What is the Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system is a network of tissues and organs whose primary duty it is to rid the body of toxins, waste, and other unwanted materials. It is a part of the circulatory system and immune system and comprises lymphatic vessels, lymphatic or lymphoid organs, and lymphoid tissues.

Lymph fluid is a clear, watery fluid that moves through your bloodstream and the lymphatic system. Approximately 20 liters of plasma run through your body’s arteries, blood vessels, and capillaries every single day. They deliver nutrients to the body’s cells and collect the waste material, which makes up about 3 liters of the 20. This waste material is collected into the lymphatic system, now called lymph, for excretion before recirculating into the bloodstream.


Why is Lymphatic Health Important?

Lymph fluid collects an array of substances that the body wants to excrete, including proteins, minerals, fats, damaged and cancerous cells, and foreign invaders like viruses and bacteria.

Lymph nodes are like little pockets right under the skin that helps trap pathogens so that the immune system can generate a defensive response. These nodes and lymph vessels create a webbing throughout the whole body and are mainly concentrated in the neck, armpits, groin, and abdomen.


The lymphatic system enables the body to monitor immune cells and regulate the inflammatory response in your body. It plays a major role in protecting the body from various threats, including bacteria, cancer, and infections.


Lymphatic ‘health’ is essentially promoted through the continuous movement of lymph fluid, which, unlike blood, does not naturally pump throughout the body. Keeping the lymph moving requires practice on your part. It needs to be tended to every day to ensure that the body continues to rid itself of pathogens, bacteria, viruses, and other unwanted particles.

Poor lymphatic health (stagnant fluid) can result in an accumulation of toxins in the body, leading to an array of unwanted symptoms that result from a lowered immune system response and the toxic build-up itself. From poor sleep, weight gain, insulin resistance, and of course being more susceptible to viruses and pathogens: keeping your lymph fluid moving and healthy is a must!


Five ways to a healthy Lymphatic System:


1. Jumping on a rebounder is one of the most efficient ways to get lymph moving. Five minutes of bouncing can be equivalent to 15 minutes of running time! Brisk walking is also considered one of the best ways to get lymph moving; make sure to swing your arms to get the most ‘pump’ from all your levers!


2. Dry Brushing - Since the webbing, tubes, and nodes that comprise the lymphatic system are located just below the surface of the skin, dry brushing is a gentle and yet powerful way to stimulate lymph flow. Dry brushing is the act of using a dry bristled brush and gently brushing the skin in long sweeping movements towards the heart.


3. Hot/ Cold Showers - Dry brushing benefits can be maximized even more if done before a hot bath or sauna, to help move lymph and open up lymph nodes, which is then encouraged even further thanks to the heat.


4. Infrared Sauna - Infrared saunas not only help the lymphatic system target toxins stored in fat cells, they’ve also been proven to accelerate weight loss, relieve sore muscles and joints, reduce stress and fatigue, improving skin, and a whole lot more. Infrared sauna produces the same infrared heat produced by the sun. Infrared heat is required for all living things for optimum health. The radiant heat from infrared sauna surrounds you and penetrates deeply into your joints, muscles and tissues increasing oxygen flow and circulation. Sauna helps to remove impurities from your cells, specifically the cells inside our fat where our body stores waste and harmful toxins such as cholesterol and heavy metals.


5. Deep Belly Breathing - Deep diaphragmatic breathing promotes lymph movement throughout the many nodes located in the belly, including the thoracic duct, which is the largest lymph vessel in the body. All the lymph fluid from the lower extremities passes through these deep lymphatic structures. The upwards and downwards movement of the diaphragm that occurs with deep belly breathing promotes the lower extremities’ lymphatic flow. Deep breathing also promotes whole-body relaxation and cascading benefits, including lowered blood pressure, decreased heart rate, and lowered blood glucose levels.


Larisa Belote, Health Practitioner & Certified Detox Specialist is a strong believer that your body is a smart machine and can heal itself given a chance and the right set of tools. Infrared sauna is available in our office. Call/Txt 732.996.6963 or email: larisa@stepbystep-wellness.com


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