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Benefits of Lymphatic Drainage
That throbbing, pounding head pain (like the worst hangover you could imagine), you know the kind that makes it hard to even move?
That is what opened my eyes to the destructive power of congested lymph.
This horrible feeling happened to me after lymphatic massage twice.
I knew I needed to address this issue precisely because I had this strong reaction to it.
I obviously had a lot of toxins built up; so many toxins that my body had a hard time getting rid of it all, once the massage let it go.
Therefore, I decided to look into more gentle and self-paced ways to accomplish the same goal while minimizing the side effects.
What is the Lymphatic System?
One of the most important parts of the immune system is the lymphatic system and it is comprised of lymphatic vessels which carry clear fluids within them.
These crucial liquids oxygenate and feed cells throughout the body and brain.
Not only does it serve that critical function, but it also gathers toxic junk so it can be expelled.
Toxins very well should be removed, as we all know. So it stands to reason that we need our lymphatics working at full capacity!
But how does this fluid get moved around?
Well, unlike our circulatory systems that have a pump (the heart) to move things around efficiently, this system relies largely on us to physically move.
We discussed how society as a whole is sitting too much for their jobs but even when people aren't working, all too often we are sitting on our computers or in front of a screen.
Let me tell you this is not helping our lymphatic systems.
Many people can have sluggish lymphatic flow due to toxin build-up, chronic infections, and other reasons, not only lack of movement.
Therefore, for the enhancement of lymphatic circulation, the drainage techniques we are about to cover, are considered highly beneficial.
One technique is known as Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) and it's used to boost the natural drainage of the lymph.
This is the type of massage I had that caused me headaches. Normally, it would be a great thing just not for me. For me it was too aggressive.
That said, given the fact that lymph carries away waste from the heart, MLD's role is considered highly significant in maintaining good health.
After all, the main purpose of MLD is to eliminate toxins, bacteria, excess water, wastes, and viruses from the body.
It is obviously helpful in addressing blocks in lymphatic circulation and used for various conditions such as arthritis, acne, inflammation, Edema (oedema), sinusitis, Lyme disease, and more.
Other Benefits of Lymphatic Drainage
By now we know that the lymph system operates as a natural cleaner because it cleans up cell wastes, fluids, bacteria, and viruses.
If your lymph system is not operating well, you can expect infections, colds, tiredness and sometimes, more serious medical problems.
That is why we can't emphasize enough how extremely important lymphatic drainage is.
Apart from eliminating various toxins and bacteria, there are several other benefits as well!
Let’s have a look at them:
- Helpful during and after pregnancy especially for swelling of the limbs. See this study.
- Encourages healing after a surgery to reduce swelling, scars, and improve circulation
- Enhances the immune system
- Provides much-needed relaxation to the body after a hectic day
- Beneficial in eradicating complications in breastfeeding to reduce swelling and soreness from blocked ducts
- Breaking up the toxins and helping them get washed away with better lymph flow can assist in fighting against cellulite
- Helps in eradicating skin problems such as acne, eczema, rosacea, and seborrhea
- Highly beneficial in toxin removal
However, if you are facing health issues, then you need to proceed with care.
And that brings us to consider who should not engage in this procedure.
With all things, you should consult your doctor before getting a lympathic massage or undertaking these techniques yourself.
You may have to go very slowly and gently or not do it all if you have diabetes, heart disease, circulation or vascular issues, or other health conditions.
Be sure you check with a doctor! With that said, most of us can get by with little discomfort by drinking lots of water afterwards and resting.
Now that we have all that out of the way, let's look at ways we can do this at home for free and still reap the benefits.
Ways to Do Lymphatic Drainage At Home
There are ways in which you can enhance the blood and lymph circulation in your body and detox the entire system at home, without anyone’s help.
Let's get started doing self-lymphatic drainage because it is easy and hassle-free!
It is so easy to do this self-massage, you won't believe it. Simply search the internet to find a diagram that identifies lymphatic points in the body.
Press your fingers firmly on the skin on one of the lymphatic points.
Maintain a firm pressure and keep on doing a massage in a circular motion for just 10 seconds.
Applying massage on the tender points needs to last for longer; about 15-20 seconds.
Move from one point to another with the same technique. It will hardly take more than 4-5 minutes.
Note: if you find a lot of tender points then it is better to not massage them all at once.
Do not massage if you have an injury or bruise and refer to the precautions listed above.
Are you ready to stretch those muscles to improve the flow? There are various stretching exercises that can boost the removal of toxins from your body.
Yoga is quite helpful because one of its elements is stretching and there is deep stretch yoga as well.
Easy peasy, we can do these at home without much outside help at all.
Yoga is also a great stress reliever which can affect your well-being.
Read more about easy anti-stress techniques to improve your overall health and well-being.
Other Home Exercises You Can Do
Lymphatic drainage through exercise is quite helpful because it releases blockages and encourages healthy movement in the body.
This, in return is helpful in eliminating that nasty waste from the body.
According to a post on Livestrong, There are some really helpful and simple moves you can incorporate at home,
Home Exercises for Lymphatics
- Circling the neck slowly and carefully as tolerated.
- The Pelvic Tilt and Bridges.
- Leg Slides - where you simply lay flat on your back, legs flat on the floor, and slowly glide one leg along the floor, out to the side and repeat on each leg. Think of making a snow angel without the arm movement and one leg at a time.
- Lifting and lowering the shoulders or shrugging.
- Leg falls - which is where you lie on your back with knees bent and let each leg fall to the side slowly and controlled, while the knee is still bent and return the bent leg back to original position and repeat on each leg a few times.
- Pumping the ankles and toe raises.
- Details on these exercises and images can be found here.
Rebounding with Mini Trampoline
Trampolines are fun, right? Well, they are quite helpful in lymphatic drainage as well.
Even NASA uses this technique to help astronauts in regaining their bone density that decreases when they are in space.
For a rebounding therapy, use a mini trampoline and start rebounding for at least 10 minutes a day.
It is a very effective movement therapy as it increases the lymph flow by opening up the one-way valves in the system so toxins can drain properly.
The cute mini trampoline shown in the picture above would be perfect for the kid of rebounding you need to do to drain the lymphatics.
The technique is simple, yet result-oriented and it won’t take much of your time.
Before you jump in the shower, simply take a coarse brush and start moving it gently along the skin all over the body from the feet on up and be sure to move the brush towards your heart.
It helps in encouraging the lymph flow by boosting the sweat glands and enhancing the circulation of blood under the skin.
You can do this for about 5-8 minutes.
At first it feels pretty scratchy and a tad uncomfortable but after a few times, your skin becomes less sensitive to it.
There are various supplements and certain foods that can also help your lymphatics drain efficiently.
Please take a look at LifeSpa's specially designed program just for this purpose.
The Bottom Line
We all know that sometimes our body does not function properly and this is where we need to step in by taking proper measures.
Through self-massage, stretching, exercising, rebounding on a mini trampoline, dry brushing, and sometimes taking supplements, you can enhance the lymph system yourself and live a healthier life.
Needless to say, lymphatic drainage is necessary for the better functionality of your organs.
Embrace it into your life for prevention of many health problems.
Along with this, it is important to make sure that you have a strong immunity system.
A healthy immune and lymphatic system can help you to feel better and stronger.
Are you injured and in pain? Do you have any of the conditions I mentioned above in the precautions section?
If yes, then avoid applying any of these techniques until after you clear it with your doctor.
*Disclaimer mini trampoline post - The information provided in this website is for informational purposes. It is based on my own personal experiences and opinions. I am not a medical doctor and what is written should not be used to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. The product links are not meant to be construed as medications or treatments and you should consult your doctor before taking any supplements, herbal products, or starting exercise programs.