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Techniques to Use at Home to Stimulate Lymphatic Drainage

The following suggestions are generally safe for most patients. Before starting any detox protocol, including stimulating your lymphatic drainage, please review our suggested Pre-Tox Protocol. This will help to prepare and optimize your body for detox and minimize any Herxheimer Reactions.

* If you have had any lymph nodes removed or have had radiation therapy, please consult with your healthcare practitioner before beginning these suggestions.

What is the Lymphatic System & What Does it Do?

The primary function of the lymphatic system is to keep the fluids equalized throughout your body. It also works closely with and is responsible for supporting the immune system, facilitating the transport of large molecules like hormones and lipids into the bloodstream, and returning fluid to the heart. These functions are vital for maintaining our health.

Lymphatic fluid moves through the body via mechanical means – meaning it requires our physical activity to circulate effectively. Unfortunately, our increasingly sedentary lifestyles contribute to poor lymphatic flow, particularly in individuals with chronic conditions.

5 Things That Can Clog Your Lymphatics System

  • Heavy Metals
  • Biotoxins
  • Pesticides
  • Poor Hydration
  • Lack of Movement

5 Signs & Symptoms of a Clogged Lymphatic System

  • Sinus issues
  • Skin conditions
  • Brain fog
  • Headaches
  • Depression

Since there is no pump for the lymph fluid we need to work to get a sluggish lymph system going.

Improving lymphatic flow may initially cause some discomfort, as stagnant lymph can impede immune function. Once circulation improves, there can be a surge in immune activity, potentially causing temporary illness-like symptoms. However, these initial challenges are a natural part of the healing process and indicate increased immune activity as the stagnant system begins to move effectively again.

For some people these techniques to stimulate the lymph system are only needed to get it started, while others need to do these on a regular basis.

All lymph has its final drainage place just above your collar bone. The main areas of lymph nodes are in the armpit and groin (imagine a line between your hip bone and pubic bone). The main drainage for the head is behind the angle of the jaw and a muscle just behind it (SCM). It is about one finger width. I give you these details because knowledge is powerful and so is imagery. Use these techniques below with this in mind.

At-Home Methods To Stimulate Your Lymph

Below you will find instructions for 6 effective methods to stimulate your lymphatic circulation that you can add to your self-care practice from the comfort of your home.

We recommend beginning with one of the stimulation methods daily with the following pattern:

  • Choose one method to practice for 2-3 days, then add another for 2-3 days, then add another.
  • Stop anytime you feel it is stimulating your lymphatic system too much, causing a detox reaction that is too intense for you.
  • Combine Dry Brushing, Salt Scrubs, Hot Bath > Once a Week

#1 Simple Movements to Stimulate the Lymph Circulation in the Chest and Underarm area

  • Stand in a relaxed position.
  • Hold your arms out parallel to the floor, palms down, parallel to the floor.
  • Rotate your arms in small circles; forward ten times, backward ten times.
  • Repeat rotating in medium-sized circles; forward ten times, backward ten times.
  • Repeat rotating in large circles; forward ten times, backward ten times.
  • Repeat this cycle two to three times, several times during the day.

Using diaphragmatic breathing while completing arm circles will increase your lymph circulation even more.

If you find this exercise too challenging, you can adjust the intensity by doing the exercise in bed.

  • Lie on your side and complete small, medium, and large arm circles using one arm at a time.
  • Do as many repetitions you can. If ten circles is too much for you, start with one. 

If you are flared up and can’t move your arms, move your wrists and ankles, breathe deeply, and laugh as much as possible.

#2 Dry Brushing

  • Use a natural dry bristle shower brush.
  • Lightly scrub little circles on your skin from limbs inward towards the heart (as you do it more you can scrub with more pressure).
  • Scrub the neck down to the collarbones.
  • Scrub the back, chest, and abdomen in any direction.

#3 Contrasting Showers

  • The last minute or so of your shower make it a bit hotter than usual.
  • Then, turn the water to tepid for the last 30 seconds.
  • When you leave the shower, you should be refreshed, not cold.

#4 Salt Scrub for Lymph Circulation

  • Start with clean, dry skin.
  • Apply a small amount of scrub to your skin and massage in circular motions.
  • Rinse the scrub off with warm water.
  • Moisturize your skin afterward.

You may use essential oils in the salt scrub (or bath) as well if you tolerate these well. We suggest Vibrant Blue Oils wildcrafted organic Lymph Blend or Fascia Release Blend.

#5 Contrasting Baths

  • Draw a bath that is hot enough to sweat for about 20 minutes.
  • To begin with, use 2 cups of Epsom salt and 1 cup of baking soda.
  • As you continue doing this, you can add more salt and baking soda – up to 1 pound of Epsom salt.
  • At the end of the bath, shower off in tepid water.

#6 Conscious Breathing

Even if you cannot walk or jump on a rebounder right now, you can sit in a chair outside or by a window and do some simple breathing exercises. Here is a basic breathing exercise to get you started.

Conscious Breathing for Lymph Circulation (Seated)

  • Sit up in a comfortable position, maybe a chair or chaise lounge.
  • Sitting outside is preferable or at least by an open window with some fresh air, if it’s not too cold.
  • Get comfortable and relaxed.
  • Just sit and let yourself breathe naturally, admiring the view and letting go of all thoughts or emotions right now.
  • Bring your attention to your lower abdomen – the area just below your belly button. If you like, you can rest the palm of your hand there, with your thumb resting on your umbilicus (belly button).
  • Simply let your attention rest on the lower belly, observing the rising and falling of your belly with each breath. You are not making your breath do anything, you are simply observing.
  • After a few minutes of conscious breathing, slowly take a deep breath, breathing right into the palm of your hand resting on your belly.
  • Feel your belly fill with air. Then, slowly exhale, allowing your hand to follow your belly down.
  • As you inhale again, feel the expansion in your diaphragm (the lower part of the rib cage) as that gently expands with each inhale.
  • As you exhale, notice again how your diaphragm feels.
  • Do this gently and rhythmically for a few minutes.

This rhythmic expansion and contraction of your diaphragm helps pump blood and lymph through your liver.

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