5 lymph hacks to boost wellness and energy

You know you have a lymphatic system, but have you really ever thought about what it does and how important it is to your overall health?

Well, it does an awful lot — so let’s start there…

The lymphatic system carries lymph fluid from your tissues to your circulatory system. The lymph fluid carries white blood cells throughout your body, and these cells help fight infection. The lymph absorbs and shuttles fatty acids and fats from the digestive system, and toxic substances from the blood, towards the circulatory system; and it moves white blood cells from lymph nodes into the bones.

And how does it affect your health?

This process helps cleanse the body of unwanted waste products, strengthens the immune system to help ward off disease and improves overall energy and wellness.

The problem is, unlike blood, lymph does not have a built-in circulatory system to move it through the body. For lymph to move there must be muscle contraction and relaxation and joint flexion and extension. In other words, if you are sedentary and don’t feel well, chances are you need to detox your lymphatic system.

That doesn’t mean you’re doomed to feel bad and get sick. Let’s take a look at five simple Lymph hacks that you can do to help it along…

Hack #1: Stay hydrated

Water is essential to wellness and adult bodies are roughly 55-60% water. Lymph fluid contains roughly 95% water, so remaining hydrated is essential to being healthy and ‘clean’ inside, as ample water can prevent lymph congestion. You can drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water daily to be hydrated. Another method I use is to drink enough all day so that my urine remains clear. As it darkens, I drink more. When water gets too boring, feel free to add some lemon to it. Reducing diuretics like coffee, tea and alcohol and backing off soda and sweetened beverages goes a long way to keeping you hydrated and avoiding unnecessary toxins.

Hack #2: Start jumping

Jumping is a great way to help drain the lymph through the pumping action of being airborne and falling. As blood circulation increases the lymph is also circulated. Doing jumping jacks, or plyometric exercises like squat jumps, are great fun. Another terrific method is to jump on the rebounder (mini trampoline). 20 minutes of jumping can do wonders for lymph cleansing and muscle tone.

Hack #3: Raise those legs

Remember that lymphatic system moves the lymph fluid toward the heart and so raising your legs can help the process. If you are fit and not prone to headaches, then doing hand- or headstands is a great way to raise your legs up. Another less-intense way is to lie on the floor with your legs up along a wall. You can hold the position for 10 minutes or longer without issue. Of course, there is always hanging upside down on an inversion table or using inversion boots. In addition to stimulating the circulatory and lymphatic system, inversion also helps decompress joints, lengthen muscles and improve spinal health.

Hack #4: Manual pressure

Applying sustained, manual pressure along your body in the direction of the heart is a great way to drain the lymph. It is a type of massage, but done up the legs and arms, moving the lymph fluid in the direction of the cardiovascular system. Rhythmic, circular motions seem to do the best job and some who do “manual lymph drainage” claim it moves nearly 80% of the stagnant lymph back into circulation for drainage of the toxic waste products. Another way to do this is to apply manual pressure with a dry brush, again in the direction toward the heart. Dry brushing has been used in detox efforts for a long time, and it seems to do well with cleansing the lymphatic system as well.

Hack #5: Eat organic raw foods

Diet is essential, and eating organic foods in the closest to their original raw state as possible is best. Why? Because you want to avoid putting more toxins into your system my consuming conventional fruits and vegetables that have been soaked in pesticides and herbicides. And you want the get the most enzymes from those foods, and by consuming fruits and veg in their raw or al dente state allows you to also gain benefit of their enzymes. Enzymes help break down toxic buildup in the lymph and blood and promote the clearance of harmful substances in the body. They are also alkalizing and contain water.

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Dr. Mark Wiley

By Dr. Mark Wiley

Dr. Mark Wiley is an internationally renowned mind-body health practitioner, author, motivational speaker and teacher. He holds doctorates in both Oriental and alternative medicine, has done research in eight countries and has developed a model of health and wellness grounded in a self-directed, self-cure approach. Dr. Wiley has written 14 books and more than 500 articles. He serves on the Health Advisory Boards of several wellness centers and associations while focusing his attention on helping people achieve healthy and balanced lives through his work with Easy Health Options® and his company, Tambuli Media.