The immune system is directly dependent upon the lymphatic system. In fact, if the flow of lymphatic materials slows, it weakens the immune system. The lymphatic system is sometimes referred to as the body’s second circulatory system. Its primary function is that of a defense mechanism and it is key to the body’s immune defenses.
What the lymphatic system does
The lymphatic system is responsible for initiating immune response, as well as picking up waste and toxins from your body’s cells and carrying them away in the lymph fluid. It also distributes fluid and nutrients throughout the body. The lymphatic system assists in draining off excess fluids and proteins left behind by capillary circulation activity which helps prevent tissues from swelling.
Toxic buildup results in soft connective tissue inflammation and excessive buildup of lymph fluid which contributes to fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and a multitude of immune system disorders. The body suspends those toxins in fat in an attempt to protect the organs.
Our body’s best defense against cancer is the cancer-killing cells within the immune system that function specifically to seek out and destroy cancer cells.
Ways to improve lymph flow and strengthen the immune system
The following methods assist lymph flow and cleansing activity in order to boost overall immune response.
Dr. Carlos M. Garcia — whose stated mission is to replace sick care with health care — is the Director of Medicine at Utopia Wellness, a leading-edge medical center that offers integrative, holistic, patient-focused medical treatments.
Lymphatic Massage helps by increasing lymphatic circulation thus detoxifying the body and improving the health of the immune system. It can help increase the function of the immune system, increase the production of antibodies that fight off infection and reduce inflammation in the body.
Lymph nodes are located around the body, in the throat, groin, breasts and under the arms. They are like filtering centers for cleansing the blood.
According to Natural Holistic Health, Lemon, Rosemary and Grapefruit essential oils are especially good at stimulating movement and supporting the cleansing action.
Aromatherapy Lymph Massage Oil
- 8 drops Lemon essential oil
- 8 drops Grapefruit essential oil
- 6 drops Bay Laurel (Lauris nobilis) or Rosemary essential oil
- 2 oz. Carrier oil
Combine and use for a lymphatic massage. The essential oils help move congested lymph helping to cleanse the liver, reduce water retention and improve immunity.
Rub the massage oil up the arm to your lymph nodes. From the center of the chest, rub again toward your arm pit and then down your neck. Massage your legs from your feet up to your groin.
Dry skin brushing
Dry skin brushing is a highly effective technique for assisting the lymphatic system and boosting both lymphatic and blood circulation.
The lymphatic fluid can become sluggish over time and dry skin brushing can be a lymphatic stimulant. Skin brushing helps exfoliate and invigorate our skin too.
Our circulatory system has its own pump (our heart) to move our blood through our bodies but our lymphatic system does not. It relies primarily on our movement to assist it.
Typically, the more active we are the better condition our lymphatic system, and therefore our immune system, is in.
How to do dry skin brushing
- Natural bristle brush (do not use synthetic)
Always use a dry brush. Using a light touch make long strokes towards the heart, except on your abdomen where your strokes should be towards your groin.
Start with your arms and work your entire body ending with your toes. The total time spent can vary, but for the most part, 10 minutes is enough. Once you’re done dry brushing take a warm shower. Enjoy the day!
If you use a loofah pad instead of the natural bristle brush, place it in the washer and dryer prior to use the first time. This will loosen the fibers and make it more effective. (Source: Natural Holistic Health)
Do not brush to the point of making your skin raw or sore. If irritation occurs you may be using too much pressure.
Rebound exercise stimulates lymph circulation as well as boosting the health of every cell in your body due to the beneficial acceleration and deceleration that occurs while rebounding. Rebounding also helps to strengthen your heart and bones as well as increasing energy and balance.
Hydration is essential to the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is primarily composed of water and must be hydrated in order to function at the highest level. Drinking purified and mineralized water is an excellent strategy to push toxins from the body.
Deep breathing stimulates lymphatic flow, which eliminates toxins. The skin eliminates waste and toxins through perspiration. The colon eliminates toxins from the liver and digestive tract. The lungs are our attachment to the breath of life and the large intestines is it's buddy. Incorporate deep breathing and exercise along with a tall glass of psyllium husk to get things moving.
By routinely incorporating these methods, you will assist your body to eliminate toxins and give your immune system the tools necessary to defend itself against disease.