WHAT IS THE LYMPHATIC SYSTEM AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
In South Africa, we don't really talk about our lymphatic system and why its so important. At Bon Tierra Spa we have many clients who come in with lymphedema (where your legs/calves/ankles are very swollen)
Your lymphatic system is an integral part of your immune system—your first line of defense against disease and foreign invaders. It’s made up of lymph nodes, lymph vessels, and lymph (a clear, colorless fluid that contains lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell).
The lymphatic system is one of the most overlooked yet significant systems in the body. This expansive system travels throughout the body to remove waste from every cell while helping to regulate the immune system.
It includes a complex network of vessels, ducts, lymph nodes, the spleen, the thymus, the adenoids, and the tonsils.
Lymph fluid is propelled by breathing and other muscle movement as it is transported through many filtration points known as lymph nodes. The lymph nodes contain collections of white blood cells (lymphocytes) that identify and help destroy harmful pathogens or toxins. The lymph must flow freely to ensure that waste products and fluids do not build up in the tissues.
The lymphatic vessels act like a giant drainage system for the body that needs to stay clear for it to work properly. Just like in your home if the drains are clogged in your toilet or sink, you can’t get rid of waste effectively—the same is true for your body. Stagnant lymph flow leads to waste and toxin buildup, weakening immunity and leading to a wide variety of health issues.
HOW DO I KNOW IF THERE MAY BE ISSUES?
Almost every part of the body can be affected by poor waste removal in the lymphatic system. When your lymph drains become congested you may notice:
1. Stiffness, especially in the morning
3. Itchy and dry skin
5. Breast swelling with each cycle
6. Holding on to water (water retention)
7. Brain fog
8. Swollen glands
9. Stubborn weight gain
10. Chronic sinusitis, sore throats, colds, or ear issues
11. Increase in severity of Cellulite
12. Cold hands and feet
If you are experiencing symptoms of lymphatic congestion, it may be time to decongest your lymph system. Opening up your lymphatic channels is also crucial before you jump into any other type of cleansing program. As with any cleansing or detoxification program, be sure to check with your physician before making changes that are appropriate for you.
WHAT COULD I SEE HAPPEN IF I DO LYMPHATIC MASSAGE ON MYSELF?
The benefits for health is enormous! From feeling more energetic to weight loss. All you need is just 20 minutes a day, just before you sleep and:
1. Hydrate! Water is key!
2. Leafy greens
3. Red fruit and veggies (rich in antioxidants)
4. Get moving! Even simple walking will help
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
For just 20 minutes or less just before bed you could notice the some of following:
1. Notable and visible reduction in cellulite after a while
2. Your body looking trimmer through reduction of water retention
3. If you have Fibromyalgia you may experience relief from the symptoms
4. General bloating, swelling and leg pain will greatly reduce
5. Spider veins will look less
6. Swollen ankles and legs will get much better
7. Your hormones will become balanced (less mood swings, cellulite and water retention)
8. Digestive issues will vastly improve (constipation/diarrhea and bloating)
9. Improve mood, energy and memory
10. Prevent and / or improve Lymphedema (see below picture before and after lymphatic massage)
HOW CAN I DRAIN MY LYMPHATIC SYSTEM?
The main ways to drain the lymphatic system is through:
2. Hydration and diet
4. Don't smoke or vape
5. Detox your system (juices, herbal cleanses or soaking in Epsom and Bicarbonate baths)
A combination of all the above will ensure you're at your best health!
Here is a video that shows you how to perform your own lymphatic drainage massage: