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Work For Your Body & It Will Work For You

Nourishing the Lymphatic System

The body is a beautiful organism comprised of systems and cells that come together everyday with it's primary goal being good health. No matter where we are looking, homeostasis is the aim and that can be captured skin deep into our systems, organs and cells. The lymphatic system is one that is often overlooked and one that we rarely speak of. But the role that it plays in maintaining health on many levels is enormous!

Our blood is largely comprised of red cells, white cells and proteins. In order for our circulatory system to flow and function well, some fluid is pumped through the arterial walls and the interstitial spaces of the body (the space between the arteries and the skin, is the easiest way that I can explain it) The lymphatic system is responsible for picking up the excess fluid that can contain dead white blood cells, debris, cell fragments, bacteria and viruses. The lymphatic system gathers excess fluid and delivers it back into circulation so that the body can expel any harmful debris. It plays a big role in maintaining our overall health.

Sometimes factors can upset the equilibrium of the lymphatic system, leaving the fluid in the tissue and causing harm, pain and inflammation that results in swelling and edema. Over time, excess edema can become chronic and a chronic condition is what we should always be aiming to avoid!

Regular practices can encourage a well and happy lymphatic system, and supports the body in amazing ways such as maintaining healthy movement, a healthy weight, improve circulation, elasticity and aging of the skin, improve digestion and metabolism, maintain a healthy immune system...the benefits are endless.

The amazing part of all of this is that just by having a simple understanding of how this system works can help us to get clear on how to work with the body so that it can work for us!!

And it's easy... here are some ways that you can immediately integrate some practices to help your body.

  • The lymphatic system operates solely on our breath and movement, it has valves but not a pump system so we have to put in a little bit of work - Diaphragmatic breathing is an easy way to speed up the movement of fluid in the lymphatic system. Make sure you can feel your ribs move with deep breaths and also your abdomen...that's how you know that your diaphragm is moving!

  • Move a little every day, go for a short walk, do a few stretches, a simple vinyasa, dancing!

  • Legs up the wall - helps to support the venous system and move de-oxygenated blood back to the heart and lungs. It also supports the lymphatic system. While you are there, legs and give your legs a little squeeze to pump the fluid

  • Regular massage treatments. Massage is one of the most effective ways to maintain a healthy lymphatic system

  • Rotating your joints - ankles, shoulders, hips and wrists

  • One of my faves is taking a very salty epsom salt bath - like 4 cups of salts. It's divine!

  • And last but not least, dry brushing. Not only does it feel invigorating, it also keeps your skin smooth and moves lymph fluid. A daily practice can assist the body to be the best that it can be!

*Please follow these with care and ensure that if you are struggling with edema to please consult with your physician to ensure that it isn't something more serious. This advice is solely given for everyday maintenance of the body.

For more information, tune into our instagram page @layaspayoga and look out for future posts that are relatable!

~Alessandra de Oliveira,RMT

Laya Spa & Yoga


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