With winter fast approaching, it’s time to start taking care of yourself so that you can ward off illness such as the common cold and flu. One way of doing so is to reboot your lymphatic system, which is responsible for transporting toxins and waste out of your cells. Here are 7 ways you can ensure your lymphatic system is in tip-top shape and ready to handle those winter nasties:
Muscle movement is what makes the lymphatic system function, so you must be active and keep moving. During the chilly winter months, people tend to become sluggish and remain indoors. Bad move. Sign up for a gym, invest in a treadmill, or dust off your Speedos and attend a heated indoor pool – any exercise is good exercise and will help with lymphatic drainage. Jumping on a trampoline and doing yoga are particularly effective at cleansing the lymphatic system.
2) Chug H2O
The lymphatic system needs a good supply of fluid to wash toxins out of your cells. Aim to drink at least two litres of water a day. A dash of lemon, which is an alkaline fruit, is a great addition. Non-caffeinated herbal teas are another fantastic way to stay warm and keep hydrated.
3) Try a DIY lymphatic drainage massage
Stimulate the lymphatic nodes by gently massaging towards your heart. Only use a light massaging technique, as your lymphatic vessels are just underneath the skin.
* For your face: Place your hands on either side of your face with fingertips pointing to the top of your head, thumbs on the sides of your neck, and your ears between your index and middle fingers. Press your hands gently into the tissue, then gently massage backwards to stretch the tissue.
* For your legs: Gently massage in the crease where the top of your leg meets your body. Place a flat hand on either side of your thigh, right at the top, and gently sink into the tissue. Without lifting your hands, move the tissue up in a stretching motion. Slowly move down the whole length of your leg, paying particular attention to the nodes behind your knee.
For more DIY lymphatic massage techniques, check out this article.
4) Invest in a massage
Regular remedial massage and myotherapy help to clear the body of toxins and stimulate blood supply to the muscles. In this way, they bolster the lymphatic system. After your massage, make sure you drink plenty of water to flush out the toxins in your system.
5) Use a foam roller
These handy devices are great for increasing blood flow to your muscles, moving around lymphatic fluid and assisting the body to eliminate waste. They also help to break up tissue adhesions that can cause tightness and injury. We stock foam rollers at Muscle Freedom and our therapists can show you exercises to get the most out of your roller.
6) Ditch your bra
Underwire bras can stop normal lymphatic flow in the breasts, which have a large amount of lymphatic tissue. Go bra-free, or at the very least, wire-free.
7) Dry brushing
Exfoliating under a warm shower is a great way to stimulate the lymphatic system and give it a boost. Use a dry brush with coarse bristles and brush the skin towards the heart to encourage the movement of lymph and blood in underlying organs and tissues.
To find out more about lymphatic drainage or the benefits of remedial massage therapy and myotherapy, please get in touch with the team at Muscle Freedom. Located in the Bayside suburb of Black Rock in Melbourne, Muscle Freedom offer a range of treatments, including myotherapy, sports massage, trigger-point therapy, dry-needling and myofascial cupping. Please call 03 9598 4873.