals, pollutants and toxins we are exposed to.
In fact, the lymphatic system is a complex drainage network involving fluids, vessels and organs. Its primary role is to remove cellular waste, proteins, foreign bodies, excess fluid, toxins and other microorganisms and return them to the bloodstream. Via the lymph nodes, this system helps to filter out toxins purify our bodies of waste.
There are approximately 6-10 liters of lymph in the body at any one time, which is pumped around via muscular contraction and movement. Lymph flows in one direction only – upwards to the heart. When the body is under stress (infection, stress, lack of physical activity, dehydration, toxic overload) tissue swelling can result and protein accumulation in the lymph nodes occurs. The result is a build up of toxins, which can end up affecting the normal function of the cells. Long term this can lead to underactive metabolic function of cells.
A classic example of chronic lymphatic congestion is the formation of cellulite, which is related in part to lymphatic congestion and poor blood flow to the affected areas. You can confirm the poor blood-flow yourself by feeling any areas of your body that have cellulite – they feel cooler than other areas of your skin due to the lack of warm blood supply to the area.
The body tries to protect itself from free toxins floating around in the body – after all they can damage our primary organs. As a result toxins are stored in many different ways in the body – mucus in the respiratory system, deposits in fat cells, as cholesterol or around the joints. Stimulating the flow of toxins out of the body by promoting lymphatic flow can help reduce your body's overall toxic load.
There are a number of easy and effective ways to promote lymphatic flow including dry body brushing, massage, vigorous exercise, hydration and muscular activity (weights, yoga, tai chi or Pilates).
Dry body brushing in particular is a great way to stimulate lymphatic and circulatory flow as it stimulates the dense network of nerves that run just under the skin layer, which in-turn increase blood circulation and the function of the lymphatic system.
Another method suggested by Bodecare is alternate cold and hot showers. See method below:
Did you know that a prolonged hot shower without alternation with cool water (the type of shower most people take) is fatiguing and causes circulatory congestion? When performed Alternate Hot & Cold showers properly, this technique stimulates the nerves, endocrine glands, circulatory system and skin.
For best results of an Alternate Hot / Cold Shower you can use the following steps as a guide:
Firstly conduct a Dry Body Brushing routine: begin warm to hot shower for 2-3 minutes (water should be at a comfortable temperature). Follow with a cold shower for 15 seconds. Once again water should be at a comfortable temperature. Each 15 seconds repeat with hot and cold shower. To finish towel dry.