When you hear the term ‘body system’, what immediately comes to mind? If you’re like most people, you might begin thinking about your circulatory system or perhaps your cardiovascular system.
Or, if you are heavily into working out, you may think about the skeletal or muscular system.
Whatever system you are thinking about, chances are, you are not thinking about the lymphatic system.
But yet, the lymphatic system is one of the most important systems in the body. Overlooked by most people, it’s the system that has a direct influence on your energy levels, how easily you tend to gain body fat, as well as how you feel and function on a day to day basis.
Curious to know more?
Let’s me give you a brief overview of what this system is, why it’s important, and what you must be doing to optimize yours.
Starting At The Beginning: What The Lymphatic System Does
Let’s begin with a brief definition.
Your lymphatic system is a part of the circulatory system and is also a main element of your immune system that has the responsibility for removing clear fluid called lymph through a network of vessels as it’s excreted from the body.
In simpler terms, it’s your waste system.
It’s through your lymph system that your body is able to remove all the built-up wastes, toxins, and any other elements that are not needed by other systems in your body.
Those who have proper lymphatic drainage tend to rid this waste quickly and efficiently, which then means they tend to feel their best on a day to day basis.
Those who don’t drain this system properly, well, you can likely imagine how they feel.
Think about it this way. What would happen if you didn’t clean your house for an entire year? Or, let’s say you didn’t take out the garbage for one month’s time. The garbage man never came and instead, that trash piled up inside your garage (or on the corner of your lot).
After the time has passed, what would that look like?
It would be quite the sight to see. The same applies for your body. If you are not experiencing proper lymphatic drainage, these toxins will build up in the body and soon, they’ll be impacting every other system you have.
Your organs will be impacted, your heart will be impacted, even your brain may start to be influenced by all this toxic waste.
Where The Lymphatic System Is Found
So now that you know what this system is, where is it found? Like the blood system, the lymphatic system is found throughout the entire body.
In fact, all these vessels that carry lymph through your body end up being three and a half times larger than the blood system.
As you can hopefully see, this is a very powerful system. If your body has devoted this much precious ‘real estate’ (body area) to this system, it must be an important one.
In addition to the lymph that moves throughout the body in these vessels, you also have lymph nodes in various areas of your body as well.
There are about 100 lymph nodes that are scattered throughout the body, with the most concentrated numbers appearing under the arms, in the groin, as well as in the neck.
These nodes serve the purpose to help filter the lymph and are comprised of a large number of white blood cells, making them a significant part of your immune system. They help to remove cells that shouldn’t be in the body and help send them on their way out.
Think of these lymph nodes as the garbage man. As the garage approaches, he sorts it, place garbage in the trashcan and the recyclable material into the recycle bin.
When you are not experiencing proper lymph drainage, you tend to experience swollen lymph nodes as they are working overtime to continually keep sorting through the ‘trash’ (foreign cells).
Likewise, when you become ill and are infected with a bacteria or virus, which essentially means you have a high number of foreign cells in your body, you’ll also see your lymph nodes swell up as they are flooded with white blood cells to help fight these foreign cells off.
Your body is putting more resources towards your lymph nodes to do its best job at removing the toxic cells.
It’s not just infections that this system works hard to overcome however.
Each and every time you eat food, you are producing a certain level of metabolic waste. By nature, the process of digestion – whether you are eating carbohydrates, proteins, or fats will produce byproducts that are not needed in the body.
These byproducts, in part, will be excreted by the lymphatic system (with the rest being taken care of by the digestive system and bowels).
As you might imagine, on a day to day basis then, your lymphatic system is very busy. It’s constantly in action, collecting and removing waste that you produce.
The Problem With Today’s Lifestyles
Now, sadly, for most people, their lymphatic system is not working as it should.
Why is this? What has caused our lymphatic systems to take a turn for the worse?
One of the biggest issues is the sedentary lifestyles that we sustain. Each and every one of your cells has something in it called a mitochondria.
Think of this as the engine of the cell. It’s the powerhouse that helps carry out all the major tasks that will be taking place in that cell over the course of the day.
Unfortunately though, with these cells, it’s a ‘use it or lose it phenomenon.’
Just like if you never use your muscles to exercise eventually they’ll diminish, the same applies for the mitochondria in your cells.
So as you continue to sit at your desk job, you start experiencing fewer and fewer mitochondria. This means you become less efficient at carrying out tasks that the cell is designed to do.
Namely, breaking down and utilizing food sources – your proteins, carbs, and fats.
The less mitochondrial density your cells have, the harder it is for your body to break down and use these nutrients for energy. The result? You experiencing seriously lagging energy levels.
So if you feel sluggish and tired each and every day, lack of mitochondria could very well be why.
Where Those Sugar Cravings Come From
What this can also lead to is an increased level of sugar cravings. Since your body has become less efficient at breaking down the nutrients for use as fuel and now it’s taking a great deal of energy, you’ll natural want to turn to sources that are easy to digest.
When you eat sugar, it doesn’t take much work at all to immediately convert that into an instant energy source.
To summarize, when you don’t include movement in your life, your body is going to become very lazy. Your cells stop working as they should and they seek the easy way out.
Rather than eating wholesome foods that do take work and energy to break down and digest, they seek simple carbs.
But, if you’ve done your reading on sugar in your diet, you know that eating too many simple carbs puts you on a one-way path to experiencing weight gain.
Not only that, but the more of these processed foods rich in simple sugar you put in your body, the more metabolic waste you produce.
This now means more work for your lymphatic system and a higher likelihood that you experience swollen lymph nodes as lymphatic drainage is insufficient.
So this entire process is all related.
Often those who are experiencing this problem will notice they feel pain in the hips or groin region often or they may experience some bumps in their armpits or in their neck.
If you notice either of these, that’s a good sign that you could be in for problems ahead.
What You Can Do
Now that you can see the major problems associated with the lymph system, what can you do to improve it?
How can you make sure that your body is in top shape and draining these toxins as you should?
There are a few different paths that you can take to get back on track again.
- Lymphatic Drainage Specialists
The first step that can be taken is seeing a lymphatic drainage specialist. These specialists or a certain type of massage therapist who performs a type of massage therapy on you designed to help promote higher levels of lymph drainage.
This technique was first developed in Germany and was used for the treatment of lymphedema, which is an accumulation of fluid that occurs when one or more lymph nodes are removed, usually as the result of cancer.
Usually the symptoms that lead people to seek this type of treatment are swelling or pain in the lymph node area or sometimes a high level of swelling in the extremities (due to excess lymph circulating around the system).
When you have this specialist work on you, they’ll be essentially pushing the lymph waste out of the body, helping to manually help the toxic removal process along.
While this procedure is typically only recommended for those who are experiencing lymphedema and are going on the advice of a doctor, some health practitioners do push clients towards it as a way to manage the lack of lymph drainage they are experiencing.
That’s right – the next way to improve your lymphatic system and accelerate drainage is simple walking.
One foot in front of the other. If you remember back to our lesson on breathing, we talked about the 10-10-10 breathing technique.
This is the perfect thing that you can do to help improve your lymphatic system and speed the drainage process along.
Walking is going to do two important things:
- Bring more oxygen into the body as it takes carbon dioxide out (reducing the level of that toxin in your system)
- Increase the activity level of your cells, reducing the chances of seeing a decrease in mitochondrial density
In fact, those who are regularly exercising, whether it’s through walking or some other form, are quickly able to regain more mitochondria in their cells, making them more efficient at breaking down the food sources they eat.
This means more energy for you – daily.
Exercise is essential for life. I’ve covered this in other lessons and here it is again. You must make sure that you are moving.
In addition to walking regularly, make sure that you are staying hydrated. States of chronic dehydration can really slow the drainage of lymph through the body and cause you to become backed up, experiencing swollen lymph nodes in the process.
If you aren’t drinking sufficient water on a day to day basis, it’s again like not taking out the trash for weeks on end. You need the fluid to help form the lymph and carry those toxins out of the body.
Pure water is best or even better, alkaline water coming from a water filter ionizer. You can learn more about that in one of my other lessons.
- Trampoline Jumping
Finally, the last way that you can dramatically improve your lymph system and possibly one of the most fun ways is through trampoline jumping.
Using a mini trampoline for just 10 minutes a day can make a tremendous impact on how well your lymph system functions as well as what sort of mitochondrial density you maintain.
Just like walking will help you build up more mitochondria, trampoline jumping will as well. This will make you far more efficient at burning fuel and removing the metabolic build-up that comes from breaking down that fuel.
What I really like about trampoline bouncing is the fact that there’s no additional stress being placed on the joints, so regardless of whether you’re 16 or 65, it’s an excellent mode of exercise to be doing.
Likewise, it’s also a portable option, so can be done anywhere you are and is very easy to use, so there’s no learning curve involved.
I’d recommend that everyone look into picking up a high quality mini trampoline and adding some bouncing to their daily lives.
In fact, if you check out my 15 minute morning routine, you’ll learn about all the things that I’d recommend you do at the very start of your day to ensure you are optimizing your health – bouncing included.
This morning routine is very powerful and will help make sure that all the systems in your body are optimized and functioning well.
Learn more about this in my 84 day Bio-Optimization course.