You are probably familiar with the term “lymph glands (nodes).” There are hundreds (600-700) of lymph nodes scattered throughout your body.
Apart from protecting your body from viruses and bacteria, one of the lymphatic system‘s most important function is to trap and destroy cancer cells. (1) The lymphatic system also removes excess fluid and waste products from the interstitial spaces between your cells.
Basically when your lymphatic system becomes compromised, this fluid can begin to build up, causing an array of issues.
That’s why when you are sick, these nodes tend to become swollen because fluid inside them, called “lymph” becomes clogged with waste products and white blood cells.
Because your lymph depends on the motions of your muscle and joints to move it, it’s very important to stay active.
This also explains why people who lead a sedentary lifestyle tend to have a weaker immune system.
How To Improve Lymphatic Drainage
Because the lymphatic system is such an integral part of a healthy immune system and keeping your body free of waste and even cancer, it is imperative you assure the lymph continues to move efficiently throughout your body. There are several ways to do this.
1. Keep Moving
Lymph relies on your bodily movements to move through your body. And the best way to do this is by exercising regularly.
Even walking daily can go a long way to helping move lymph that counts on muscular actions to push it up through your body.
Rebounding (using a mini trampoline) is one of the best exercise you can do to move lymph.
The reason this is such a wonderful exercise for moving lymph is that “at the top of the bounce, your body experiences a moment free of gravity and at that time, all of the one-way valves in the lymphatic vessels open to allow the fluid to move upward.”
If you don’t have a rebounder, you can do this by simply bouncing on your toes.
2. Regular Massage
As stated, the key to lymphatic drainage is to move. Moving will cause your muscles to contract, which moves the lymph.
In the same way, massage can help stimulate the flow of the lymph within your capillaries that are located just below your skin.
There are registered therapists that are trained specifically in lymphatic massage, but you can also do this yourself by using gentle pressure to move and stretch your skin in the direction of your heart and away from your lymph nodes. This will help to get the lymph moving and increase detoxification.