Top 5 Tips for Loving Your Lymph Nodes
One of the things that is the focus of dhyana Essentials is the lymphatic system. And current Covid concerns can put a focus on your immune system and lymphatic system. But you may be wondering, why is it so important? What is it? Where is it? What does it do?
“Lymph has been documented for centuries; we just stopped acknowledging its importance.” – DeAnna
Our immune system and lymphatic system are the same thing; unfortunately, it has two names, which make it hard to understand. It consists of vessels and nodes that connect to all parts of the body, from the most superficial layers of the skin to the depths of each of the organs. Ever have a practitioner ask you about swollen lymph nodes? The reason for that is, the lymphatic system serves as the vehicle for our immune function.
The latest medical development is how lymph was found in the brain. But this isn’t a new evolution. Lymph has always been an active part of the brain system. It has always been there, doing its job just as it does in all other areas of the body. It is a bridge between the gut and all other tissues that need to be fed. Hormones get from one gland to another via the lymph. This is why the lymphatic system is referred in Ayurveda as Rasa, or “the river of life.” It’s a mighty highway along which messages, supplies, and soldiers on the side of your good health travel to where they are needed.
The lymph system works best when it runs smoothly. Like any waterway, it has the ability to run sluggishly and even clog. Clearing out clogs is the first step toward better health.
The immune system isn’t just there when there’s an illness about. In our modern world, the pollutants, the stressors, the preservatives and other chemicals we are exposed to all prey on our body’s defenses all day, every day. The lymph system brings support where it’s needed most in the body – whether that’s to combat the latest virus making the rounds at school or to carry away the hormonal residue of commuter traffic frustration.
DeAnna Batdorff is a lymph specialist. She started studying lymph at age 18 and has made it the center of her personal health journey as well as her professional practice.
We asked DeAnna, is it difficult to help the lymphatic system get on track when it seems like the research on this system is hard to find? This is what she had to say.
“Not necessarily! It first depends on what health circumstances you’re dealing with. If you are living with a chronic imbalance or health issue, you certainly want to follow your doctor’s guidance to tend to the immediate health needs. Beyond that, a visit to an Ayurvedic practitioner may give you more tools to help your doctor keep you at optimal health.
“If you already know you’re in relatively good health, but find yourself dealing with common imbalances – stress, fatigue, occasional indigestion, worry, and other modern era issues – learning to keep your lymph moving can potentially improve not only how you feel, but how you meet your daily challenges.
“The number one thing I recommend is to take charge of your own self-care. There are so many little ways you can help clear out clogs and get lymph moving. The simple act of walking on a daily basis can do so much for your health in so many ways. If you’re worried, don’t you find that just talking a walk around the block can sometimes lift that worry off your shoulders? That’s actually a result of lymph movement!
“Our body responds to worry by releasing chemicals – far more chemicals than we may need – that accumulate in parts of our body. That’s why it’s common to hear a therapist ask you where you feel an emotion in your body. You literally have something accumulating in a part of your body as a result of an emotion you’re having.
“The lymph system is there to go around and collect what isn’t needed and move it out, through sweat, urine and other excretions. If your lymph system is flowing smoothly, that worry, that emotion, that excess will move out in due time.”
Though the lymph system doesn’t move on its own and relies on the movements of our own muscles to keep flowing, it’s easy to get that system to flow.
Here are DeAnna’s top five actions for lymph health:
- Movement! Make it fun with dancing, hiking, introducing hopscotch to your kids, or skipping. When’s the last time you romped?
- Salt scrub. Move your lymph while you polish and smooth your skin!
- The Chinese gua sha. Portable self-care anywhere.
- Self-massage, called abhyanga, with a luxurious oil like bhringraj, which is excellent for soothing inflammation.
- Deep breathing. Don’t skimp on nature’s best anti-inflammatory, oxygen!