A tribute to our body’s unsung hero, the Lymphatic System
Written by Vandana Mendonca @graceful_reflections
Ayurveda (Ayur = Life. Veda = Science or Knowledge) the science of life, refers to the lymph as ‘Rasa’ or ‘Water of Life’ and considers the lymphatic system the most important system in the body. A healthy flow of our rasa is key to our wellbeing, physiologically and psychologically.
If this inbuilt system of purification stopped working we would not be able to exist beyond 24 to 48 hours. Imagine a network twice the size of our circulatory system managing double the volume of fluid flowing through our body constantly. Since the lymphatic system lacks a pumping action as our circulatory system has, it relies on breathing, movement, and gravity to keep flowing.
To highlight a few:
- Decreased immune function
- Blocked sinuses
- Indigestion manifesting as – bloating, gas, constipation, acid reflux
- Difficulty losing weight
- Skin breakouts
- Disturbed sleep
So, are you doing your physiological best to assist this amazing system?
- Eating clean – avoiding processed foods, sugars, going organic
- Movement to allow gravity to help the lymph flow, be it Skipping, Trampoline jumping, Yoga, Pilates, Walking, Stretching, Dancing, Swimming or simply avoiding excessive sitting
- Deep breathing involving diaphragm engagement
- Breaking a sweat through exercise, steam or sauna bath
- Avoiding anti-perspirants that clog the sweat glands
- Avoiding restrictive clothing especially underwire bras, wearing bras at night, tight jeans
- Getting regular alternate therapies like Manual Lymphatic drainage (MLD) massage, Reflexology, Acupuncture.
- Dry Brushing to help with cellulite
- Taking hot and cold showers
- Keeping yourself well hydrated
And, have you paused to understand your psychological connection with the lymphatic system? Do you know how your mind and emotions influence your lymphatic system?
’our biography becomes our biology’.To quote from the book ‘Anatomy of the spirit’ author Caroline Myss
When we are unable to let go of negative emotions, past experiences, stress or feel a lack of ability to express ourselves, we can psychologically reflect or even manifest in different ways such as:
- Mood swings, Anxiety, Depression
- Fatigue, Low energy or exhaustion
- On a psychological level, here are some ways to support the efficiency of your lymphatic system.
- Indulge in an emotional detox regularly – through creative activity, sharing with a friend/therapist or your own inner process
- Meditate to connect with your inner guidance
- Trust in the flow of life
- Be mindful of stagnant situations or repetitive patterns and actively seek solutions to correct them
“Your mind, emotions and body are instruments, and the way you align and tune them determines how well you play life”Yogi Bhajan’s wise words summarises beautifully.