What Da Fuk is Lymphasizing?
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Good health and wellbeing depend on a well-functioning lymphatic system. As such, detoxifying, boosting and activating the lymphatic system are the core foundations of preventative health. Listen in as the EmPOWERment Couple show up to serve you springtime solutions to beautify your life. You don’t want to miss a sneak peek of their latest offering, the Beauty Jump!
Spring is an excellent time to detox your body. You’ll see nature’s little hints with dandelions growing everywhere, tempting you to go outside, smell the flowers, and forage on fresh herbs and berries. Nature is signaling you to use these offerings to detox and move your body. Why? Because nature’s purpose during springtime is all about rebirth, renewing, and recommitting. After the long winter months, spring wants you to move, shed, shake, bounce, and jump off that winter coat. It’s a time of cleansing, clearing, cleaning, and committing to this new version of you.
So you might be asking, how do we propose doing this?
You can do this by simply changing out some of the heavier items you were eating all winter for the lighter, easier to digest foods that are abundant during spring. If you’re new to the idea of spring cleansing or food and lifestyle challenges, we have a one week program called, The Beauty Jump that launches to the public on June 8th.
We’ve held this jumpstart program with private clients and for the first time, we are sharing it with everyone. Opt into this challenge if you’re looking to do an easy spring cleanse, learn how to do a seasonal cleanse, or a quick cleanse when you want to fit into a cute outfit.
If you’re like me, you enjoyed one too many celebratory cupcakes and now is the time to paying the price. Therefore, I will be doing it with you. While Mikey has the metabolism of a hummingbird, and never has to do this to lose weight, he does The Beauty Jump to detox his body after the long winter.
There are different levels of The Beauty Jump which allow you to get different results. One is simply cutting out certain foods that toxify your body, the second is adding foods and teas that detoxify your body, and the third is to incorporate lymphasizing into your daily habits. Jumping on a trampoline, jump roping, exercise ball or a rebounder for 30 minutes a day, will jumpstart you to a lighter body, clearer skin, healthier emotions, and a stronger immune system.
This is an easy challenge inside our larger food academy called The Organic Belly. It’s extremely accessible and anyone can do it at the level they feel most comfortable.
On our show, we played a drinking game. Every time we said the word lymph or lymphatic, we had to drink. For our readers, you can play along with us. Mikey and I made a pitcher of ginger lemonade which helps detoxify the lymphatic system. To get that recipe go here. It’s both quick and delicious, but you can simply drink some water if you wish. Every time you see the word lymph or lymphatic, take a drink and by the time you finish this blog, you will have jump-started your detox.
Are you up for it?
The core of The Beauty Jump challenge is detoxing, and we can’t talk about springtime, cleansing, and detox without talking about how our body’s detox. When done incorrectly, we tend to get that diet grouchiness or that cleansing burnout. This usually happens because your lymph is clogged, and needs your help to get those toxins out. This is why cleansing without movement is not effective and is often painful. Some people feel zapped and all they have the energy to do is to nap. We are going to flip the script on that!
Your Natural Detox System
If you want to detox using your body’s natural system, you’ll need to boost your circulation. The circulatory system consists of two distinct systems that work in tandem: the cardiovascular circulatory system and the lymphatic circulatory system.
The first part is understanding how the two systems work together to detox the body. Your circulatory system carries nutrient-rich blood from your heart to your various body tissues, through small vessels, called capillaries. The tissue cells exchange nutrients for waste. Fluid squeezed from the blood, called interstitial fluid or “lymph,” transports waste to your lymph nodes through a series of vessels similar to veins, where the fluid is neutralized, filtered, and eventually returned to the bloodstream.
While the cardiovascular system has a pump, the lymphatic system must rely on body movement. The heart pumps blood throughout the body. This hollow muscle is made up of four chambers: The left and right atriums make up the two chambers at the top and the left and right ventricles form the two chambers at the bottom. The chambers are separated by one-way valves to ensure that blood flows in the correct direction. The Lymphatic system doesn’t have a pump and is not moved by the heart. Unlike blood, which flows throughout the body in a continuous loop, lymph flows in only one direction — upward toward the neck. Here, located on either side of the neck near the collarbones, the Lymphatic vessels connect to two subclavian veins, and the fluid re-enters the circulatory system.
What is the lymphatic system?
Referred to as “The River of Life,” the lymphatic system is a network of tissues and organs that help rid the body of toxins, waste and other unwanted materials. The primary function of the lymphatic system is to transport lymph, a fluid containing infection-fighting white blood cells, throughout the body. Lymph is a clear and colorless fluid; the word “lymph” comes from the Latin word “lympha”, which means “connected to water.” Lymph is about 95% water, making water essential for its health.
The most powerful weapons in your immune system’s arsenal are white blood cells, divided into two main types: lymphocytes, which create antigens for specific pathogens and kill them or escort them out of the body; and phagocytes, which ingest harmful bacteria. White blood cells not only attack foreign pathogens but recognize these interlopers the next time they meet them and respond more quickly.
Many of these immune cells are produced in your bone marrow, but the spleen, lymph nodes, and thymus, and also responsible for the production and storage of immune cells. The lymph nodes are located throughout your body but most noticeably in your armpits, throat, and groin. Lymphatic fluid containing white blood cells flows through vein-like tubules to escort foreign invaders out.
In simple terms- the lymphatic system collects any waste materials in the tissues and produces antibodies to fight infections. It aids in the removal of fat or cellulite by softening, breaking down, and freeing trapped toxins and waste materials in the connective tissue through normal body functions such as jumping. This is why we call our detox a beauty jump!
Where is the lymphatic system?
There are 600-700 lymph nodes in the human body. They are located deep inside the body, such as around the lungs and heart, or closer to the surface, such as under the arm or groin. Lymph nodes are found from the head to the knee area.
There are lymphatic organs too such as the tonsils, adenoids, thymus and the largest lymph organ the spleen, which is located on the left side of the body just above the kidney, and acts as a blood filter; it controls the number of red blood cells and blood storage in the body and helps to fight infection.
Tonsils are large clusters of lymphatic cells found in the pharynx and are the body’s “first line of defense as part of the immune system. They sample bacteria and viruses that enter the body through the mouth or nose.” They sometimes become infected, and although tonsillectomies occur much less frequently today than they did in the 1950s, it is still among the most common operations performed and typically follows frequent throat infections.
If the spleen detects potentially dangerous bacteria, viruses, or other microorganisms in the blood, it — along with the lymph nodes — creates white blood cells called lymphocytes, which act as defenders against invaders. The lymphocytes produce antibodies to kill foreign microorganisms and stop infections from spreading.
What Da Fuk moment:
Scientists were always told there is no lymphatic system in the skull. But just a few years ago researchers at the University of Virginia’s School of Medicine discovered a long-hidden system of vessels they’ve coined the “central nervous system lymphatic vessels,” which drain lymphatic fluid from the brain to the surrounding lymph nodes. Researchers discovered fluid in the brains of mice and humans that would become known as the “glymphatic system.” It was described by a team at the University of Rochester in 2015 as not just the brain’s “waste-clearance system,” but as potentially helping fuel the brain by transporting glucose, lipids, amino acids, and neurotransmitters.
The glymphatic system is a network of vessels that clear waste from the central nervous system, mostly during sleep. Recent evidence suggests that the glymphatic system when disrupted can contribute to some diseases of the brain.
This system was found by mistake and shows promise in the study of aging and brain-related diseases. But, there’s evidence from two centuries ago, the anatomist Paolo Mascagni made full-body models of the lymphatic system that included the brain, though this was dismissed as an error. This information could have helped us answer questions that show how far we are from fully understanding many neurologic disorders—or even basic day-to-day functioning of the nervous system. In medical school, the glymphatic system isn’t even taught because they didn’t know it existed.
So again, why are we focusing on this during spring which always follows flu season? Your body’s lymphatic system is part of your immune system, which protects you against infection and disease. It just worked hard for your all flu season, it’s time to give it a boost.
When your lymph is not healthy there are many signals it gives you.
Is your lymph causing you to feel sick?
Warning signs come when the lymph nodes are swollen, harden, or become rubbery. But, you may also get a signal or a check engine light that something is off in your lymphatic system via the following:
- Frequent cold or flu
- Brain fog
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Sore throat
- Mucous in the morning
- Inability to lose weight
- Soreness or stiffness in the morning
- Bloating, swelling, or heaviness in extremities
- Arms or hands fall asleep while sleeping
- Pain, pressure, or stiffness along your spine and shoulders
- Sore breast around your menstrual cycle
- Itchy skin, acne, dry skin, or eczema
- Cold limbs
Here is another What Da Fuk moment:
There over 10 million people that have lymphedema or swelling due to lymph node blockage but the CDC doesn’t recognize it as a disease. But, the lymph is systematically linked to every part of our body and needs to be recognized more by modern medicine.
A lymphatic system that does not function well is associated with chronic disease and it can start by manifesting in minor health reactions as we listed. Good health and wellbeing depend on a well-functioning lymphatic system. As such, detoxifying, boosting and activating the lymphatic system are the core foundations of preventative health.
So let’s review the best ways to detoxify, boost, and activate the lymphatic system:
Lymphasizing is basically practicing certain habits and exercising with the intention of pumping the lymph. The following practices and exercises are some of the effective ways to promote a healthy lymphatic system.
One of the best lymphasizing exercises is rebounding. According to NASA, bouncing on a rebounder is, “the most efficient, effective form of exercise yet devised by man.” The reasoning? It is believed to be the only form of exercise capable of strengthening, toning, and detoxifying every cell in your body. The same NASA study also revealed that it is far less strenuous on your feet, ankles, knees, and other joints than the much-loved and overused treadmill. To properly drain the lymph all you need to do is bounce for 2 minutes. It’s that effective!
NASA found that since astronauts cannot get the same jump therapy as rebounding in space, so they developed a vibration plate that works in space. This machine has been copied by many manufacturers. We have one from Bulletproof called Vibe plate but there are several companies that have these devices that do all the lymphasizing work for you. A recent study published in Medical Science Monitor found that “Five minutes of 30 Hz or 50 Hz vibration produced significant increases in skin blood flow.
Jumping is so effective that we named our detox program after it and in it, we incorporate all the ways you can jump. We recommend using what you have already, doing jumping jacks or opting to buy one of the following jumping devices:
- Backyard trampoline
- Jump Rope
- Exercise ball
The exercise ball could be what you jump on while working instead of a chair. Get all the rebounding benefits and our playlist for jumping here.
2. Manual drainage
- Massage: Backed up lymphatic fluid in the head can contribute to head congestion, stuffiness, feeling of pressure in the ears, sinus congestion, vertigo, dizziness, and even insomnia. There are even lymph drainage machines! Definitely check your local spa for that type of treatment.
- Dry brushing: Dry brushing promotes lymphatic drainage of toxic waste, which results in healthier skin and improved immunity. Get our top pick for dry brushes here.
- Gua Sha: This ancient Chinese healing technique that can be performed on the whole body, the version we practice regularly is on the face, neck, and chest because there are over 150 lymph nodes on one side of the neck. Gua sha tool we recommend is available on Amazon Prime here.
- Cupping: This technique is excellent for detox and lymph drainage. Cupping technique reduces inflammation, muscle tension and can increase and improve circulation, detoxification, and range of movement. Zuri uses a silicone version of cupping for your face and throat area to move lymph, get that same set here. But, if you’re wanting to move the lymph in lower areas and also use a set for detox on the spine, you need this professional kit here.
- Foot massage: Specific areas of the foot are massaged to treat imbalances in other areas of the body. To stimulate lymph circulation and the immune system, you can press in a line from one ankle bone to the other across the top of the foot. Massaging along the front of the ankle joint will stimulate lymph circulation, there is a band of connective tissue around the ankle in that area that can block lymph flow. You can also use a shiatsu foot massaging device like this one. We have these under our desks to help stimulate our lymph and it doesn’t hurt on heavy writing or editing days to get a massage at the same time.
3. Exposure Therapy
Lymphatic vessels contract when exposed to cold, and dilate in response to heat. An example of exposure therapy is what you’d see, Wim Hof aka the Ice Man, doing when he takes people out to do snow-ga. You can also do exposure therapy in a gym or spa, it’s called cryotherapy where you get in a cold cold chamber for a limited amount of time.
A hot and cold shower is a type of hydrotherapy that uses the properties of water temperature and pressure to move stagnant lymphatic fluid, increase circulation, boost immune function, and metabolism. To perform this process begin by taking a hot shower and ending with 60-90 seconds of cold water. An Epsom salt bath with essential oils and baking soda will challenge the lymph to move and the body to sweat out toxins. Now, if you’re really brave you can take an ice bath and this is similar to some of the exposure therapy that Wim Hof is famous for.
You can do a nice foot soak using epsom salt, some essential oils or
5. Deep Breathing
Deep breathing is the most important facilitator of lymphatic function. Shallow breathing leads to lymphatic congestion. In yoga, there are a lot of breathing techniques that focus on the breath. You can use the box breathing technique available in the beginning of this body scan meditation. For Zuri, as a singer, she uses what is called diaphragmatic breathing or belly breathing to sing. She’ll do a 5-minute breathing warm-up before vocalizes that uses concentrated belly breathing to prepare for a show. Deep breathing moves the lymph actively and anyone can do it. Best, of all it’s free!
6. Drink Water
Lymph becomes thicker and less mobile when you are dehydrated, but flows well when hydrated. During the podcast, we played a drinking game in an effort to drink more water on a really hot day. You can flavor your water with fruit or drink tea to make sure you’re getting half your body weight in water.
Inversion tables are excellent for lymph drainage. Inversion tables allow you to hang fully upside down. By creating a different direction of gravity you are increasing the force of the metabolic waste so that it can free up and move out of your system more easily. The inversion process decompresses the joints of the body and stimulates the lymphatic and circulatory system. By inverting, gravity works with, not against, the body, encouraging the movement of the lymph. It also improves spinal health by rehydrating the discs, reducing pressure on the nerves and relaxing tense muscles.
You can also do yoga inversions like legs up the wall, forward fold, or shoulder stands. Zuri had a Chinese acupuncturist once tell her that if you don’t have time for yoga, an inversion table completes the goal of yoga. Once you get used to it, you’ll want to stay upside down for 4 minutes which is the time it takes for your body to cycle fresh blood to your brain, spine, and to fully move the lymph. The inversion table we use daily is available here.
Traditional Chinese medicine explains acupuncture as a technique for balancing the flow of energy or life force — known as qi. Many studies have shown that acupuncture can increase T-Lymph cells within the body.
9. Far Infrared Sauna
Using a Far Infrared Sauna can promote detoxification, better circulation, and skin purification thereby supporting a better lymphatic system. How it works, the waves penetrate deep into your body, elevating the body’s surface temperature, activating circulation, this then causes sweating and excretion of toxins from the lymph and blood through the skin. The heat then increases your heart rate and encourages deeper breathing, which boosts the drainage process.
10. Loose Breathable Clothing
Wear loose natural fiber clothing when possible. Tight clothing restricts lymph.
Skip the underwire bras. There’s a large amount of lymph nodes around your armpit, breast, chest, and underwire bras, or any tight-fitting clothing that leaves an indentation on your skin is slowing down your lymph.
Skip tight clothing made of plastics or petrochemicals The chemicals are absorbed through the skin and then taken up by the lymphatic system.
11. Steady Movement
Brisk walk: Walking is a weight-bearing activity that creates gravitational pulls on the lymphatic system each time you take a step.
Move often especially if you have a desk job. You can use a standup desk to dance or wiggle or stand on a balance board while at a desk. Non-movement promotes a sluggish lymphatic system.
Yoga: General congestion of lymph nodes can be adjusted through the movement, twisting, and inversion that yoga provides. Poses like downward dog, cobra, twisting chair, bow pose, bridge, triangle, and sun salutations are always a hit for boosting the lymphatic system. Inversions such as handstands, headstands and shoulder stands, and even placing the legs up the wall, reverse the effect of gravity.
12. Body Treatments
Body wraps stimulate the lymphatic system and the circulatory system, then the liver and kidneys filter out toxins to be eliminated.
13. Eat To Support Your Lymph
- Avoid dairy foods that slow lymph down, along with processed foods, sugary foods, and foods high in processed trans-fats or hexane-extracted ingredients.
- Consume lymph friendly foods, herbs, and spices
- Eat raw green food as much as possible. green vegetables. Chlorophyll purifies the lymph and blood.
- Eat healthy organic fats such as nuts and seeds, avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, organic ghee, and butter.
- Start your day with warm lemon water with a dash of cayenne. Lemon is an alkaline fruit that helps to mineralize the body and lymph. Cayenne heats up the body and stimulates blood flow and lymph.
- There are herbs that are effective in cleansing various organs and systems in the body, such as dandelion, organic milk thistle, black walnut, cilantro, peppermint, eucalyptus, and stinging nettle.
- Herb supplements like Ashwagandha, Ginseng, Rhodiola, Reishi Mushroom, or Holy Basil can help reduce stress levels.
- Herbal teas like red clover, astragalus, mullein, goldenseal, fenugreek, ginger, wild indigo root, sarsaparilla, goldenseal, and olive leaf tea.
- Spices such as ginger, cinnamon, oregano, turmeric, cumin, cilantro, fenugreek, fennel, cayenne pepper, black pepper, clove, parsley, and rosemary.
- Enzymes are produced by the body to break down food substances and to expedite countless metabolic processes. They are also utilized by the body to clear toxic-waste buildup in the lymph and blood, making their supplementation a key way to improve lymphatic health.
- Cleanse using juice, soups, teas depending on the season. In the spring I use juices, summer I use smoothies, fall I use soups, and winter I use teas. The purpose of these types of liquid cleanses is to add nutrient-dense detoxing ingredients into your diet while also consuming a large amount of liquid which helps flush out your system. If you do the beauty jump with me you will get introduced to the spring juice cleanse.
14. Salt scrubs
We like the combination of oil, salt, an essential oil that encourages lymph movement such as grapefruit. We have a recipe for making a DIY salt scrub that you can make and save a lot of money plus know exactly what is in the product and how it was made. We use this recipe daily to encourage lymph drainage and to get rid of dead skin.
What Da Fuk!
That was a lot of information. I hope we helped you better understand your lymphatic system and how to boost your health using these techniques, tools, and gadgets. The lymphatic system is fascinating, and as you can see it’s that eager soldier there to help your body get rid of toxins. It is absolutely your best friend when it comes to weight loss, beautifying by getting that healthy skin glow, and renewing your immune system.
Healthy Lymph Challenge
These solutions are all easy to add to your daily life and we have a print out of these ideas in a printable PDF that you can simply just check off which ones you did that day or add it to your phone, reminder, or to-do list. Make it a goal to check off three to five things you did for your lymph each day. You’ll not only feel better, but you’ll look better too! Who doesn’t want to feel good, and look good?
So, did you play along and finish at least a full glass of ginger lemonade? Congratulations on supporting your lymphatic system! Join us if you’re up for a challenge and want to jumpstart your beautiful body. The Beauty Jump launches on June 8th!