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March 2, 2010 at 9:44 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

A Healthy Immune System: How Rhythmic Movement Can Improve Lymph System Flow

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

Fluid called "lymph" flows through the cellular pathway of the lymphatic system into the blood preserving  the balance of fluids in our tissues and removing proteins and large particles that can be absorbed by capillaries.This process is crucial to healthy immune response, yet it can be hindered by several factors: fatigue, stress, sedentary lifestyle, cold temperatures, infections, swelling, age, chemicals, and food additives.

When lymph circulation slows or stagnates, fluids, proteins, cells, and toxins build up at a cellular level and prevent the body from functioning optimally. Luckily, there are several ways you can improve your lymphatic system function. 

Skin Brushing

A proven method of stimulating lymph flow (and the skin), many people use a brush with natural, stiff bristles in the shower for five to ten minutes every morning, in these steps:

  1. Starting with your left foot, brush up and down the bottom and top, finishing with upwards strokes around the front, sides, and back of your calf. Brush around the knee and then up the outer and inner thigh.Brush around the hip and lower abdomen.Now repeat starting with your right foot up to your right hip.
  2. Next, scrub thoroughly around the hips, abdomen, sides of the abdomen, buttocks, and lower back.
  3. Now start with your left hand and brush up and down your hand and arm.End with a stroke toward your chest. Then brush your shoulder thoroughly. Move to the neck, brushing down your back and chest. Repeat starting with the right hand.
  4. Get someone to brush your back for you, or do the best you can with it on your own.Don't forget the under arm area and down the rib cage. Be sure to also get the sternum well, as this is a lymphatic hot spot.

It may help to start out with light strokes for only a couple minutes, and then work your way up.This can be very invigorating, and may even help with cellulite.

Exercise

A highly effective method to increase lymph flow is exercise.When the body is resting, lymph is slow moving.During exercise, the lymph motion becomes very active and can increase by 10 to 30 times. This will also aid liver circulation, which boosts blood and lymph circulation.Some exercises you can try to improve lymph flow include:

  • Walking
  • Jumping on a trampoline
  • Running or other aerobic exercises
  • Yoga or special breathing exercises
  • Swimming

Naturopathic Exercises

Here is a simple exercise you can try that may stimulate lymph flow:

Stand with your feet close together.Raise your arms sideways until they are parallel to the floor, with your palms facing down. Now rotate them in small circles forward ten times, and then repeat in backward circles.Do another set in medium circles, and again in large circles.Do this two or three times every day.

Lymph Drainage Therapy

Developed by French physician Bruno Chikly, the Lymph Drainage Therapy claims to be a highly efficient attainment of specific rhythm, pressure, quality, and direction of the lymph flow.The lymphatic pathways are mapped and manipulated by trained technicians.They use their hands and fingers to simulate gentle, wave-like movements.Lymph Drainage Therapy has been shown to result in myriad health benefits.

Sources:

http://www.upledger.com/therapies/ldt.htm

http://www.success-in-motion-therapy.com/Therapeutic%20Massage.htm

http://www.ashlandacu.com/LymphaticSystemHealing.htm

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