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Importance of Lymphatic Drainage while Cleansing

One of the most crucial aspects of candida cleansing is supporting the detoxification pathways. The lymphatic system is one of 3 major detoxification systems in the body. It is made up of a network of organs, lymph nodes, lymph ducts, and lymph vessels that produce and transport lymph from tissues to the bloodstream. The lymphatic system is a major component of the body's immune system, it contains immune cells called lymphocytes, which protect the body against antigens (viruses, bacteria, etc). Lymph is a clear-to-white fluid made up of white blood cells, specifically lymphocytes, the cells that attack bacteria in the blood, and fluid from the intestines called chyle, which contains proteins and fats.

The lymphatic system is a component of the circulatory system but it does not have a central pump so its flow is highly dependant on movement. Lymph flows in one direction due to its one way valves, bringing the collection of lymph fluid to the nodes where the lymph is filtered and then drained back into the bloodstream. Approximately two-thirds of lymph nodes and lymphatic tissue are within or near the gastrointestinal tract, they can be found in clusters in various parts of the body, such as the neck, armpit, groin, and centre of the chest and abdomen. The lymph system can be thought of as the “waste collection and filtration system” of the body and plays an important role in the health of our immune system.

It’s main functions are:

  1. To defend the body against disease by producing lymphocytes.

  2. To filter fluid from around the cells and return it to the bloodstream and thus help maintain fluid balance.

  3. To absorb lipids (fats) from the intestine and transport them to the blood.

  4. Drains the body of all the wastes, toxins, bacteria, viruses, etc.

When lymph flow becomes sluggish or stagnant, it can accumulate in the tissues and doesn’t allow for nutrients to be delivered effectively to the cells and causes toxins to build up.

The major components of the lymphatic system include the tonsils, spleen, thymus, Peyer’s patches (located in the gut), and lacteals (also located in the gut). The gastrointestinal system, specifically in the small intestine is lined with lymphatic tissue (Peyer’s patches and lacteals), this is what’s considered the immune system of the gut. When Candida has reached the point of overgrowth, the gut has been compromised for quite sometime and its immune system has lost its ability to fight infection appropriately. This dysbiosis and overgrowth lends opportunity for poor toxin removal through the lymph, and if paired with a sedentary lifestyle, poor lymph flow/drainage can increase inflammation and start to manifest most commonly into skin conditions. Our skin is often the place where symptoms start to show up in the form of acne, dermatitis, eczema, rashes, etc. Our skin is a detoxification/elimination organ that relies heavily on hydration, circulation, healthy microbiome/immunity, and the support from the other detox pathways of the liver and kidneys.

Some of the best ways to support lymphatic drainage to help improve the appearance of our skin can be done through:

  • Dry brushing

    • Dry skin brushing supports the lymphatic system by increasing circulation and moving lymph in the direction in which it flows (always toward the heart) for it to be filtered and drained through the nodes. Dry skin brushing also exfoliates the skin and helps to remove the top layer of dead skin cells to allow for new healthy skin cell regeneration. It feels a little rough at first but go light, and after 2 - 3 uses you'll start to love the feeling!

    • If you have an existing skin condition such as eczema it is important to start low and slow with light strokes, and be careful not to perform skin brushing when experiencing a flare up. If skin brushing causes a flare up take a break from skin brushing and try again in the future, it may be that skin brushing just might not be for you.

    • Skin brushing is best done in the morning before showering and is recommended to hydrate the skin post shower with a nourishing skin oil. You can also perform skin brushing with castor oil as an added bonus to lymphatic support, and it may even be easier on the skin if you are a beginner.

    • For more info on how to skin brush check out this link.

  • Gua Sha

    • The Gua Sha is a type of stone that can be purchased and used for facial massage to help boost circulation and promote lymphatic drainage in the face and neck.

    • Reduces puffiness.

    • Relieves muscle tension in the face.

    • Moves stagnant lymph.

    • Smooths fine lines and improves skin appearance.

    • Here is a video tutorial on how to use the Gua Sha.

  • Exercise

    • Movement is the number one thing to improve lymph flow and drainage! Since the lymph vessels do not have a pump to move it through the body, movement and exercise is super important to act as a natural lymphatic pump.

    • The best exercise for lymph flow is squats, jumping jacks, and rebounding.

  • Infrared saunas

    • Sitting in a far-infrared sauna “warms up” the lymphatic fluid and helps get it flowing better.

    • I recommend starting with just a few minutes and building up the time slowly.

    • Infrared saunas promote sweating which is beneficial for clearing excess toxins out of the body and improving overall skin complexion. *Do not sauna if you have a diagnosed inflammatory skin condition*.

  • Lymphatic massage

    • Manual lymphatic drainage massage helps break up lymph congestion and removes toxins from the body (liver, colon, kidneys). The more toxins we can release, the better we will feel (and look!).

    • Reduces inflammation.

    • Increases circulation.

    • Improves skin issues (e.g. eczema, acne), sinus issues.

  • Hydration

    • Our skin relies on adequate water intake and encourages good lymphatic function. Adding electrolytes/trace minerals to your water is the most optimal way to stay hydrated. In order for your cells to absorb water you drink, you need minerals. When you drink plain water this flushes out your minerals. My favourite electrolyte/trace mineral supplement is Aussie Trace Minerals. I recommend this product to clients often. If you are interested in trying this product, you can use my coupon code MARISARICCI10 to get a 10% discount off your order through their website.

These are all excellent ways to promote the flow of lymph and effectively promote the detoxification of Candida from the body. Give some of these a try and let me know if it made a difference in your Candida/skin journey.

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