I like to call the lymphatic system your body’s sanitation department. Lymph is responsible for picking up, transporting, and filtering out the debris from our cells. It also transports the infection-fighting white blood cells which means it also supports your immune system. If our lymph system gets clogged and congested, that can lead to a slew of uncomfortable symptoms: swollen lymph nodes, poor immunity, water retention and weight gain, cellulite, brain fog, sluggishness, and bloating. Yuck! Thankfully there are simple and very effective moves that you can corporate into your routine to keep that lymph flowing well. Basically, step one is simply making sure to move your body daily. Any exercise is beneficial, but the moves below are particularly beneficial for your lymph system.
Yoga with inversions and twists
Yoga’s benefits seem endless — and supporting and draining lymph is no exception!
Inverting your body upside down helps drain lymph towards the heart, and twists both force fluid out of tissues and organs, allowing fluid to flush back. Headstands, shoulder stands, and handstand are all reversing the effect of gravity and supporting the lymph system. If that’s a bit too adventurous for you, simply lying with your legs up against the wall for five minutes is greatly beneficial, both for the lymph and the nervous system.
That’s right, those silly, fun, and all-body-inclusive jumps you probably did in phys ed class are amazing for your lymph system. The jumping up and down and pumping/lifting of the arms really gets the lymph flowing everywhere. Start with 10 jumps a couple of times a day and work your way up to 100 a day for some serious feel-good benefits. Best part? It doesn’t require a single piece of equipment or gear, you can do it (almost) anywhere, and it’s completely free!
Another great way to jump and get the juices flowing is rebounding, aka jumping on a trampoline. And, of course, it also get the blood pumping and helps build muscle tone. Many fitness studios now have classes that include lots of rebounding moves set to music. And if that’s not your jam, you can get a small trampoline for your home and get on it daily for 10 to 30 minutes with some simple jumping to your favorite tunes. No better way to shake off stress and tension and stimulate the lymph system at the same time.
Other lymph flow-supporting practices to explore:
Alternate hot/cold shower
Lymphatic drainage massage