Vital Lymphatic Detox
None of your body’s systems of elimination are less recognized or more important than your lymphatic system. Your lymphatics are not only a major route for absorbing vital nutrients from the digestive system into the tissues to keep your skin healthy, youthful, and glowing—they are important carriers of immune cells. These protect your body from damage and illness and prevent degenerative aging. Lymphatics are also your body’s metabolic-waste-disposal system. They take away unwanted proteins and large particles of debris that cannot be removed by any other means. This includes toxins—the by-products of fatigue and stress—dead cells, fatty globules, pathogenic bacteria, heavy metals, infectious viruses, and other assorted rubbish cast off by your cells.
So essential are the waste-eliminating functions of your lymphatic system that without them you could die within 24 hours. Doctors working with natural methods of healing insist that a primary cause of fatigue, disease, and cell degeneration, with its accompanying premature aging, is poor circulation of lymph to and from the cells and tissues of the body. The same tradition of natural medicine uses a number of effective techniques designed to stimulate lymphatic functions as a means of healing even quite serious illnesses—ranging from rheumatism and cardiovascular disease to chronic fatigue. These techniques include exercise (done for the joy of it, not as a chore), skin brushing, special breathing techniques, infrared beds and infrared saunas. All of these things improve the purity and quality of the lymph—the clear fluid that flows through the lymphatics (lymph vessels). They are little short of revolutionary in what they can do for your good looks and your good health. These helpers have even been known to clear long-standing skin troubles such as acne, improve the look of puffy or aging skin, heighten vitality, banish muscle and joint pain, and aid in the regeneration of your body as a whole. Making use of them is simple. But first you need to know a little about how the lymphatic system functions, and just how important a role its mysterious mechanisms play in promoting health and beauty.
WHITE BLOOD MAGIC
Your body is more than 75 per cent water. So important is water to the processes of life itself that, according to Nobel Laureate Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, “Life is water dancing to the tune of solids.” A French biologist rather poetically emphasized Szent-Gyorgyi’s observation by saying: “Man is an amphibian. Even the most beautiful woman’s body is no more than an aquarium with 50 liters of lukewarm seawater in which trillions of cells live and fight for survival.” Five liters of this ‘seawater’ are found in your blood, five in digestive and other secretions, and almost all the rest are in your lymphatic fluid. Thanks to lymph, a ceaseless interchange goes on between your body’s trillions of cells and their surrounding interstitial fluids in order that food and oxygen are exchanged and waste products are eliminated from the cells—all through the medium of water. In order for your cells and tissues to be nourished and remain vital, and for your skin and muscles to remain smooth and healthy and firm, this interchange needs to occur without impedance.
Nutrients and oxygen are transported to the tissues and cells via the bloodstream. Arterial pressure forces the blood through tiny capillaries and out into the cells’ interstitial spaces to enable these to be exchanged for the wastes that the cells have produced. Here the water or interstitial fluid, now filled with toxic waste, is gathered by tiny lymphatic tubules and then sent back through the lymph vessels to be detoxified. A highly organized and elaborate system of ducts and channels that flow all over your body, almost all the tissues of the body are equipped with lymph channels that drain excess fluid, and the wastes that it contains, from the interstitial spaces. This opalescent liquid carries waste from these minute channels into larger lymphatic vessels and then on through the lymph nodes, which are located in the groin and under the arm and the neck. Your lymph nodes filter the fluid to remove impurities and dead cells; they are also a place where antibodies, which fight infection or toxins, are made. After purification at the nodes, the fluid is returned to the blood. In this way, the lymphatic system works ceaselessly to clear toxicity and to reduce excess mucus and waste. For all of this to happen as it should, your body needs some special attention.
DRY SKIN BRUSHING
This practice was once looked upon as an occupation of a few eccentrics who liked suffering. Now skin brushing is taught by natural health practitioners all over the world because it has this ability to encourage lymphatic drainage and spring clean your body—very important in protecting your from early aging and being able to live at a high level of vitality. All you need is an inexpensive natural fiber brush. Spend five minutes a day before your shower or bath brushing it. Let this habit become part of your daily living. Both your health and your skin will thrive on it.
Rebounding—bouncing up and down on a mini-trampoline—is not only great fun but also an excellent exercise to support lymphatic cleansing and detoxification. The unique up-and-down movement of your body on a mini-trampoline subjects it to changes in gravitational force. For a split second, at the top of the bounce, gravity or G-force is non-existent. But at the bottom of each bounce, as you come down upon the elastic platform, the pull of gravity on your cells, muscles, and tissues is suddenly increased by two or even three times the usual G-force on the earth. On the way up, gravity closes up the millions of one-way valves that control the flow of lymph. When you come down again, the internal pressure changes quickly and dramatically, causing them to open and bring about a surge of lymph. Therefore you set up an internal massaging motion that shunts lymph along. Rebounding is the perfect solution for anyone who wants to exercise at home, no matter what his or her fitness level. It’s particularly good for anyone who is embarrassed by the idea of going out in running gear or going to the gym. Unlike many in-the-home exercise options, rebounding has a particularly high-continued use success rate. It gets your mind and body working and seems to raise spirits like nothing else I have ever come across. I often use it for 10 minutes or so when I’m feeling fatigued or stressed.
Begin bouncing gently so that your heels barely leave the ground. If you feel unsteady, use the back of a chair to support yourself with one arm as you bounce. You might like to bounce to music or even while watching television. As an alternative to bouncing with both feet together, try jogging from one foot to the other. Begin with 10-15 minutes a day and work up as your strength increases.
THE GREAT BLITZ GUSS
Hydrotherapy is another powerful external tool for enhancing lymphatic drainage and rejuvenating the body. The Germans are masters at it. Thanks to the electrical properties of water, using alternate hot and cold water on the body can alter the electrical charges of molecules in the cells—particularly the low-level voltages that regulate lymphatic drainage—by alternately increasing and decreasing them. In physiological terms, this opens up the capillaries, which increases blood flow and stimulates the elimination of wastes through the lymph system. It also relaxes and tones muscles and helps you feel energetic.
- Stand under a hot shower for 3 to 5 minutes so that your body is warm and comfortable.
- Turn the shower to cold for 15 seconds.
- Turn the shower back to hot for 2 minutes.
- Repeat a further 2 times.
- Finish with 30 seconds of cold.
Once you get used to the Blitz Guss protocol, you are likely to find that you want to increase the time your body is exposed to cold water, just because it makes you feel so good and so alive. Don’t do this just before bed or you are likely to feel so energetic that you can’t sleep. Try doing it when you shower after skin brushing. Of course, if you have a pacemaker or any sort of heart condition, it is essential that you check with your medical practitioner and get his or her okay before you try it.
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