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Did you know that the body has its own natural cleansing system? It’s called the lymphatic system and in this article I’m going to look at how we can support this natural cleansing system and what to do if you want to do a lymphatic cleanse.
The lymphatic system is a network of tissues and organs that runs throughout your body. It is part of, and helps to regulate, the immune system, so this is an important system in helping to protect us from infection and disease. It is responsible for transporting the waste products, toxins and other unwanted items to the places where they can be eliminated. The lymphatic system also plays an important role in fluid balance in your body.
You can think of the lymphatic system like lots of tubes or drains (called lymph vessels) running throughout your body. Within these tubes, there is a clear substance, called lymph. Lymph transports the white blood cells (lymphocytes – the cells that fight infection), excess fluid and waste products.
There are many lymph nodes around the body (between 600 and 700), which is where the main filtering goes on. The spleen, tonsils and thymus are all part of the lymphatic system.
The lymphatic system does not have a pump system (like the heart in the cardio-vascular system), so relies on waves of contraction and release from muscle action.
Lymph flows in one direction – up towards the neck. Along the channels there are series of one-way valves. As we breathe, move or exercise, the contraction and release of the muscles cause the lymph to move. Just under the collarbones are the largest lymph ducts, which empty into the circulation system. From there the excess fluid, waste products etc can be processed by the liver and kidneys and then be excreted from the body.
The lymphatic system allows one-way movement of excess fluid into the blood circulation and by doing so maintains the fluid balance in the body. It also collects excess lymph from the tissues and removes it.
The system can get clogged or not function very well if it gets unbalanced. If you have ever injured a wrist or ankle for example, it can get very swollen (called oedema) and you are encouraged to raise it above the heart, so that gravity can help lymph flow back into the blood.
Oedema (swelling) is a sign that the normal exchange between the lymphatic system and the circulatory system is not functioning properly. Obstructions in the lymphatic system, particularly at the lymph nodes means that the lymph does not properly drain.
A lymphatic cleanse is a period of time where you seek to do things that support this natural system.
The approach that we take for a lymphatic cleanse at La Crisalida Retreats is holistic and includes the eight areas of the health and wellbeing programme:
Coming on a retreat is a great way to cleanse your lymphatic system and give it a much-needed kick-start!
After your retreat you can maintain the good habits that you have created during your stay with us. We encourage you to:
Over the years I’ve written many articles about detox, which are published on our health and wellbeing blog. If you want to find out more information, you might like to read the following articles:
Come and participate in one of our detox retreats and experience the health benefits for yourself.