You feeling bloated? Brain Foggy? Heavy and sluggish? Look to the lymph.
In Ayurveda we are instructed to treat the Lymphatic system first because it is a primary waste -drainage system. Keeping it clear is a fundamental way to improve general well being and address common systemic problems and potentially avert more serious developments like cancer.
The lymphatic system has no pump of its own. It is made up of glands, nodes, spleen, thymus and tonsils. It bathes the cells and carries sewage out of tissues into the blood where it can get filtered by liver and kidneys. It is the foundation of a healthy immune response. Lymph itself is a clear, colorless fluid and it needs to flow freely through clean pipes and clear nodes along the way!
A healthy river runs clear and free, a dirty cesspool stinks and stagnates. If the lymph system gets blocked or overrun (stress, illness, surgery, toxic overload or lack of activity), lymph fluid backs up and may be stored within nodes (way stations along the system) and eventually become too toxic for the body to handle. Think Love Canal.
Symptoms of chronic lymph blockage can include allergies and food sensitivities, frequent cold and flu, joint pain, headaches, menstrual cramps and breast tenderness, arthritis, sinusitis, loss of appetite and GI issues, muscle cramps, tissue swelling, fatigue, brain fog, depression, skin breakouts, and cellulite.
How to Move Lymph (Spring is the optimal time to get things flowing.)
Stay Hydrated & Reduce Stress.
Achieve these lofty goals by establishing daily routines and seasonally appropriate eating habits which will stimulate and nourish to keep that pesky Lymph flowing. The dividends, no matter what your lifestyle, will be better digestion, skin, sleep and immune system function.
Deep breathing enhances movement of lymph through, the organs of elimination (skin, kidney, liver, bladder, small and large intestines) which is essential since these need to be doing their jobs well so that the lymph does not get overwhelmed with waste products.
Move, Twist and Flow:
Keep everything moving. Stagnation is the enemy. I like the mini-trampoline for easy re-bound fun. And of course YOGA yoga yoga: rhythmic tensing and relaxing of muscles in general and inversions, twist sand legs-up-the-wall along with more vigorous flow movements with breath will do the trick.
Brush and Balm:
Try morning body brushing of the skin followed by self massage. READ HERE for Instructions.
Eat and Drink for the Seasons:
Eat potent anti-oxidants like fresh raw fruits (on empty stomach the enzymes quickly do their clean-up work), Greens for the chlorophyl, raw nuts and seeds for the fatty acids and Tart Cherries (not sweet) and other red foods for the anti-oxidents. Look for pungent, bitter and astringent tastes like sprouts and watercress. Drink alot using hot water therapy and dandelion tea. The general seasonal rule is that If it is growing now then it is good to eat now. Avoid sweet, sour and salty foods that will restrict the flow.