AHHA SELF-HELP ARTICLES COLLECTION
   


Gloria Gilbère, CDP, DA Hom, PhD, DSC, EcoErgonomist, Wholistic Rejuvenist, is a traditional naturopath, homeopath, certified dental professional, dietary supplement counselor and doctor of natural health, specializing in identifying the causes, effects and drug-free solutions to leaky gut syndrome, chemically-induced immune system disorders and those that defy conventional diagnosis and treatment. She has authored eighteen books, over 1,600 articles, and more than 1,500 blog postings on her Health Detective Blog. After more than 25 years as owner/director of two natural health clinics, she now maintains a solely virtual practice consulting worldwide via telephone and Skype. For complete information visit www.gloriagilbere.com.


The American Holistic Health Association has compiled a collection of self-help articles to support your efforts to enhance your own health and well-being.

This article is part of the
article category
ENHANCING YOUR LEVEL OF WELLNESS
and the sub-category
DISEASE PREVENTION

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Without the lymphatic system, we could not live; yet most people do not know about it or the importance of its complex work - and contribution to better health and improved immune response.


The lymphatic system is closely related to the cardiovascular system and is sometimes referred to as the body's secondary circulatory system. Its major function is that of a defense mechanism and it is a key to the body's immune defenses. The lymphatic system includes the lymph vessels (four times more than blood vessels), lymph nodes, tonsils, spleen and thymus gland. Lymph is the colorless fluid containing white blood cells that bathes the tissues and drains through the lymphatic system.

The lymphatic system:

  • distributes fluid and nutrients throughout the body
  • assists in draining off excess fluids and protein left behind by capillary circulation activity, preventing tissues from swelling
  • removes toxins

Substances resulting from cellular metabolism are extruded from the cell and into lymph fluid for removal. The blood also dumps waste toxins from the intestinal tract into the lymphatic system via the liver. The lymphatic system may become overworked and congested, and its filtering and neutralizing functions dramatically decreased. This results in a build-up of toxins in the system, an increased risk of inflammation, and reduced immune response.

Furthermore, when toxins are produced within the body faster than the body can process and release them, the body suspends those toxins in fat and interstitial spaces in an attempt to protect the organs. This toxic buildup results in soft and connective tissue inflammation and excessive buildup of lymph fluid which contributes to fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and a multitude of immune system disorders.

Lymphatic System Support - Tips

Unlike the blood system that uses the heart as a pump, the lymphatic system relies on skeletal muscle contractions to pump it along. The following are methods which assist lymph flow and cleansing activity, and boost overall immune response:

1) Dry skin brushing is a highly effective technique for assisting the lymphatic system and boosting circulation. Today's sedentary life-style, general lack of exercise, and use of antiperspirants keep people from perspiring sufficiently. As a result, toxins and metabolic waste products become trapped in the body instead of being released with sweat. Dry skin brushing stimulates the sweat glands and opens pores, allowing your body to breathe and enhance proper organ function. Dry skin brushing also increases blood circulation to underlying organs and tissues of the body.

Use a natural bristle brush and always use dry. Brush gently over the skin starting at the extremities to the center of the body. Best results are achieved by brushing twice daily and before bathing or showering. You'll feel an invigorating, tingling sensation. As a bonus - the skin will become more soft and supple, with a healthy glow. (Never dry skin brush on your face.)

Note: Dry skin brushing done concurrently with a gastrointestinal fiber-cleansing protocol improves overall detoxification. It is estimated the skin has the capacity to eliminate over one pound of waste per day. Helps reduce cellulite and promotes weight loss.

2) Lymphatic massage is done much like dry skin brushing only with gentle kneading motions starting at the outer most points and working inward. Elevate your feet for five minutes every day, then gently massage lymph node areas.

Note: Ask your professional massage therapist for a lymphatic massage.

3) Exercise on a Rebounder or Mini Trampoline. Gently jump for 3-6 minutes without your toes or ball of foot ever leaving the mat, bouncing ONLY your heels. Be sure to hold onto either a bar or piece of furniture to avoid losing balance. Best results are achieved when performed 2-4 times per day.

Note: Start any exercise period with deep breathing which helps release toxins and boosts circulation.

4) Avoid food preservatives and additives, as they cause swelling and fluid retention. Be especially careful to read all labels because the following usually contain monosodium glutamate (MSG) disguised with other ingredients. (MSG is an "excito-" and "neuro-toxin" identified by leading neuroscientists because of its degenerative and deadly effects on the brain and nervous system - neurons are over-stimulated to the point of exhaustion and cell death.) Also avoid:
   Hydrolyzed "Anything"
   Autolyzed "Anything"
   Natural Flavor/Flavorings
   Seasonings/Spices
   Commercial Soup or Sauce Base
   Bouillon/Broth/Stock
   Gelatin
   Aluminum Cookware

5) Nutritional Recommendations: Squeeze juice of a 1/2 fresh lemon into a cup of warm pure water and drink every morning. Include fresh vegetables and potassium-rich foods like broccoli, bananas and seafood, like wild salmon, in your diet. Drink 8 to 10 glasses of pure water every day.

Supporting your lymphatic system is vital for good health and is a natural way to assist with the prevention of pain, inflammation, circulatory and immune disorders. Plus, a healthy lymphatic system boosts the body's immune response. Start today before the cold and flu season is upon us.