What Happens If Lymph Is Stagnant
Stagnation in the lymphatic system can have far-reaching consequences. The immune response may be compromised, leaving the body susceptible to infections. Cellular waste and toxins may linger, contributing to inflammation and impairing overall cellular function.
Chronic stagnation of the lymphatic system can lead to lymphedema, localized immune compromise, and gut malabsorption.
In more severe cases, or with certain autoimmune issues, it can lead to a condition called lymphedema, where excess fluid accumulates in certain parts of the body, causing severe swelling and discomfort. Lymphedema can be caused by a variety of factors, such as surgery, radiation therapy, infection, or injury. It can be a debilitating condition that affects quality of life.
Lymphatic Drainage in Post-Covid & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Researchers believe that one of the mechanisms underlying chronic fatigue and long Covid is related to congestion of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). As a result, manual lymphatic drainage massage and cranial techniques may be a possible early and non-invasive therapy for post-Covid syndrome (5).
Lymphatic drainage can improve lymphatic congestion and waste removal from the brain, potentially addressing other symptoms associated with long Covid, such as brain fog, fatigue, and mood changes.
Learn more: Post-Covid Recovery with Functional Medicine
How to Boost Lymphatic Drainage
The good news is that there are various simple ways to boost lymphatic drainage, thereby supporting whole-body detoxification and immune health.
1. Stay Hydrated
Drinking plenty of water helps to keep the lymph fluid moving throughout the body. Aim for at least eight glasses of water or more per day, and more if you’re active.
2. Lymphatic Massage
A lymphatic drainage massage can be very beneficial in promoting lymph flow throughout the body. It involves gentle, rhythmic strokes that promote manual lymphatic drainage.
- Cellulite, Scar Tissue, Acne, and Scar Tissue
- Immune Health
- Swelling and Bloating
- Detoxification and Cleansing
- Chronic Pain
- Stress and Fatigue
3. Exercise Regularly
Regular physical activity, such as walking, jogging, or yoga, helps to stimulate lymph flow and prevent stagnation. Try incorporating some gentle exercises into your daily routine to keep your lymphatic system functioning efficiently.
4. Dry Brushing
Dry brushing is a technique that involves brushing the skin with a dry, soft-bristled brush. This helps to stimulate lymph flow and exfoliate dead skin cells (7). Start at your feet and work your way upward in long, smooth strokes towards your heart.
5. Deep Breathing
Practices like deep diaphragmatic breathing encourage the movement of lymphatic fluid. Deep breathing helps to stimulate the lymphatic vessels in the chest, promoting circulation and drainage.
6. Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating a diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods and staying away from processed and junk food can support proper lymphatic drainage. Foods high in antioxidants, such as berries, green leafy vegetables, and turmeric, can also aid in reducing inflammation.
What to Remember
The lymphatic system may not be as well-known as other bodily systems, but it plays a critical role in our overall health and well-being. By understanding the lymphatic system and taking steps to support lymphatic drainage, we can improve immune function, reduce inflammation, and help prevent chronic disease.
- Lymphatic Massage in our Holistic Spa is a great way to start.
Whether you’re recovering from an injury or just looking to optimize your health, prioritizing the health of your lymphatic system is a beneficial step in the right direction.