Ways to stimulate your lymphatic system
Our lymphatic system is a open loop system that is comprised of pre-collectors, lymph nodes and lymph vessels that are all connected and intertwined as a web-like system that regulates fluid balance, waste transport and immunity. It is good at its job and beats at approximately 10-12 beats per minute. A 60 minute lymphatic drainage massage will increase the bodies natural rhythm to 100-120bpm, increasing your lymphatic system speed by 100 fold!! But not everyone has the luxury or availability of getting a lymphatic massage by a trained professional like myself. So I am going to give you simple ways that you can stimulate your lymphatic system at home.
Diaphragmatic breathing. This is the easiest and free way to stimulate your lymphatic system. If you missed it, you can check out my past blog HERE.
Self massage. Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post on how to complete self massage to stimulate your lymphatic system. In general, the best areas to self massage are areas of large amounts of lymph nodes. These regions can be found in the neck, armpits, groin and behind the knees.
Increase water intake. In general we should be consuming 1/2 our body weight in ounces of water. Water intake should not be substituted by soda, coffee, caffeinated beverages or juice. In order to keep out lymphatic system flowing properly, we need to give it water. Water does not flow in a desert. You can think of your lymphatic system like a plush rain forest, it needs water to flourish and flow.
Exercise. Our lymph nodes do not have their own pumping mechanisms, they rely on muscular contraction, breathing and pressure changes to empty. Therefore moving your body is so very important. There is a reason sedentary people retain more water, they aren't moving their bodies. I am not talking crazy aggressive exercise here people. Simple walking is enough to simulate your lymphatic system. So get up and move your body, and move it often!
Vibration plates. Vibration plates come in a variety of options. Generally there are 3 main types, level 1:oscillating/pivotal, level 2: triplanar/linear, and level 3: dual motion. The best option for lymphatic drainage is level 1: oscillating/pivotal. This is the most simplistic and generates a teeter-totter type motion and resembles walking. It vibrates at a lower speed with a higher amplitude which is great for lymphatic drainage. These units cause a skin stretching effect in our bodies that stimulates your superficial lymphatic system.
Rebounders/trampolines. You might have seen kids bouncing on mini trampolines for fun. But this can be a great way to stimulate your lymphatic system and provide exercise for adults too. When using a rebounder/trampoline to stimulate your lymphatic system your feet don't even have to leave the ground. All you need to do is bounce enough that your skin is stretching up and down. This stretching effect opens the superficial lymphatic system much like manual lymphatic drainage.
There you go!! 6 simple ways to stimulate your lymphatic system at home. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to me. I am so passionate about the lymphatic system and how it works for our bodies. If you live in the greater Green Bay area, I would love to be your certified lymphedema therapist and provide you with the experience of a lymphatic massage! You can find more information about myself and my services at www.fluidmotionmassage.com
And if you don't live in the area but would like to learn my in depth program of self massage, you can visit my website above and schedule a virtual ZOOM call with me where I teach you how to do the self massage.