Research has shown that gut and digestive health play a greater role in overall health than we once thought. It’s no surprise, therefore, that the enzymes that digest food play a big role in lymphatic system health. Enzymes break down food and aid in many metabolic processes. In between meals when they aren’t breaking down foods, these digestive enzymes also break down organic matter, complex fats, and proteins found in the blood. By breaking these things down, the lymphatic system removes them more efficiently.
While the body produces some digestive enzymes, taking an enzyme supplement gives the digestive system a boost. It increases how well your body processes food, giving the enzymes more time to support the lymphatic system between meals. There has also been research that good gut health decreases inflammation, which helps keep the lymph system running smooth. In addition to adding an enzyme supplement to your diet, you can support digestive health by avoiding processed carbohydrates and sugars, choosing healthy sources of fats, and eating lots of fiber and raw fruits and vegetables.
Essential oils are commonly used in aromatherapy or applied to the skin. They are extracts from various herbs and botanicals, often those that have been used in traditional medicine systems. Mastic opens the lymphatic and respiratory systems, having anti-microbial and decongestant properties, while guaiacwood is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Citrus essential oils like lemon and grapefruit fight inflammation and help purify the lymphatic system, too. Some other beneficial oils include juniper berry, peppermint, and rosemary.
While modern medicine hasn’t fully researched the many benefits of essential oils, many of them have been used in Native American medicine, Ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine, and even since the times of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Essential oils can be used in aromatherapy by adding them to a diffuser, or even adding them to a pot of boiling water. When applying essential oils to skin or massaging the lymph nodes with them, many need to be diluted with a carrier oil like coconut oil, almond oil, or jojoba oil to avoid damage to the skin.
Chiropractic care is recommended for people who have problems or abnormalities in the musculoskeletal system, which is made up of the spine, bones, nerves, muscles, tendons, and joints. Keeping this system working as it should is also important to the health and flow of the lymphatic system, since it exists alongside it in the body. Misalignments or inflammation in the musculoskeletal system block the lymphatic system and stop it from flowing freely.
Chiropractors identify problem areas and then help with treatment, often by adjusting the spine and muscle groups using manipulation and other types of therapy. As obstructions and areas of tension are removed during a chiropractic session, lymph fluid flows freely to detox your lymphatic system. Research shows removing this tension improves the flow of the lymphatic system and improves immunity. Additionally, chiropractic offices offer other services that benefit the lymphatic system, including inversion tables and electro-lymphatic drainage. They may also be certified to perform manual lymphatic drainage.
Inversion tables offer a number of benefits for the body, as well as the lymphatic system. An inversion table is a padded table that has straps for your feet on the bottom. You are secured to the table and then turned up side down. While in this position, the lymphatic and circulatory systems are stimulated. Gravity works with the body, bring blood and oxygen to the tissues and pushing out toxins. Then, they move through the lymphatic system so they can be filtered and transported out of the body.
In addition to its benefits for the lymphatic system, an inversion table benefits the joints and the spine. As mentioned above, keeping these areas free of inflammation helps the lymphatic system keep moving smoothly. This is especially true since the muscles of the body are the most effective “pump” for the lymphatic system. Inversion therapy can be done with a professional, or you can buy an inversion table for home. Chiropractic offices and other hollistic medicine practioners may offer inversion therapy.