When we think of a detox, often our mind will go straight to juice cleanses, special teas and fasting, yet these kinds of detoxes primarily work with the digestive system.
The lesser known lymphatic system is actually the most important detoxifier of the body and is continuously working to remove toxins and fight off infectious diseases around the clock.
In this time of Covid-19, it has never been more important to keep our body in a healthy state. Dedicate some time this weekend to detoxifying your lymphatic system with these 5 simple self-care practices.
What is the Lymphatic System?
The lymphatic system is a network of tissues and organs that help rid the body of toxins, waste and other unwanted materials. These include the spleen, thymus, tonsils, adenoids, as well as the hundreds of lymph nodes that are found all over the body. The lymphatic system circulates throughout the body transporting lymph, a fluid containing infection-fighting white blood cells.
What does a Lymphatic Detox do?
We want to support our lymphatic system by keeping lymph flowing easily throughout the body. We do this by stimulating the surface of our skin in a variety of ways. When lymphatic circulation is poor, toxins will accumulate and immune cells (white blood cells) won’t be delivered to the areas of the body where they’re needed. This can results is a number of lymph-related ailments, but it especially leaves us with a lowered immune system, making us more prone to getting sick.
The good news is that not only are these lymph draining practices simple and effective, they are also enjoyable enough to add to your regular self-care routine.
♥ 5 Ways to Detox your Lymphatic System ♥
1. Take an Epsom Salt and Rose Geranium Oil Bath
Epsom salts work magic on the lymphatic system due to their high levels of Magnesium, a mineral known for its anti-inflammatory properties. In combination with the natural diuretic quality of mineral salts and the temperature of the water, Epsom salt baths have been shown to stimulate lymph circulation in the body.
Rose Geranium oil is both anti-inflammatory and a diuretic, making it the perfect partner to an Epsom salt bath. Allow the heavenly aroma to take you away, soothing your soul, while working on your lymphatic system.
How to run the perfect detox bath
1 cup Epsom salts
4-5 drops Organic Rose Geranium Essential Oil
Light a candle, play some calming music and drift away
2. Dry Brushing
Dry brushing is one of the most effective tools to stimulate the lymphatic system, as well as improve the skin and overall circulation. Dry brushing should ideally be be done with a natural bristle brush, while the skin is dry and before a shower. Afterward showering, apply a rich moisturiser with a few drops of Organic Chamomile Essential Oil to soothe the skin and enhance the effects.
How to dry brush
Start at your feet and work towards your chest. Brush the body with long gentle strokes, with just enough pressure to feel it, but not break the skin. It is important to brush towards the heart, always in an upward motion. When you come to the stomach, brush in a clockwise direction to work with your digestive system. Go over each area 2 to 3 times. Include dry brushing 1 to 2 times per week.
3. Get Moving
Stagnation on the outside causes stagnation on the inside! Exercise is one of the best ways to both the blood and the lymph pumping in your body. Exerxise doesn’t have to mean hitting the gym or hours of cardio. Simply adding in more movement into your day can make a big difference when it comes to your lymphatic system.
Ways to move more
Get up every 30 to 45 minutes for a walk and a stretch
Try an online yoga class
Go for walks in nature or in your neighbourhood
Put on your favourite song and dance around your house!
4. Self Massage with Essential Oils
You may think of going for a massage as an unnecessary luxury, but massaging your body comes with a myriad of health benefits, including lymph drainage. The good news is that if you don’t have the funds to pay for one (or a partner who is willing), self-massage is an easy and enjoyable way to experience many of the same benefits.
Creating your own home-made massage oil using essential oils will increase the stimulating effects and add a feeling of relaxation and enjoyment to the practice.
Lymphatic Detox Massage Oil Recipe
• Add the essential oils to the dropper bottle
• Next, add the carrier oil
• Close the lid and roll between your palms to mix
After a shower, apply a thin even layer of lymphatic massage oil over the body, gently massaging towards the heart as you apply it.
5. Take a Breath
Most of us unknowingly shallow-breathe most of the time, robbing our bodies of potential oxygen than does wonders for all the circulatory systems in our body. Not only does deep conscious breathing cause our muscles to contract, stimulating lymph, but the effects of breathing properly greatly reduces stress, linked to a toxic and congested lymphatic system.
Belly breathing for the Lymphatic System
This simple breathing technique can be done standing, sitting, while in traffic or pre-mediation. There really is no excuse for not giving it a try!
Place one hand on your belly and the other on your chest.
Close your eyes if you like, otherwise keep them open.
As you inhale through your nose, focus on drawing the breath into your belly. Feeling it inflate like a balloon, then notice it move into your ribcage and up into your chest.
On the exhale, reverse the breath. Feel the exhale beginning at your chest, notice the rib cage contract slightly. The feel the belly deflate as you exhale fully through the nose.
Repeat this for at least 5 rounds of inhaling and exhaling.
Notice how your energy shifts.
Just adding a few simple self-care practices into your weekend can make all the difference, not only to your lymph flow, but to your mind, body and soul.