10 Ways to Improve Your Lymphatic System Function

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How to boost your immune system
Which cells should you boost, and to what number? But researchers remain interested in this question in different populations. Get a gentle massage. Marija M about a year ago. Maintain a healthy weight.

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11 Ways to Boost Your Lymphatic System for Great Health

Yet, this life-sustaining group of nodes, glands and organs, is often overlooked or taken for granted. The result is a sluggish or congested lymphatic system, which can set the stage for respiratory infections, ear and sinus infections, edema and swollen glands. Fortunately, the holistic techniques — which will be highlighted in this article — can help you unclog, stimulate and purify your lymph system naturally.

Unlike the circulatory system, the lymphatic system lacks a propulsive center, or pump. Instead, lymph is moved via the relaxation and contraction of muscles and joints. You can stimulate circulation and help propel lymph throughout the body by jumping on a trampoline for 10 to 30 minutes. You can help clear a congested lymphatic system by raising your consumption of raw foods — particularly fruits and vegetables, which have naturally-occurring enzymes that help clear toxins and promote their exit from the body.

Fruits and vegetables also raise the water level in the body and help to hydrate it, while their healthy amounts of fiber promote intestinal function, making it easier for intestinal fluids to migrate to lymph nodes.

Also, raw foods tend to be alkaline, helping to neutralize pathogens and relieve the burden on the lymph. In addition, at the same time, try to reduce consumption of lymph-clogging dairy, sugar, gluten and processed foods. As the lymphatic system is 95 percent water, it is important to avoid becoming dehydrated.

Experts advise drinking half your weight, in ounces, of water a day. Remember, not all water is created equal — so if possible drink pure spring water or purified water to reduce your toxic burden.

Use an inversion table, which allows you to be suspended upside down while strapped in by the feet. Being in this unusual position can help promote free-flowing lymph. Use a quality inversion table with a safety strap to control the angle of inversion and safety locks to hold it in place.

Herbal substances can enhance the lymphatic system by improving lymphatic flow and drainage and facilitating removal of toxins. Goosegrass, or Galium aparnine — also known as cleavers — is a time-honored lymphatic tonic, valued for removing and draining trapped bacteria from lymph glands. Using a brush with coarse bristles, gently brush the skin in the direction of the heart.

So breathe in that sweet smell of healing oxygen. Exercise also ensures the lymph system flows properly. The best kind is rebounding on a mini trampoline, which can dramatically improve lymph flow, but stretching and aerobic exercise also work well. Drink plenty of water. Without adequate water, lymph fluid cannot flow properly. To help ensure the water is readily absorbed by your cells, I frequently add some fresh lemon juice or oxygen or pH drops. These sugar-, color- and preservative-laden beverages add to the already overburdened workload your lymph system must handle.

Eat more raw fruit on an empty stomach. The enzymes and acids in fruit are powerful lymph cleansers. Eat them on an empty stomach for best digestion and maximum lymph-cleansing benefits. Most fruits are digested within 30 minutes or so and quickly help you feel better. Discover the best herbal remedies, foods, and therapies to get your lymph moving… 6.

Eat plenty of green vegetables to get adequate chlorophyll to help purify your blood and lymph. Eat raw, unsalted nuts and seeds to power up your lymph with adequate fatty acids.

Choose from walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, macadamias, Brazil nuts, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. Add a few lymph-boosting herbal teas to your day, such as astragalus, echinacea, goldenseal or wild indigo root tea. Despite the challenges, scientists are actively studying the relationship between stress and immune function.

For one thing, stress is difficult to define. What may appear to be a stressful situation for one person is not for another. When people are exposed to situations they regard as stressful, it is difficult for them to measure how much stress they feel, and difficult for the scientist to know if a person's subjective impression of the amount of stress is accurate.

The scientist can only measure things that may reflect stress, such as the number of times the heart beats each minute, but such measures also may reflect other factors. Most scientists studying the relationship of stress and immune function, however, do not study a sudden, short-lived stressor; rather, they try to study more constant and frequent stressors known as chronic stress, such as that caused by relationships with family, friends, and co-workers, or sustained challenges to perform well at one's work.

Some scientists are investigating whether ongoing stress takes a toll on the immune system. But it is hard to perform what scientists call "controlled experiments" in human beings. In a controlled experiment, the scientist can change one and only one factor, such as the amount of a particular chemical, and then measure the effect of that change on some other measurable phenomenon, such as the amount of antibodies produced by a particular type of immune system cell when it is exposed to the chemical.

In a living animal, and especially in a human being, that kind of control is just not possible, since there are so many other things happening to the animal or person at the time that measurements are being taken. Despite these inevitable difficulties in measuring the relationship of stress to immunity, scientists are making progress.

Almost every mother has said it: So far, researchers who are studying this question think that normal exposure to moderate cold doesn't increase your susceptibility to infection. Most health experts agree that the reason winter is "cold and flu season" is not that people are cold, but that they spend more time indoors, in closer contact with other people who can pass on their germs. But researchers remain interested in this question in different populations.

Some experiments with mice suggest that cold exposure might reduce the ability to cope with infection. But what about humans? Scientists have dunked people in cold water and made others sit nude in subfreezing temperatures.

They've studied people who lived in Antarctica and those on expeditions in the Canadian Rockies. The results have been mixed. For example, researchers documented an increase in upper respiratory infections in competitive cross-country skiers who exercise vigorously in the cold, but whether these infections are due to the cold or other factors — such as the intense exercise or the dryness of the air — is not known. A group of Canadian researchers that has reviewed hundreds of medical studies on the subject and conducted some of its own research concludes that there's no need to worry about moderate cold exposure — it has no detrimental effect on the human immune system.

Should you bundle up when it's cold outside? The answer is "yes" if you're uncomfortable, or if you're going to be outdoors for an extended period where such problems as frostbite and hypothermia are a risk. But don't worry about immunity. Regular exercise is one of the pillars of healthy living.

It improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight, and protects against a variety of diseases. But does it help to boost your immune system naturally and keep it healthy? Just like a healthy diet, exercise can contribute to general good health and therefore to a healthy immune system. It may contribute even more directly by promoting good circulation, which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently.

Some scientists are trying to take the next step to determine whether exercise directly affects a person's susceptibility to infection. For example, some researchers are looking at whether extreme amounts of intensive exercise can cause athletes to get sick more often or somehow impairs their immune function. To do this sort of research, exercise scientists typically ask athletes to exercise intensively; the scientists test their blood and urine before and after the exercise to detect any changes in immune system components.

While some changes have been recorded, immunologists do not yet know what these changes mean in terms of human immune response. But these subjects are elite athletes undergoing intense physical exertion. What about moderate exercise for average people? Does it help keep the immune system healthy?

For now, even though a direct beneficial link hasn't been established, it's reasonable to consider moderate regular exercise to be a beneficial arrow in the quiver of healthy living, a potentially important means for keeping your immune system healthy along with the rest of your body.

One approach that could help researchers get more complete answers about whether lifestyle factors such as exercise help improve immunity takes advantage of the sequencing of the human genome.

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