When you think of circulation, do you picture…. your snot? What about your sweat? Maybe not, but healthy circulation does include two tandem systems: the cardiovascular circulatory system and the lymphatic circulatory system.

Nutrient-rich blood travels away from your heart through capillaries. Nearby in tissue cells, in an exchange for nutrients, fluid, called interstitial fluid or “lymph,” is squeezed from blood, then transports waste to your lymph nodes (via a series of vessels similar to veins) where the fluid is neutralized, filtered, and eventually returned to the bloodstream.”

The lymphatic system is a big part of immune health, prevents various cancers and strengthens your immune system. Unfortunately, the lymphatic system is the body’s red-headed step child: it doesn’t have a powerful organ like the heart to keep fluid flowing. Instead, it must be stimulated. There are lots of ways to improve your lymphatic health. Here are 9 of the most effective to stimulate your circulation every day!

Massage two ways

treat yourself to a lymphatic massage

Find a lymphatic massage specialist

While the heart continuously pumps blood through the blood vessels, the lymphatic system relies on the movement of smooth muscles to transport fluid through the lymph vessels.

Any type of massage can help with this, but if you feel your system needs more care, consider  decongestive lymphatic therapy (DLT). This type of massage can reduce swelling and improve circulation throughout the lymphatic system. The program typical include lymphatic drainage massage, compression garments, exercise and skin care.

Or do it yourself! 

You can also learn techniques for self-massage through many good online resources. Consider tools like a jade roller to use in your skin care routine on a daily basis. 

Watery Ways to improve your Lymphatic Health

Drink A Lot of H20…

It shouldn’t be a surprise that water flushes out your lymphatic system— so stay hydrated! 

And Do Hydrotherapy!

Use hot and cold water and steam to stimulate your capillaries to open and release toxins. This can include going to the sauna, or even steaming up your bathroom for a half hour with a hot shower and soak!

Switching between hot and cold water also stimulates your circulation. Many spas with saunas and steam rooms also have cold baths or showers to help you get the full scope of hydrotherapy.

Detox with ACV 

So maybe this Southern BBQ bowl's cider-braised greens aren't the same as drinking Apple Cider Vinegar.... But, there is a Whole30 approved version on this week's meals!
So maybe this Southern BBQ bowl’s cider-braised greens aren’t the same as drinking Apple Cider Vinegar…. But, there is a Whole30 approved version on this week’s meals!

According to Patch.com, Apple cider vinegar can help detox your home, but it can also detox your body. It can help promote circulation and detoxify the liver. The acid in ACV can also bind to toxins which can assist in removing toxins from the body. Apple cider vinegar’s potassium content helps to break up mucus in the body and clearing the lymph nodes. This also aids in the removal of toxins. Add apple cider into your diet and check out these other ways to detox.

Incorporate cardio and strength training into workouts.

Cardio keeps your cardiac system moving, but sweat also helps drain the lymphatic system. A great workout for this is trampolining. As silly as it sounds, by jumping, you not only move lymph from your sinuses to your throat, but the opposite way too! On the other side, the muscle movements of strength-training anaerobic exercises help push lymph through the muscles to drain. 

Wear comfortable clothes

Not only are tight bandage dresses and skinny jeans out of style, they can cut off your circulation and trap fluids in the wrong places. Keep it comfy, especially during exercise.

Practice Deep Breathing

woman meditating farm to fit ways to improve your lymphatic health

Deep breathing serves a pump for the Lymphatic System and keeps lymph fluid flowing at an ideal pace to remove harmful toxins while blood carries oxygen to the body. Practice yoga, meditation, or simply stop to take a few deep breaths throughout the day.

Try an algae-sourced supplement 

Spirulina, kelp, nori, wakame, chlorella, and dulse are types of seaweed and algae your body love. They are not just cleansing for the body, but are also incredibly nutrient- dense, providing high amounts of iron, omega 3’s, Vitamin A, protein, magnesium, B vitamins, iodine, and chlorophyll. Try to add a teaspoon of these to your diet if you can.

Eat berries, seeds, citrus and greens. 

Healthy fibers scrape toxins from the digestive system — they’re also vitamin-packed. Cranberries especially have detoxifying properties. Work some in with this week’s meals!