Up to now, the Lymphatic System (LS) has been so neglected that if anybody had a “lymphatic attack” – rather than a heart attack – nobody would really care. It seems that the diseases of the LS are almost invisible to everybody. Health professionals are not familiar with this system and unjustly they end up ignoring it. So, if the Lymphatic System fails most of us are left on our own.
What You Cannot See, IS THERE!
Sadly, in the medical schools, the time spent studying the LS is minimal. A few hours or maybe a day. Anyway, when students dissect cadavers they cannot fully see this system. The lymph is a transparent liquid. Some of its vessel are very tiny and when people die these lymph vessels already have collapsed. “So, what we cannot see, it’s not there” approach is understandable. Though, not really helpful if the Lymphatic System fails.
Happily, with the arrival of “MRIs” the lymph starts to reveal its secrets to researchers. Recent discoveries about lymphatic features and functions are simply astounding. The Lymphatic System is 2 to 3 times bigger in volume and number of vessels when compared to the blood stream. Surprising!
It’s the system that cleanses, nourishes and defends at a cellular level all other bodily systems. It’s so vital to the body that its condition determines the health of the other systems in the body. Today the mighty LS is considered one of the most important systems of the body. So, because of its mighty importance the lymph system should not fail. But, unfortunately, it does sometimes.
If the Lymphatic System Fails
Lymphedema and auto-immune conditions are diseases caused by failure or malfunction of the Lymphatic System.
Lymphedema is an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the tissues. Lymphedema causes swelling, chronic inflammation, fibrotic tissues, calcification and, potentially, cancer. Lymphedema is either caused by damage in the LS or it can be inherited due a malformation of the Lymphatic System. Today, it’s considered an incurable disease.
Auto-immune diseases result when the immune system can no longer distinguish anymore invaders such as bacteria and virus from healthy body tissue. So, it mistakenly attacks both including healthy body tissue. It overreacts and impairs or destroys tissues. Fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, allergies, lupus, celiac, scleroderma, and multiple sclerosis are some examples. The cause of auto-immune diseases is unknown to science today.
The good news is if the lymph fails there are remedies and possible solutions available. These are mostly unknown to the public and it’s my privilege to share this info in the next blogs. Stay tuned for more about lymphedema, auto-immune disorders and Lymphatic Yoga in my following Blogs.
Light and love to all!
Are you gaining weight for no reason? Are you dieting, not loosing weight and even getting anemic? Is sluggish lymph to blame for weight gain? Can we also blame sluggish lymph for our difficulty in loosing weight? Today, research indicates that all of these is true!
Fat, obesity and bloating, the dreadful enemies of many of us, are now associated with an impaired Lymphatic System (LS). Two researches published in 2005 – Dr. Natasha Harvey in Australia and Dr. Martin Schneider in Belgium – point to the fact that impaired or damaged LS can lead to unknown weight gain.
The Lymphatic System is a very delicate system of capillaries, vessels and nodes that can be impaired by several factors including: stress, diseases, infection, flu, surgeries, air travel, extreme cold, medication, dehydration, excessive intake of protein, and sedentary lifestyle.
So, let’s remember that the LS is mainly a transport system. It’s the nourisher, cleanser and defender of the body. The LS carries nutrients to cells and moves away the metabolic waste from them. It also defends the cells, as it’s part of the immune system.
The Link Between Lymph and Weight Gain
Another less known function of the Lymphatic System is its ability to absorb “long-chain fatty acids” or, in simple words, to dissolve fat during digestion!
Fat is mainly divided into two types: short and long-chain fatty acids. Short-chain fatty acid is absorbed by the liver. Long-chain fatty acid is absorbed by the Lymphatic System in the intestinal tract. If the lymph fluid is sluggish it will not be able to optimally perform its task. Fat absorption will be impaired and inevitably, fat accumulates in the tissues.
So, in many cases, sluggish lymph is to blame for weight gain. A poorly functioning lymph flow is the unknown factor in the industry of weight loss that can definitely change the industry!
Conversely, if lymph flow is improved the fat deposit accumulated in the tissues can be cleared! A simple sequence of Lymphatic Yoga and deep breathing can speed up a lazy lymph flow and cause you to loose weight. Without stress and effortlessly! This can really be a game changer in the science of weight loss!
Now, can we conclude that the activation of your lymph flow not only improves overall health but can also make you loose weight? Probably, the answer to this question is a big YES! Another question: does sluggish lymph flow make you fat? The answer is also, Yes!
Stay tuned for more Lymphatic tips and our upcoming video,
(Continuation) (click here for Part I).
So, we do need to breathe correctly! To breathe correctly is to breathe like a baby, moving the navel area as we breathe in and out. For those who are not practicing Yoga, the importance of correct breathing is completely neglected or even unknown. What is remarkable is that breathing is the most important function of the body. Sloppy, shallow breathing will slowly and literally kill us. But, who cares?
These are some of the reasons we should care.
The 7 Interesting and Important Facts About Breathing
- The lungs cannot draw air inside themselves. Like sponges, the lungs are passive, inert and elastic. They do nothing by themselves!
- The muscles around the lungs move the air in and out of the lungs by a process of contraction and expansion. So the muscles are in charge of breathing!
- The major muscle in charge of inhalation is the diaphragm (click here to see the motion of the diaphragm). The diaphragm is directly below the lungs and it’s in charge of most of the inhalation – about 75%!
- The nose, rather than the mouth, is the correct organ for inhalation. The nose filters, humidifies and warms the air. The nose also produces mucus which traps bacteria. Breathing through the mouth, on the contrary, allows bacteria to come into both throat and lungs. Breathing through the mouth is source of potential diseases!
- The lungs are bigger on the bottom part. So, we can draw more oxygen in when we breathe deeply! Middle or upper chest breathing is less efficient! But, who cares?
- Breathing correctly or deeply moves the diaphragm up and down. The diaphragm motion gently massages the internal organs, keeping them in tip top shape!
- Diaphragmatic motion also promotes a rhythmic massage in the abdominal area. It specifically moves the lymph fluid. It improves lymph fluid and blood circulation. It helps to prevent lymph sluggishness.
Guidelines to Breathe Correctly
For a good start of your Lymphatic Yoga practice, pick up a book relatively thick book (no phone books, please!). Lie down with knees bent. Keep your feet apart and flat on the floor. Now you are ready to start it:
- Place the book on the tummy, at the navel area. Bring the arms by your sides.
- Now, relax your arms, relax your face. Soften your shoulders and relax your trunk on the floor.
- Breathe in through the nose slowly and deeply. Pay attention to the book on your belly. As you breathe in and out mentally observe the motion of the book up and down. The navel is moving the book up and down.
- As you breathe in observe the book rising steadily, as you exhale observe the book going down.
- When you get the book moving smoothly up and down, begin to slow down the breathing. Effortlessly, please. Less is more in Yoga! Keep doing it.
- Now, begin to add a pause – a second – after each inhalation and exhalation. When breathing in mentally notice the book rising. Pause for a second. When breathing out notice the book going down. At the end of the exhalation, pause for a second before the next inhalation.
- Repeat for at least 10 min. Practice it every day for 3 weeks when you wake up or/and before sleeping. You will see the results! Then, keep doing it.
The book on the tummy keeps your mind aware of the motion of the navel. It helps restore the flexibility of the diaphragm. Use this technique until the diaphragmatic breathing becomes easy for you. After that, rather than the book we can use your hand on the navel or just the mind observing the motion of the navel.
When watching TV, in the grocery store, waiting in a line or driving make sure to practice the correct breathing every time you remember it.
Correct breathing is a major factor to prevent sluggishness of the precious lymphatic fluid. Please, keep your lymph moving, no matter what! The Lymphatic System is either your source of health or disease. When flowing smoothly, radiant health results. When sluggish, diseases begin to set in. Correct breathing is a gift to the body. Keep rewarding yourself every day. You deserve it! Breathe deeply and smile!
Stay tuned for my video in how to breathe correctly!
See you soon! Much love to all!
One of the many things I learned from Yoga was the importance of the breath and how to breathe correctly. Yoga method, consistently, reminds us that air and oxygen are the most important nutrition for the body. But, who cares?
We are all more concerned with the food we eat than the air we breathe. However, all functions of the body depend on oxygen to perform their tasks. Even digestion!
So, digestion is a complex biochemical function that relies on the level of oxygenation of the body to be accomplished. Poor breathing translates into impaired digestion and poor assimilation. Over time, poor assimilation leads to diseases.
It is also important to remember we can survive without food or water for some days. But, we cannot survive without air for more than a few minutes! But, who cares?
Yeah, we should care!
Breathe Correctly – Shallowly or Deeply?
Breathing really is the most important function of the body. All the other bodily functions depend on breathing. Besides oxygenation, the breathing function also is one of the main pumps of the Lymphatic System. So it’s vital to relearn how to breathe correctly.
Basically, poor breathing is a shallow breathing! Newborns, on the contrary, breathe deeply or diaphragmatically. If you could see newborns sleeping you would see that they move only their bellies.
This is our natural breathing! The belly motion indicates the action of the diaphragm, which is the major muscle in charge of the breathing. So, newborns breathe correctly!
However, over the years, for several reasons (find them in the “Lymphatic Yoga and the Water of Life” – Book I – by Edely Wallace) we all distorted the correct breathing. Over time, breathing became a shallow and superficial affair. An unconscious act that is slowly killing us.
To breathe correctly is to breathe deeply. Deep breathing moves the diaphragm up and down. The up and down motion of the diaphragm activates the Lymphatic System in the abdominal area, which is rich in lymph nodes and vessels. The motion of the diaphragm helps lymph flow into the largest lymph trunk – the thoracic duct – which starts in the abdominal area.
Correct breathing creates a suction effect for the lymphatic fluid in the abdominal area and legs. Correct breathing helps the return of the lymph fluid to its destination – the heart. Correct breathing prevents or reduces lymph stagnation. Correct breathing helps lymph transport and improves cell nourishment, tissue repair and immune response.
Correct breathing was my saving grace when recovering from a nasty road accident, several years ago. It works!
Stay tuned for Part II, where you will learn how to breathe correctly.
Stay healthy and happy !!!
For many people the answer to this question is a big, “YES!” You may try tea bags, creams or even cucumber slices to reduce your puffy eyes. Does that fix the problem? Regrettably, those remedies don’t fix the problem. Your puffy eyes will be back, again!
Puffy eyes can be a clue your lymph fluid is getting sluggish.
You already know, the body is mainly water (please read earlier blogs). So, to stay healthy, the water within the body (the lymph fluid) must be flowing continuously – like rivers inside their vessels.
The continuous water movement guarantees the renewal of our body’s water – the lymph fluid. Moving lymph prevents fluid stagnancy and body decay. It causes better metabolic exchange of liquids between cells and capillaries. It better cleanses, nourishes and protects body cells. As a result, healthy cells will trigger not only a vibrant health but also beauty!
Puffy Eyes and Edema
However if the rivers within us – the lymph vessels – are not continuously moving, stagnation, deterioration and disease will follow. As a consequence, edema may show up and your baggy and puffy eyes may be the first clue.
Edema is an abnormal accumulation of fluid in a body part. Edema may be generalized or local. It usually develops in an unnoticeable way.
Edema slows down the metabolic exchange of liquids. When edema persists or reappears periodically, the body tissues are not being properly nourished. The lymph fluid becomes sluggish. Slowly and consistently toxins are retained in the tissues and the lymph rich-protein content begins to harden.
Now, your body is in big trouble! Hardening of the tissues or fibrosis can begin six months after edema starts. Fibrotic tissues lead to tissue calcification; and calcified tissues do not have circulation. So, it is essential to reduce or prevent those puffy eyes. Puffy eyes can be a sign of fluid stagnation in the body and possible future problems.
Good news! There is no need to disguise your baggy and puffy eyes with creams, cucumber or tea bags. You can solve it by addressing the source of the problem – lymph stagnation.
Simple Measures You Can Take to Improve Lymph Flow
· Lymphatic Yoga motions: neck motion – slowly lift your chin to the ceiling and look up, while inhaling slowly; bring it down, on a slow exhalation and look at the heart (Repeat 3X). Bring your head to a neutral position. Turn your head to the right and look over the shoulder far behind you; the same to the left (3X). Shoulder motion – breathe in, slowly lift your shoulders to the ceiling; exhale with a sigh and let them go down (Repeat 5X).
· Breathe deeply and slowly for at least 10 min daily.
· Drink plenty of water.
· Reduce daily salt intake.
· Reduce alcohol intake.
Practice these tips every day! You may be as amazed with the results as I still am today!
Please, share your thoughts and let me know how it works for you,
Take a break and enjoy your Memorial Weekend,
Love to all
The Lymphatic System
Air Travel Tips
Long air travel trips (more than 4 hours) can lead to tissue swelling and lymph flow stagnation. Four years ago, I traveled to Australia. After 25 hours of traveling, and standing around in connecting airports, as I arrived in Sydney, I could not believe it: my ankles were swollen!
Unfortunately or fortunately, going to Australia for me is a treat that does not happen often. However, it’s important to know that consistent long distance air travel can lead to damage of the Lymphatic System. These are some of the reasons air travel can impair your lymph flow:
- Cabin pressure is lower than regular atmospheric pressure. The natural muscle pump caused by atmospheric pressure is reduced and fluid intake by the lymph capillaries diminishes. So, lymph fluid accumulates in the tissues.
- Immobility during air travel slows down blood and lymph circulation. It adds to the low cabin pressure and increases the problem.
- Cabin air is dry. It may lead to dehydration. Reduced fluid levels in the body changes blood capillary pressure which also contributes to tissues swelling.
But there is good news, too! You can enjoy your Summer travel with a bit of information. Here are some tips for you to prevent the problem:
- drink plenty of water before and during air travel.
- get up and walk around as many times you can.
- wear loose, non restricting clothing to avoid compressing the lymph nodes.
- change position when seated.
- get enough sleep before traveling.
- try to avoid alcohol which increases dehydration.
- practice some Lymphatic Yoga motions. Flex and point feet, rotate ankles and wrists often. Massage your neck gently and move it slowly up and down, side to side, and turn to the right and to the left. Breathe. With your finger tips gently tap bellow the collar bones.
Last year, again I traveled to Sydney and this time I didn’t have swollen ankles! It was amazing! But this time I used all the tips I just shared with you. Have a bright and happy Summer!
Let me know if these tips helped you! I’d love to hear from you!
Love, peace and light to all!