In recent articles, I’ve discussed two hardworking but often overlooked body systems. I’ll bet you want to know more about how to keep these mysterious but vital systems running well. First, a brief recap:
The lymph system is an open network that transports a special fluid called lymph. The lymph system is part of the larger immune system that keeps you healthy by destroying harmful pathogens. The lymph system also interacts with other body systems—including digestive, cardiovascular, respiratory, and circulatory—to deliver plasma (fluids) and nutrients and sweep away pathogens and other wastes.
The enteric system, buried deep in the gastrointestinal tract, assists digestion. It is also linked directly to the nervous system. Your gut receives impulses, records experiences, and responds to emotions just like the brain in your head. That’s why anxiety, excitement, or other powerful feelings can produce a “gut reaction,” a sensation of “butterflies,” or assorted disruptions or discomforts in the digestive process.
Ready to raise your wellness up a notch? You can go beyond the basic preventive steps listed in the articles linked above. Today, let’s delve into five additional measures you can take to improve the function of these vital systems:
It goes without saying that the right fuel makes any system function better than the wrong ones will. This rule applies especially well to the ENS and the lymph network. A healthful diet consisting of food that is free of additives and chemicals will reduce the amount of toxins the lymph system must filter. Avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and sugar will reduce inflammation throughout the body, which helps to control your ENS’s stimulation of stress hormones.
- Lymphatic drainage massage
Ideally performed by a trained professional or massage therapist, this massage technique can reduce swelling in a situation of lymph blockage, plus enhance the flow of the lymphatic fluid and boost the immune system to stave off any future problems. Also, you may ask the therapist to instruct you in simple self-massage techniques using correct pressure and direction.
- Liver cleanse
A detoxification period implemented seasonally will ease the burden on your body’s natural filtration systems by reducing your toxic load.
- Dry skin brushing
Using a dry, soft-bristled, long-handled natural brush, gently stroke your skin in long passes from the extremities up to the heart. This simple practice stimulates the lymph system to better perform its house-cleaning duties by encouraging the movement of fluid.
- Dietary supplements
Getting enough of the right minerals and vital compounds can help keep lymph and enteric systems in optimal shape. Supplements that can decrease stress effects in the ENS include L-theanine, B vitamins, GABA, magnesium, probiotics, and omegas such as those in fish oils. For lymph and general immune system support, add vitamin C, zinc, and selenium.
It may take a little extra time or planning or even a change in routine to implement these key practices, but the results—better function of your lymph and enteric systems specifically, and better overall health as well—are worth the effort. Take a moment now to review the recommendations again—and make it your goal to put them into practice beginning today.
Need some guidance putting it all together? Give me a call at 212-686-0939, or send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be pleased to reserve a time to talk to you about how to make these valuable wellness goals fit into your specific situation.