Regardless of what is going on in the outside world.
Reading time: approx. 10 minutes
LOLz at the click-baity title that makes it seem I’ve been assimilated by the *influenzers but actually this is genuinely how passionate I am about this revolution in my life. Obviously, as I love you all very much, I simply must share in the hopes that many others can benefit too.
*A combination of the words ‘influencer’ and ‘influenza’
Lymphatics Menu – Jump to:
That’s right, I’ve recently discovered more about one of the many wonders of our human bodies: the lymphatic system.
What is the Lymphatics?
Simply put, the lymphatic system is a vital ensemble that regulates and impacts numerous other bodily functions. Its optimal performance is ESSENTIAL in keeping us alive, preferably with flourishing health.
For most people, this system functions unnoticed until there is inflammation. At this point, the major lymph nodes might start to feel noticeably sore as they work hard to assist detoxification in the body.
Debilitating symptoms can develop when the lymphatic system is unbalanced. Subsequently resulting in oft-extreme swelling and fluid retention in areas of the body (lymphoedema). This can either be due to lymph dysfunction directly or via secondary effects of biological programs such as cancer or other so-called diseases. Some are even born with hereditary lymphatic challenges. For those cases, dedicated lymphatic protocols need to be explored in more detail with the assistance of professional, holistically-minded carers.
As I’m not a medical professional, nor am I an expert in biology or anything like that, I’ll avoid getting too technical. If that’s your bag, you can refer to some of the extensive scientific content that exists.
Unless you have any serious medical condition that requires direct monitoring by professionals, the basics of lymphatic massage ARE accessible to most and easy to grasp. I think anyone in this case really can start using lymphatic massage and literally begin to change their life today.
Thankfully, we now have access to educational resources without going to the ends of the earth. Anyone with access to the internet can hunt down quality sources, learn about and apply this wisdom to improve their well-being and general existence.
Keep reading for my take on why we should ALL be offering our bodies this kind of uncomplicated, free, yet vital support. Regardless of the state of the outside world, who we are, where we come from and what our story is.
Even if I had some previous notions with regard to the benefits of lymphatic massage and drainage. I didn’t really bother trying to know more. Especially as I didn’t think I ever experienced issues relating to the lymphatic system.
With informed hindsight, now I’m laughing! Pretty much all the little niggles I ever had were probably related to lymphatic drainage issues.
In reality, given how prevalent these things are for most. It seems paying attention to and supporting lymphatics could actually be key for many on their quest for abundant health and a life well lived.
Particularly as the seemingly insignificant starting signs of lymphatic dysfunction (that I’ll go into later) have largely been normalised in our society. And are often shrugged off until there are more serious, debilitating issues!
Yet, if we ever miss, mix up or choose to ignore the subtle signs our body is communicating to us constantly. If we wait until the issues become too obvious to ignore. Or we blindly depend on the over-zealous medical industry dictating to us what to do without requiring we think too hard. Then, we’ve certainly let things get to a point where it will take momentous commitment and effort to come back from. I speak from experience.
Unfortunately, nowadays the medical industry is little more than a commercial enterprise. Rather than putting themselves out of business by actually healing people. The industry is all too pleased to profit from a panoply of patents and drugs. An approach that somewhat masks symptoms effectively keeping their customers dependent on them for life.
It should be clear that there’s much merit in learning to keep these biological systems working as nature intended – without our noticing them nor depending on the intervention of twisted industries. Thus altogether avoiding any potentially significant complications further down the line.
My latest lymphatic massage love affair began thanks to Dr. Perry Nickelston, a chiropractic physician at @stopchasingpain who has developed a fast and easy lymph technique named the ‘Big 6’.
The ‘Big 6’ is essentially a lymphatic stimulation massage. With a precise and logical order. That’s effective yet simple enough for anyone to begin supporting the body towards radiant health.
Done in the correct order, techniques like the ‘Big 6’ lymphatic massage stimulate the ‘big pipes’ and termini of the lymph. This assists overall lymphatic flow throughout the lymphatic system.
Immediately I jumped into action!
Following Perry’s quick and clear instructions, I massaged the major lymph nodes. It was amazing to note how sore and sensitive these points actually were without my prior noticing. Then I was hooked, practicing the ‘Big 6’ almost every single day. Sometimes several times a day.
In any event, basic lymphatic massage should be worked up to a daily practice. Certainly, implementing prior to any more extensive lymphatic drainage work to avoid causing more harm than good. Similarly, a quick sequence before any general exercise or movement will beneficially support the natural detoxification of our bodies.
In other words, stimulating the lymph nodes in the right order every day really ought to be something we do as habitually as brushing our teeth and pooping.
“People say, ‘Doc, how do I know if I have a lymphatic system problem?’ – Erm, that’s easy, you’re breathing, that’s how I know, ‘cos you’re alive on this frickin’ planet.”Dr. Perry Nickelston @stopchasingpain
Why Bother Doing Daily Lymphatic Maintenance?
Giving daily attention to personal lymphatic massage ought to be a no-brainer considering the negative effects of our modern conveniences. Specifically, if you’ve spent any amount of time learning about the human body in detail and appreciating the benefits of a well-functioning lymphatic system, it just makes sense.
Here are some reasons I find compelling enough to at least try it:
- It’s FREE and easy to implement for anyone who has the capacity to use their hands and arms, we can also use tools like *natural bristle dry brush / Gua Sha. (A Word About Lymphatic Massage Tools & Extras)
- There’s no need to fully comprehend the process or even learn complicated vocab / techniques / protocols about anatomy, science, health etc. (even if that would undoubtedly serve you well on a quest to find what works best for you.)
- Doing this every day will assist the body in better coping with the destructive effects that most modern lifestyles have on the organism, regardless of how clean or active you keep your life. Support these essential detox pathways.
- It can be done anywhere AND it doesn’t have to be long. YET, taking a little bit extra calm, loving time for yourself will ALWAYS be a useful investment in supporting the body to better deal with the inevitable challenges of the day.
- Although to get started you want to go gentle and keep it simple – profound effects can be felt IMMEDIATELY, especially if you’ve never really shown loving care or attention to these parts of yourself before.
“ … if you live on planet earth, you NEED to do lymphatic drainage… So much of our day is essentially congesting our lymphatic system.”Dr. Caitlin Czezowski @doc.talks.detox
Why does Lymph Stagnation Happen?
Common things that can contribute to lymphatic stagnation:
- Too much sitting, not enough moving (dancing, walking,+ dedicated sport and / or exercise, etc.) and obesity in general.
- Extensively wearing tight, synthetic clothing, underwire bras, shapewear or anything that leaves marks on the skin.
- History of anaesthesia and surgeries (C-section, abortion, gallbladder, appendix, spleen, etc.).
- Birth control and pharmaceutical/ recreational drug use.
- Piercings, tattoos, and / or large scars, injury, burns and bruising.
- Radiation via medical treatment, air travel, microwave, induction heating, close use of screens, electronics, wearables & wireless tech.
- Removal of any lymph nodes, tonsils, adenoids, tumours etc.
- Consuming conventional processed foodstuffs, alcohol and smoking regularly.
- Bacterial instability, parasites, fungus, mould and toxin overload.
- Using chemical-laden home, self-care, beauty and fashion products.
- Not being adequately hydrated with moisture-rich, whole, organic foods and pure, high-quality home-filtered water.
What are the Symptoms of a Stagnant Lymph?
Signs your lymphatic system might be stagnating and could really use regular lymphatic massage:
Bloating, brain fog, weight issues, swollen or enlarged lymph nodes, lack of energy, feeling heavy, constipation or sluggish digestion, soreness and stiffness in the morning, stiff joint pain that comes and goes, itchy skin, swelling in extremities, sinus infections, cold hands and feet, chronic fatigue, weakened immunity, allergies, depression and anxiety, food sensitivities, unexplained injury and illness to name but a few.
As Dr. Perry Nickelston @stopchasingpain often states (yes I majorly geek on his extensive free content), try it and see how you feel. There’s no need to make a big deal, if it really doesn’t feel good, then stop and move on to something else. You could always try coming back to it later with a different frame of mind.
“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”Heraclitus
A word on Lymphatic Massage – Drainage Tools & Extras
After implementing the ‘Big 6’ daily and monitoring how you feel, not overdoing it and allowing time for any detox symptoms to clear naturally – you might feel it is time to take the lymphatic drainage up a notch. Whether you choose professional or personal lymphatic drainage methods, be sure that the lymph termini are stimulated first as detailed in the ‘Big 6’ method. When opting for professionals, find nature-coherent practitioners who are transparent and care to use high-quality tools and products.
Natural bristle brush:
Favour investing in transparent, responsible companies using natural materials and fibres for your dry brushing tool, preferably from local sellers. Rather than the brushes made with low-quality synthetic fibres or allegedly natural materials of unknown origins that are being imported with poor standards and flooding the market on the cheap.
Similarly, blunt scraping tools used for massage and lymphatic drainage are inundating the market, especially the so-called ‘Jade’ or ‘Rose Quartz’ or any other “precious or semi-precious stone” claims used for the numerous items now being sold in the hype of this practice. Be sure to check for the mention of ‘resin’ in the description. Resin is PLASTIC, despite the title with the right keywords, it’s NOT natural stone. If you cannot be sure on the allegedly ‘natural stone’ you are considering investing in, then favour instead high-quality wood or stainless steel from reputable vendors that don’t play these manipulation games.
Massage oils, creams and other cosmetic products:
Opt for PURE food-grade, organic and/ or local, handmade products over anything lab-made synthetically on an industrial scale with toxic perfumes and ingredients. Learn the dangerous compounds, develop the capacity to read ingredients, use a barcode scanner to help.
If you want to detox and protect your health in the long term, it is wise to avoid plastic, synthetics and chemicals as much as possible going forward. If you’re on a budget, then save up and make do without these extras to start off. Do NOT scrimp on the quality of the products you use, it is a false economy as they negatively impact health and this will likely cost you dearly later.
Bonus Lymph Tips
For those ready to get serious about delicious well-being & resilient health in general.
Anything that supports general health also supports the lymphatic system.
- Dedicate yourself to learning more about your body, health and environment from diverse, quality and transparent sources. Use varied approaches, especially holistically-orientated, low-tech, ancestral techniques based in natural principles that honour our organic living organisms as a whole.
- Nourish your body with wholesome, high-quality, seasonal, organic, local produce.
- Consciously work to remove junk; food, beauty & home products, clothing, media, thoughts, objects etc. Replace and reduce the entry of toxins as much as possible using clean, non-toxic alternatives made with love by locals.
- Develop a daily routine that supports regeneration, detox, mobility, strength AND pure love. YOU should always be the authority in your life, refer to interior guidance.
- Consider exploring your shadows and learning to integrate and transmute past trauma and programmes that no longer serve your dedication to improving your life.
- Speak kindly to yourself always; catch negative thoughts and useless judgements that change nothing. If it isn’t constructive and action is being taken, then cut it out.
- We tend to amplify that which we focus on, the choice is yours.
I’ll be going into all of these ‘bonus’ topics in more detail over the coming whenever… sign up to receive notification of new posts via email at the end of this article.
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Learn more about the lymphatics and Dr. Perry Nickelston for this gut-lymph connection podcast:
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