When lymph gets congested, you might experience tiredness, stiffness in the morning or stiffness that moves around the body. The skin can break out in an attempt to flush toxins through the skin that healthy lymph would otherwise manage. Sinus irritation, the inability to tolerate certain foods, environmental sensitivities, holding on to water in the hands and feet, and bloating around the belly are all signs of lymphatic congestion. During menstruation, the breasts can become tender and hold water, as the lymph drains the reproductive fluid.
Drink water, dry brush ~ the Linda way… and exercise
Lymph drainage can be applied to more than 60 different conditions, from lymphedema to sinus congestion to all sorts of musculoskeletal problems. By removing metabolic wastes, excess fluid build up, toxins, bacteria, large protein molecules and foreign substances from the tissues we create a healthier body. This is why many Naturopaths recommend lymph drainage either during or following body detoxification cleanses. So if you fall under the category of generally feeling sluggish, lymph drainage is an excellent, gentle way to start on your path towards a healthier body.
It also helps to reduce pain signals being sent to the brain, as well as relaxes the sympathetic nervous system which is heavily affected by stress. In other words, it will help combat the negative side affects of stress and bring the body into a more balanced state.
As well as enhancing and supporting the immune system, lymph drainage speeds up the recovery for those who’ve had recent surgical trauma, injuries, and chronic conditions. These treatments help to reduce scar formation after injuries and surgery by removing the excess swelling and dead floating tissue debris associated with these conditions.
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Dry Brushing the Linda way
Dry brushing leaves your skin exfoliated and more readily able to excrete toxins through sweat, absorb the nutrients you apply with lotions and oils, and helps your lymph flow to keep your body healthy, and it takes less than 5 minutes. Ayurvedic texts recommend daily skin brushing to keep the urinary system working properly, as the skin is known as the third kidney. Properly conditioned skin will have less breakouts and other undesirable skin conditions like cellulite.
First of all.. Remember your body is smart. It knows what to do you just have to listen to it, like a two year old does. A two year old eats or doesn’t eat when their body tells them to. They can actually sleep anywhere when their body says they are tired. So lets start knowing our bodies.
You can use a body brush if that is what you choose but you can’t use the brush on your breast tissue or face. That skin is to tender. Also a brush holds dead skin cells and I really don’t want to think of that bacteria going back on my body. So I use a simple cotton wash cloth.
You start with a dry cloth on dry skin. Beginning at the top of the foot and go toward the heart on each leg, front and back. Then belly and back then hands and arms. Just bring everything to the heart area. When you are done you can turn on the water in the shower rinse off the cloth, soap it up and do it all again on a wet body. Now you have washed moving with your bodies system. As you towel dry…. Do it up. Towards the heart.
Now you’re done. Easy, simple, and your body will feel alive.
Happy Brushing (wash clothing) 😀
Lymphwaves.com The Rapha Center
New Findings Link Iodine to Breast Health
Current research suggests that iodine supports breast health in more ways than one:
- Iodine has been shown to offer a powerful anti-oxidant support for the breast tissue equal to that of vitamin C (3). When the breast tissue is deficient in iodine, there may be an increase in lipid peroxidation (cell damage), one of the first indicators of breast health risk (4).
- Low iodine levels have been shown to increase the amount of circulating estrogens in the breast. Consequently, iodine-deficient breast tissue has shown an increase of estrogen receptor proteins, making iodine–deficient breasts a target for toxic estrogens and thereby increasing the risk of breast health issues (5).
- Stress is also a big contributor to the health of the breasts and thyroid. Excess levels of cortisol—a stress hormone—have been linked to a weakened system and breast health issues. Iodine helps support healthy cortisol levels (6).
- In animal studies, iodine was shown to support protective breast health by 2.5 times (7).
- At a dose of 3-6mgs per day, iodine was shown to support healthy breast tissue by 65% as assessed subjectively by the patients and their doctors (9).
The Japanese Contrast
Because of the high availability of iodine-rich sea vegetables, the traditional Japanese diet is naturally rich in iodine. In fact, consumption of iodine in Japan is 25 times the amount of western consumption (10). The Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for iodine in the US is 150mcg per day, 15% of one mg. By contrast, the average Japanese consumption of iodine is 6-13mgs per day, significantly more than we consume in the west (11).
There may be two major reasons why iodine has become so deficient in the west. First, there has been a significant reduction of salt intake. While iodine is not a natural component of sea salt, it has been added to salt beginning in 1924 to combat an iodine deficiency epidemic that was causing goiters and thyroid issues country-wide, especially in the land-locked areas of the country. This was extremely effective and has been a major source of iodine in America since. However, refined salt has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular concerns, and many health-conscious folks have cut this iodized product out of their diet, opting for sea salt instead.
A second major source of iodine since the 1960’s has been commercial breads—in 1960 iodine was added to bread as a dough conditioner. One slice of bread offered 150mcg of iodine, 100% of the DRI (then called the Recommended Daily Allowance or RDA). In 1980 the iodine was replaced with bromine, which competes with iodine receptors. As a result of these two factors, iodine levels have plummeted by more than 50% in the last 30 years.
The Ayurvedic Perspective
In Ayurveda, iodine is considered to be a natural immune boosting agent for the blood. It was in fact considered an immune boosting medicine in the 1800s. Because of its role in normalizing metabolism via the thyroid, it was used to support balanced weight, mood, and cardiovascular function.
According to Ayurveda, iodine is also a bile thinner and lymph mover. Poor bile flow compromises the natural detoxification pathways as well as the utilization of the good essential fatty acids. As a lymph mover, iodine supports cellular metabolism, and helps the body drain waste and toxins that may accumulate in between cells. These accumulated toxins may be a major contributing factor to histamine reactions to pollens, pollutants, and hard-to-digest foods like wheat and dairy.
Because much of the breast tissue is drained by the lymphatic system, it is important for breast health that the body’s lymphatic flow be optimal. Breast swelling or tenderness around menstruation, as well as other breast issues, may be related to sluggish lymphatic drainage.
Where to Get Iodine Today?
There are plenty of reasons not to go back to iodized table salt and enriched commercial bread, so where does one get iodine today?
Unfortunately, iodine is not available in sufficient quantities in most foods. Sea vegetables such as kombu, also called kelp, may be the most reliable dietary source – although, radiation contamination must be considered.
Experts agree that it is safe to supplement with 3-6mgs, or 3000-6000mcg of iodine per day to help support optimal breast health in a toxic environment (13). Many experts recommend not to take more than 3 mgs per day, which is much more than what is in the average American diet.
Experts believe that an effective iodine supplement should contain both iodine and iodide. Iodine is concentrated in different forms by different tissues of the body. The thyroid and skin concentrate the iodide form and the breast and prostrate concentrate the iodine form. If you choose to supplement, look for a product with both iodine and iodide (14).
The area of breast health is one more addition to the well-documented benefits of iodine. Whether you choose to supplement, or to make sea vegetables a mainstay in your diet, make sure you are getting enough of this rare, essential mineral.
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The lymphatic system, which is closely linked with the immune system, helps to clear the body of harmful metabolic waste products, foreign material, and cell debris. All cells release metabolic waste products into, and take up nutrients from, a surrounding solution called extracellular fluid or connective tissue. The degree of nourishment and efficiency of the cells depends on how swiftly and completely waste material is removed from the extracellular fluid. Since most waste products cannot pass directly into the blood for excretion, they accumulate in the extracellular fluid until they are removed and detoxified by the lymphatic system. The potentially harmful material is filtered and neutralized by lymph nodes that are strategically located throughout the body. One of the key functions of the lymphatic system is to keep the extracellular fluid clear of toxic substances, which makes this a system of utmost importance
Acupuncture Treatment for Lymphedema
It is rare that I offer my own personal opinion on a treatment. Usually I give the information so you can make up your own minds.
However, there is one treatment that is beginning to be used for lymphedema that I feel so strongly about~~Dangers with Acupuncture and Lymphedema
1. The many holes put into your leg offers a wide open gate to potentially life threatening infection. Bacteria will have many access points to inside your lymphedema limb.
2. The lymphorrea (fluid) that is drained by this action has disastrous effects on your skin. The fluid is very caustic and can cause severe deterioration of the dermal layers. Skin breakdown from this fluid is a very real danger.
3. This is only a crude stop-gap treatment method. Without proper wrapping and garment use, the fluid will simply re-collect. You must have the treatment that will prevent the accumulation of fluid.
Please before you even begin to try this treatment, the consequences.
I recommend acupuncture for many people and I believe that it helps in many problems with your body but I had to write this… food for thought
Lymphedema is a condition for which there is no cure, at the present time. It occurs in patients, primarily women coping with breast cancer, healing from the lymph node dissection surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy treatments associated with it.
Lymphedema is an accumulation of lymphatic fluid in the interstitial tissue that causes swelling, most often in the arm(s) and or leg(s), and occasionally in other parts of the body. Lymphedema can develop when lymphatic vessels are missing or impaired (Primary), or when lymph vessels are damaged or lymph nodes removed (secondary).
When the impairment becomes so great that the lymphatic fluid exceeds the lymphatic transport capacity of the vessels, an abnormal amount of protein-rich fluid collects in the tissues of the affected area. Left untreated, this stagnant, protein-rich fluid not only causes tissue channels to increase in size, but also reduces oxygen availability in the transport system, interferes with wound healing, and provides a culture medium for bacteria that can result in lymphangitis (infection).
The accumulation of the high protein lymphedmatous fluid causes chronic inflammation and fibrosis in the affected extremity, due to the large size of protein molecules not being able to be transported through the lymphatic circulatory system. This condition can be extremely debilitating at times if left untreated. Stage 4 level of Elephantiasis can occur in these extremities where the limb is left useless and susceptible to infection.
The signs or symptoms of lymphedema to watch out for include: a full sensation in the limb(s), skin feeling tight, decrease flexibility in the hand, wrist or ankle, difficulty fitting into clothing in one specific area or ring/watchband/bracelet tightness. If you notice persistent swelling, it is very important that you seek immediate medical advice as early diagnosis and treatment improves both the prognosis and the condition.
by Linda Cloward LMT ~ The Rapha Center