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3 Easy Ways to Successfully Stimulate Your Lymphatic System

Let’s talk about the lymphatic system, my friends! Honestly, there is so much to cover, so I’ll be addressing important points about the lymphatic system periodically over the next few months. Be sure to stay tuned!

 But, first, let’s review briefly why the lymphatic system is even worth talking about at all! 

In short, your lymphatic system is a network of nodes and glands that help your body detoxify itself. This necessary detoxing helps your body heal, keeps your organs functioning normally, transports waste, and keeps your immune system in top shape. 

If your lymphatic system is out of whack, your body might be trying to let you know. If you are experiencing congestion, inflamed tonsils, fluid retention, swollen lymph nodes or glands, increased fatigue, brain fog, and/or constipation – you might be dealing with a stagnant lymphatic system. 

Of course, the symptoms I just listed could be signs for…well, a lot of other things too, so be sure that you visit your doctor to discuss your health promptly! That said, you can talk with your doctor about your lymphatic system, and what you can do to help your body detox in natural ways. 

In the meantime, you might notice positive results from simple things like drinking enough healthy fluids and fueling your body with whole foods. These will of course help, but another easy and surefire way to get things moving is to move your body!

Yes, you read that correctly, mobility can ignite your lymphatic system, spurring it into action to properly transport waste out of your body. You’ve probably seen lymphatic massages before? Well, massages and actual movement of your skin’s surface area can totally boost your lymphatic system! 

But, you don’t need to splurge on a massage (unless you want to, in which case, enjoy)! You can also kick your lymphatic movement up a notch in the following 3 easy ways: 

 

  • Anything with a twist: All of the twists, standing poses, and movements in even the simplest of yoga flows will help spark your lymphatic system. This is one of the reasons why the Ayurvedic tradition is so rooted in yoga – the movements are powerful ways to help your body detox naturally. A simple seated twist may even provide a sense of almost immediate release. Try this Gentle Warrior 2 flow with me to help boost that lymphatic function!

 

  •  Elevate: Even just doing waterfall pose (also known as “legs up the wall”) takes just a few minutes and can help boost your lymphatic systems into action. Elevating your legs is a different sensation and position for your body, normally you find the soles of your feet on or very near to the ground. Switching it up even just briefly can get some things flowing in the opposite direction, so to speak, and can generate healthy lymphatic movement.

 

  • Down dog: Downward facing dog is considered a restorative pose in a sense, even if it doesn’t always feel like it! While it isn’t a full-on inversion by any means, it is easy and safe for almost everyone to do, and it does get your head and shoulders in a different position than normal. Similarly to waterfall pose, this jumpstarts some of the movement in your lymphatic system, simply by switching things up for a few minutes, generating some movement, and creating some space in those harder to reach areas of your body.

To get access to new flows and body-saving courses every month, you’re invited to my amazing Yoga Prehab™ membership, where everything is focused on optimal movement and mobility to heal and strengthen your body. Get on your way to better health and wellbeing today!

How to Get Rid Of “Holiday Hangover” 

Aside from getting your flu shot and having Vitamin C supplements at the ready, what else can you do to stay healthy and happy during the holidays? 

The basics are this: get enough sleep, stay hydrated, move your body. 

Getting enough sleep may be easier said than done, but it is so, so essential. If you’re feeling fatigued, every part of your body is going to feel it too. In order to keep all the functions of your body in top condition, you have to get enough rest. 

At least 8 hours is recommended, but let’s be honest…how many of us actually get that much?

But, did you know that while you are sleeping your body does most of its healing?  So, cutting into that sleep you need can really take a toll on your health. Think about it — do you want muscle recovery, digestion, or detoxification working at a sluggish rate?

 Nope. 

Ideally never! And definitely not during the holidays when there are so many yummy foods, desserts, and drinks to indulge in. You want everything functioning at full capacity to enjoy the holidays in good health, even if we snack on a few too many cookies shaped like snowmen!

If you’re somewhere chilly or if you’re lucky enough to be in warmer weather for the holidays, it’s probably not quite reaching summertime heat levels wherever you are this month. Drinking water and iced coffee can be so easy when the sun is scorching hot or you’re enjoying the beach, but sometimes as the weather cools down we have a tendency toward not maintaining adequate water intake. 

Drinking water not only helps maintain normal organ function and cell growth, but it is also a key piece of flushing your system and aiding your liver and kidneys in your body’s natural detox processes.

The average recommended water intake per day is 8-10 glasses per day.  (That sounds like a whole lot of trips to the toilet if you ask me!)

Whether its sweets, a few cocktails, or half a cheesecake that your body needs to flush out, drinking plenty of water will help this process tremendously. I’m a believer in living your life and enjoying that second (or third) helping of your favorite holiday food, but I think you can agree that feeling bloated after eating too much is never, ever fun. 

Water, even with a squeeze of lemon or lime for some extra vitamin C, can help with stimulating digestion and flushing your system. Keep a water bottle on hand, find a water source at every party you attend, and be sure to drink a huge glass of water right when you wake up and right before you go to sleep. 

One of the body’s best detox mechanisms is the lymphatic system, which is stimulated almost purely by movement. Exercise, walking, massage, and yoga are all great ways to stimulate the lymphatic system.

Twists, gentle movement, and gentle stretching is beneficial for the lymphatic system and will ultimately help boost digestion and strengthen your immune system. I’m sure you’re completely out of Thanksgiving leftovers by now, so if you want to get your lymphatic system pumping and feel totally refreshed, try out this Turkey Day Detox Flow!  

The holiday season is always crazy, so we all need to be sure we are providing our bodies (and minds!) with a little extra TLC. Get some extra sleep, drink a ton of water, and be sure you’re moving each and every day!

I’d love to invite you to join me on Instagram for even more information on holiday health this coming Workout Wednesday, where I’ll explain how we can use yoga to help ease anxiety. And keep an eye out for an exciting Holiday Giveaway announcement coming up soon….!