The lymphatic system is made of your lymph nodes, lymph vessels, tonsils, thymus, spleen, and bone marrow. It is a network of vessels organs and glands that are major centers and highways for the immune system, waste clearance and transport of fats and fat soluble nutrients (i.e. Vitamins A, D, E, & K). Without a properly functioning lymphatic system, our detoxification avenues, and thus immune system becomes backed up, leading to illness and disease.
Important Duties of the Lymphatic System
- Carrying White Blood Cells around the body and supports immune function
- Cleansing cellular waste products and toxins
- Maintaining body fluid balance
- Absorbing fats and fat-soluble nutrients from digestive tract
Both acute illness and chronic disease can result from improper functioning lymphatics, with a multitude of signs and symptoms, such as – skin rashes, fatigue, brain fog, depression, food sensitivities, cold extremities, constipation, swelling, sinus issues, frequent colds/flus, autoimmunity, headaches/migraines, feeling stiff and sore upon waking, allergies, digestive issues, development of cancer and much more!
The lymphatics are primarily found in the torso, in the layer just beyond the gastrointestinal tract. The magnitude of lymph tissue here along the border of the gut reveals how the lymphatics play a major role in the absorption of the external world. As we digest and assimilate food, with macronutrients (fats, carbohydrates and amino acids from protein) entering the body, it is this initial layer of abdominal lymph that serves as a second boundary to the outside, facilitating the process of converting ‘other’ into oneself. Just as the microbiome plays a role in the intestinal lumen, or digestive tube, the inner microbial landscape plays a role in the lymphatic system. It is where our microbiome works through another layer of shifting external food into becoming human, as well as in transporting metabolic waste products to the exterior.
The lymphatic system, then, is like a superhighway for our lowest life forms, historically known as ‘bionts’. At Options, we don’t think of the microbes as something we ‘have’, rather they are something we are. We are a spectrum of life, high to low, little to big. When we stop playing war with biology, wewill truly respect the integrity of the human form, in all of its majesty. Come and join us on this adventure, where you are no longer ‘fighting’ with yourSELF!
How to Support Your Lymphatic System
- Rebounding on mini-trampoline: bounce on it for 5-10 minutes a day and work up to 15-20 minutes or more.
- Staying active and moving with exercise and sweating: HIIT, going for a run, brisk walk, Zumba class, dancing, etc.
- Getting a massage!
- Castor Oil Packs: A castor oil pack is an external application of castor oil to a specific area of the body, most often the abdomen and liver. Castor oil is extracted from the castor plant’s seed-often mistaken as a bean-and has been used as a therapeutic agent for centuries. While the oil from this plant’s seed has been mentioned in texts since ancient Egypt, Naturopathic physicians have used the castor oil pack technique for decades and found that it has tremendous healing benefits, particularly to detoxify the liver and lymphatic circulation.
- Throat Compress: Similar to many hydrotherapy treatments, a heating throat compress is used to promote blood circulation, more specifically white blood cells to stimulate healing. A heating compress involves a cool moist compress that is applied to the region of the throat and heats up by the body’s reaction to the cold.
- Warming Socks: When covered (insulated) with wool, damp socks work to draw congestion from the head and work overnight to stimulate systemic circulation. This, in turn, invigorates the immune system, gets the lymphatics flowing and helps curb acute illness.
- Infrared Saunas: supports detox by getting you sweating out toxins!
- Dry-Skin Brushing: gentle brushing of the skin starting in regions furthest away from the heart (hands and feet) and brushing in circular and small strokes in the direction of the lymphatic system toward the heart. The goal is to move the lymph fluid which will support immune and detox systems.
Products: (you must be logged in as a patient to view these)
- Lymphagogue: a botanical blend that supports immune system and lymphatic system drainage.
- Lymph-Tones: homeopathic drainage remedies that assist in boosting and cleansing the lymph system. Each product may be used for 3-4 weeks before a 1 week break and either continuing on with the same product or moving on to a different one.
- Lymph-Tone III: exhaustion, weakness, loss of appetite, boils, loss of hair, dry skin, disrupted sleep, apathy, and more!
- Lymph 2 Matrix: Long-standing symptoms: fatigue, migrating pains, painful, stiff joints, etc.
- Lymph-Tone I: Acute symptoms such as sweats, diarrhea, fever (think flu-like symptoms)