Sumter Y’s Missy Corrigan: Take These Steps To Refresh Your Lymphatic System
BY MISSY CORRIGAN
Contributor to health and fitness
The human body has several systems that depend on each other to work together effectively and efficiently for optimal health. Although they all have specific roles, one system that is not functioning properly can impact others, leading to health complications. One of these systems is the lymphatic system, which is a network of vessels and nodes that return fluid from circulating tissues throughout the body, including the brain.
A healthy lymphatic system can boost immunity, balance fluid levels, and improve nutrient absorption. Regardless of the state of your system, it can impact your physical and mental health. Reducing inflammation and a healthy lifestyle can promote a healthy lymphatic system. Due to the current American diet and lifestyle, a sluggish lymphatic system is much more common than it once was.
Symptoms of a sluggish lymphatic system include swelling of fatty tissue in the legs, arms, hands, and feet, circulatory problems including spider veins and varicose veins, fat disorders like lipedema, loss of blood sensation in the hands or feet, depression, connective tissue disorders, digestive disorders. problems, food allergies, bloating, chronic fatigue, unexplained weight gain, edema, skin problems or infections or any other inflammatory disorder.
The lymphatic system does not have a pump like the heart which pumps blood throughout the body. Instead, it relies on impulses from your arteries to move lymph, the fluid that circulates in the lymphatic system, around. Many people experience some of the symptoms mentioned above. Medical experts suggest implementing the following steps to refresh and support a healthy lymphatic system:
– Improve your diet by eliminating foods that promote inflammation such as processed foods, dairy products, gluten and sugar; eat lots of green leafy vegetables.
– Exercise, even of mild to moderate intensity, is one of the most effective ways to activate the flow of the lymphatic system.
– Manually activate the lymphatic system with dry brushing or lymphatic massage.
– Wear loose clothing. Wearing tight clothing can reduce circulation throughout the body by reducing and restricting movement of the lymphatic system.
– Since the system is mostly water, it is important to drink plenty of it. Proper hydration helps the body’s natural detoxification process and relieves stress on the lymphatic system.
Daily actions that support a healthy lymphatic system also support other systems in the body which can help improve overall health and function as well as reduce disease and infection.
Missy Corrigan is Director of Community Health for Sumter Family YMCA. She can be reached at [email protected] or (803) 773-1404.