Winter Wellness – Part 6 – Lymphatic system

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This will be the final part of my Winter Wellness series.  I hope you have enjoyed it and found it useful,  I’d love to hear from you if there is something else you want to know about or you think I could cover otherwise next week it will be back to recipes 🙂  This final ‘Winter Wellness’ post is taken from an article I wrote a while back on the benefits of Reflexology Lymphatic Drainage Treatment, which I’m trained in, and which came to mind as I had two calls last week about reflexology treatments in this area.

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Getting some exercise with themselves before the next rain shower

It does read more like an article still than a blog post; I have tried to adapt it a bit ….. though no sense in re-inventing the wheel is there? 😉  Anyway, here it is in all its glory and if you are interested in treatments then it won’t be too long before I will have my clinic in one place again, as opposed to the home visits I now offer. Exciting times ahead!

Our health depends on many things but maybe two of the most important are the body’s ability to circulate blood and lymphatic fluid.  The importance of blood you likely know however the Lymphatic system is just as important as it is this system which helps defend the body against disease by clearing waste and toxins, by helping maintain fluid balance in the tissues and by absorbing fats from the intestines to transport back to the blood.  In fact it is a vital system in our bodies as without it our cardiovascular system won’t work and our immune system would be hard-pressed to cope.

The Lymphatic system is designed for transportation and as such it needs to keep moving.  There are fluids found between the cells or which actually seep out of the cells (intercellular fluid) which slowly begin to accumulate and must be returned to the cells and the blood stream to help maintain homeostasis in the body.  This is where the lymph system comes in; it gathers those fluids, checks it, filters it and then returns them to your blood via the subclavian veins just above the heart.  Unlike the circulatory system however (in which blood flows) the lymphatic system (in which lymph fluid flows) doesn’t have a pump and needs us to move our bodies in order to have the lymph fluid moving.  This system relies on movement of our muscles, their ‘milking’ action, and the changes in the thorax through deep breathing to keep it flowing.

This means that if you lead a sedentary lifestyle your lymphatic fluid may not be flowing as it should and your lymphatic system may be hampered, causing toxins and waste to build up within our bodies. The more waste left in our system the harder our body has to work.  Our body is effectively running on a system of ‘tubes’ and ‘fluid’ so when toxins and waste clog these up we suffer!  Think of a river. When it is flowing it is clear and clean, when it is not flowing it begins to stagnate then it becomes a perfect home for bacteria and disease to build.  The Lymphatic system is no different.  At first it may be a sluggish feeling in the morning or a headache which we just can’t seem to find the cause of.  Eventually it can cause much more serious issues within the body such as swelling, arthritis, skin disorders and more.

Thankfully there are many actions we can take in our lifestyle to help the Lymphatic system work better and ensure that it is doing its job.  In using preventative measures, we can improve and promote our health and well-being while avoiding dis-ease in our bodies. As the Lymphatic system is important in this it makes sense to keep it flowing and healthy and it is important.  As a reflexologist of course the first thing I think of is to have a Reflexology Lymphatic Drainage Massage which will work on the lymphatic system while allowing you to relax and de-stress.   It is an excellent support to the Lymphatic system, especially if you have trouble with mobility and best of all it will help you feeling more relaxed and lighter at the end of a session.  It is a very unique and special thing to have.

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There are some cases where having a Reflexology Lymphatic Drainage Massage is not recommended however and these include: cases of cardiac or renal impairment, first trimester of pregnancy, cases of Deep Vein Thrombosis, having high or low blood pressure or if the foot if injured in any way.  If you are not quite ready to treat yourself to a reflexology lymphatic drainage routine or you feel that it isn’t for you then there are many things you can do at home, in your everyday lives, to ensure that you are keeping a healthy lymphatic system which will help to have a good immune system too.  Try some of the following out:

Exercise– this will help to keep your lymphatic system flowing and moving as it ‘massages’ it into action.

Good Food– a healthy diet means that less toxins and waste products end up in your system. Eating over processed, sugary foods may over load the lymphatic system.

Drink plenty of water– the body needs water to keep everything working properly, including the lymphatic system.

Deep breathing– this ensures that your cells are healthy and oxygenated along with stimulating the lymphatic system.

Dry brushing– long strokes towards your heart for around 5 mins before a shower will stimulate the lymphatic flow.

Herbal teas– they are great mixture of hydration, favour and medicine (depending on what you have).

Use natural beauty products– means less toxins coming into your system via the skin which gives the lymphatic system less of a load.

Wear loose clothing– this lets the lymphatic fluid flow where as tight clothing tends to slow the whole thing down.

Hope this finds you having a great start to the week and ready for all there is to come.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz

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Five things to quit this year.

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Welcome to 2016!!  Hope you are having a fabulous one so far.

I’ve had a great break with the family and decided to ease back into work. So in line wiht that easing here is a cut and paste of a great wee article I saw at the end of 2015.  It is a good reminder about the things that really matter and stay the same year after year.  Thanks Healthy Balance Fitness for the blog post which I have copied below.

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Things you should quit this year (Sugar is not one of them!)

Fitness ‘Best of’, Mind body, The Moderation Movement

The top 5 things you should quit to improve your wellness

New Year brings a renewed focus on health goals, and unfortunately so many people feel like they need to quit foods to achieve improved wellness. Over the past few days I’ve heard people saying they’ll quit alcohol, sugar, bread, dairy, gluten… You don’t need to quit these things to be healthy.

A great majority of wellness messages in the media focus on what we need to cut out in order to be healthy. More and more foods are being heralded as the most important thing to quit if you’re going to achieve longevity, happiness, success and the validation of everyone around you.

You don’t need to quit the food you love in order to be happy and healthy. And how you eat does not determine your worth as a person.

Here’s my top 5 things you should think about quitting instead:

#1: Guilt

Try to let go of feeling bad about food, exercise and your body.  Food is morally neutral and neither ‘good’ nor ‘bad’. You can enjoy all foods and still be healthy. Learn instead about mindful or intuitive eating, and a non-diet approach to eating. Similarly let go of feeling bad about inactivity. Try to move most days doing activities you enjoy, but if you have a few inactive days in a row don’t feel bad, just get moving again doing something you love.

#2: Shame

Quit shaming yourself and others for their food choices, their exercise habits and their body. There is more than one path to wellness. We all have to choose our own way.

#3: Comparison

Stop comparing yourself to strangers on the internet. What most people publish online is their most shiny, happy, glamorous moments. Comparing your life to someone else’s highlight reel is a recipe for unhappiness. Also stop comparing your body to others. We’re not all supposed to look the same.

#4: Seeking quick fixes and miracle solutions

Every time I blink there seems to be another ‘miracle’ diet, exercise plan, or supplement that will apparently be the end to all your insecurities and help you find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. If we all stopped giving our dollars to the celebrities and online salespeople pushing such fads, we’d see a lot less of them! Unfollow the fads, find your own moderation.

#5: Believing you can see wellness

Health and fitness comes in all shapes and sizes. Truly. You cannot tell by looking at someone how fit or well they are. You don’t know if they have strong mental health, absence of illness, physical strength, and stamina or if they have a disordered approach to food, suffer from mental health issues or struggle with fatigue. A person’s size cannot tell you these things. Set yourself wellness goals that are not related to appearance and let go of thinking you can see who is fit by their body size.

By Healthy Balance Fitness (16 December 2015)

 

Hope this finds you exploring an exciting new year.

Arohanui

Y

www.becominghealthy.co.nz