- The lymphatic system’s primary function is to carry waste away from the cells and bloodstream to the body’s organs of elimination. The complex lymphatic system acts as the body’s drainage system, a sewage system for cellular metabolic toxins, filtering and removing waste by products from the body.
Consisting of vessels, spleen, thymus, and fluid-filled lymph nodes, the lymphatic system plays an integral role in absorbing excess fats and fluids, fighting infection by addressing toxins that are introduced to the body from both external means (food, air, personal care products, environmental pollution, and water) as well as internal ones (damaged proteins and cellular/metabolic waste), making it a crucial detoxification pathway.

How Does Lymph Fluid Move?

The lymph system provides antigens for purifying fluids containing contaminates from everything from allergens to cancer cells. This fluid is known as lymph. While there is more lymph in your body than blood, there is not a pump for lymph. Lymph depends on relaxation and contraction of muscles and joints to move it.
When toxins enter the bloodstream, they are purged through the largest lymphatic tissue in the body, the spleen. The spleen is the body’s main immune defense, holding a reserve of red and white blood cells, destroying worn-out red blood cells in the body, and fighting infection.

Symptoms of Lymph Congestion

Without a properly functioning lymphatic system, the body’s immune and cardiovascular system would begin to shut down. When the fluid in the lymphatic system is sluggish and thick with toxins, muscles fail to receive an adequate blood supply, organs feel constricted and painful, and energy levels are low. Every part of the body feels discomfort and pain when the lymph system is clogged, as every cell of the body relies on a well-functioning lymphatic system to maintain good health.
Illness, iodine deficiency, a lack of exercise, and digestive imbalances can overtax and clog the lymphatic system and negatively impact overall health. If lymph fails to move through the small lymph nodes through their ducts into the liver and kidneys, the system backs up like a clogged plumbing pipe.

Lymph Edema

When lymph congestion occurs, the body’s own worn-out and damaged protein cells cannot be removed properly. Keep in mind; the body has to remove 30 billion old cells daily. When blockage occurs it is known as lymph edema. Lymph nodes often become infected and you experience “swollen glands”, which is a misnomer; lymph nodes are not glands. Lymph edemas present as tender, hard knots.

A sluggish lymphatic flow can be a root cause of chronic sinusitis; swollen eyes and ankles, swollen and tender lymph nodes, eczema, arthritis, bronchitis, upper respiratory and sinus and ear infections; throat problems, and pneumonia.

Draining the Lymphatic System

The good new is, there are several natural ways to clear the blockage, drain and cleanse your lymphatic system, relieving symptoms and healing colds, sinus infections, digestive disorders, headaches, cellulite, elevated cholesterol levels, and fatigue. A blocked or clogged lymph system may contribute to diverse array of health issues including lymphedema, heart disease, and lymphatic cancer.

1. Hydrate

The body must be well-hydrated to keep lymph fluid flowing properly, so be sure to drink plenty of water. Avoid alcohol, energy drinks, sugary sodas, and fruit juices with added sugar.

2. Foods to Promote Lymphatic System Drainage

Keeping well-hydrated, daily exercise, and the inclusion of herbs and raw food in the daily diet will keep the lymph system working well. By keeping the lymph working well, we maintain optimum healthy; and if we’re ill, it helps us to regain our health again.

Nutrient-rich fresh fruits, especially cranberries, are useful in helping the lymphatic system, kidneys and bowels to rid the body of toxins. Vegetables, especially leafy greens, flaxseed oil, nuts such as walnuts, almonds and Brazil nuts, chia seeds, and avocados are loaded with antioxidants, provide important vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fatty acids, and other beneficial phytonutrients, and keep the lymphatic system flowing and cleansed of toxins.
Avoid processed foods laden with chemicals, preservatives, saturated fats, and sugar.

3. Avoid Chemical-laden Beauty Products

The majority of commercially available deodorants, sunscreens, toothpaste, creams, and lotions contain toxic chemicals that end up in the lymphatic system. Opt for natural, organic grooming products or make your own chemical free alternatives.

4. Get Off the Couch

An immune system compromised from lymph congestion responds to exercise. Medical experts stress the importance of walking to move lymph around, stressing that that brisk walking is required, not a leisurely stroll. Walking is a weight bearing activity that uses gravity to help move lymph. Brisk walking with a slight bounce in your step creates additional gravitational pulls, helping pull the lymph downward. Because there are so many lymph nodes located in the upper body, neck, armpits, and shoulders, arm movements should also be exaggerated. To produce results, healthcare providers recommend a brisk 20-minute walk, four times a week.

5. Rebounding

Rebounding is an excellent way to move lymph. A rebounder can be purchased for as little as $35 US dollars. A rebounder is similar to a mini-trampoline, approximately four feet in diameter. Close to the ground, all you do is step up and bounce up and down for 10-to-15 minutes. Every time you bounce, you increase the gravitational pull on your lymph.

6. Massage

Massaging the upper arms, shoulders, and neck is helpful as well. Massage techniques that focus on lymph drainage and polarity therapy provide specific techniques for moving lymph.

7. Dry Brushing

Vigorous dry brushing on the arms, torso, and legs is also recommended for moving lymph fluid. Dry brush stroke directions should proceed from neck and calves to torso.

8. Deep Breathing

Practice deep breathing exercises to stimulate lymph flow to avoid toxin build-up and bring more fresh oxygen to your cells.
Don’t let toxins build up in your body — use these techniques to get your lymph moving and prevent edema.