A complex network of organs and glands, vessels and fluid-filled nodes, the lymphatic system traces through every corner of our body. Though invisible to the human eye, it is one of the most important parts of our body. Like the other functional organ of our body, the lymphatic system needs ample attention. In Ayurveda, this is usually the first system in the human body that is subjected to medical treatment through an ayurvedic lymphatic cleanse.
The lymphatic system protects the body cells from harmful external effects and aids in the cleansing process. It keeps the waste by-products of the body from entering the bloodstream and contaminating it. Lymph mostly tackles contaminants that are introduced in the human body through external factors like water, cosmetics, food, and air. However, they often include toxins introduced through metabolic waste and damaged proteins as well. As the toxins penetrate the bloodstream, they are automatically purified via the spleen, the primary lymphatic tissue in the body. The spleen is the primary immunity defense of our body. It acts as a reserve for the active white and red blood cells of the body while eliminating the damaged cells in the body.
What is Lymph Congestion?
The main function of a lymphatic system is to identify and eliminate cellular impurities like viruses, molecular debris, toxins, bacteria, and white blood cells. This is crucial as all cells in our body produce waste as a side-effect to their normal functioning. In short, the lymph nodes act like garbage disposals to these impurities and eradicates them.
However, there are several factors that can hamper the lymphatic flow. These factors give rise to symptoms like sluggish behavior, stiff swollen joints, brain fog, puffy skin and prolonged periods of fatigue, inflammation and chronic headaches. This phenomenon is commonly known as lymph congestion. Your body simply demands the disposal of the increased quantities of cellular junk when sick. Unlike the circulatory system, the lymphatic system is devoid of a pumping system to maintain the flow of liquid. Some of the most common causes of lymphatic congestion include lack of regular exercise, suppressed communication, stress, and improper diet.
Primary Symptoms of Lymphatic Congestion
The initial and most important lymphatic congestion is lymphedema. It causes unwanted swelling in your legs and arms. While the swelling is mostly a result of fluid retention, the tissues of the neck and head are also affected at times.
Some common symptoms of lymphatic congestion are:
- Skin discoloration
- Prolonged fatigue
- Morning stiffness
- Dry and itchy skin
- Increased water retention
- Swollen glands
- Breast swelling
- Constant weight gain
- Brain fog
- Impaired hearing, chronic sinusitis, sore throat, and cold
- Cold feet and hands
How to Detox the Lymphatic System
Are you constantly plagued by a feeling of tiredness? Well, this can be suggestive of the fact that your lymphatic system might be malfunctioning. Your lymphatic system, comprising of spleen, thymus, vessels that carry fluids and lymph nodes, can appear sluggish over a period if not subjected to proper exercise, diet, and good health. The following steps can help enhance the wellbeing of your lymphatic system.
Say NO to Processed Food
Consumption of processed food exerts a lot of strain on the lymphatic system. Keeping a few food items like processed meat, hot dogs, candies, packaged dinner, and canned foods off your shopping list will aid the healing effect of your lymph. A gentle kitchari cleanse is a great way to help your body to remove toxins.
Book A Massage
Set an appointment with a professional massage therapist for a relaxing lymphatic massage. A lymphatic massage therapist will stimulate the blood vessels and lymphatic nodes in your body. It mostly kindles the function of the lymph, an otherwise colorless liquid, responsible for enhancing the immunity levels of your body.
Spend Some Time in The Sauna
Dedicate a bit of your time in a sauna or a steam room, rejuvenating the cells of your body. Sweat removes plenty of toxins from your body and the lymphatic system. Heat emitted through steam enhances your breathing capacity and heart rate, thereby accelerating the lymphatic drainage.
Switch to A Natural Diet
Natural food rinses out the impurities from your lymphatic system. Some of the most common lymph cleansing foods include flaxseed, sea kelp, green vegetables, ginger, citrus fruits, garlic, radishes, and wheatgrass juice.
Also, introducing red foods to your diet can intensely accelerate the decongesting process. Manjistha is a traditional red root with great lymph-moving assets. Beets essentially have more than one beneficial property that makes it one of the top names up the list.
The lymphatic fluid comprises of 95% water, which becomes thicker when you are dehydrated. Dehydration is in fact, one of the most common reasons for lymph congestion. Avoid indulging in too much caffeinated or sugar-laden drinks and alcohol, which might eventually hamper metabolism. The best option is to keep your body hydrated with ample consumption of purified warm water (you can add a splash of lemon/lime and a pinch of sea salt for electrolytes).
Eliminate Stress and Start Moving
Stress is an inevitable part of our daily lives. Lymph congestion is often a result of prolonged physical and emotional stress. Mindfulness practices are one of the best ways to deal with chronic stress issues. Spend some quality time in the vicinity of nature and give your overall health the much-needed push with meditation. A state of constant hyperarousal can be well-catered to through yoga and practices like tai chi.
The lymphatic system, though highly ignored, contributes greatly to the well-being of the human body. Thus, proper care lessens the chances of lymph congestion over time.