This article is about the Lymphatic System. It is best read when jumping on a small rebounder trampoline. If that is unavailable (go get one!), the other reading-friendly option is to cycle through a few yoga positions starting with sun salutations and then moving on to downward facing dog and cat-cow. This movement will make more sense shortly, assuming you can read this while bouncing up and down for 5-10 minutes.
Why is this best read while moving? The lymphatic system is a critical part of the immune system protecting you from invaders and fighting infections. The body has over four hundred nodes connected through lymph vessels that are like your blood vessels only there is no muscle to pump the fluid. Movement stimulates the lymph flow encouraging your lymphatic activity and preventing blockages. One of the best ways to get this movement is to bounce on a rebounder trampoline. Others can be a brisk walk, high-intensity interval training including squats and lunges, or yoga. For best results, do this every day.
There are other ways to stimulate and improve your lymphatic system health, but first, let’s explore why it is so important.
What does your lymphatic system do?
The lymph vessels pump lymph fluid that contains white blood cells called lymphocytes. These cells attack invaders and produce antibodies that fight infections. The system helps regulate immune activity allowing your immune cells to monitor your cells and tissues throughout the body. The lymph system also filters toxins from your tissues. This is done in lymph nodes spread throughout the body, especially the neck, armpits, and around the digestive tract. The spleen and thymus are critical for helping filter out harmful substances like bacteria, viruses, cancerous cells, and other foreign matter.
Great! Now why am I still bouncing around?
The lymph system does not have its own pump and flows upward toward the neck. Without movement it is challenging to move fluid along, then you can suffer from swollen glands and your risk of infection is much greater. Luckily, even deep breathing from the bottom of your lungs can help this process, but jumping on a mini trampoline is way more fun!
Can I stop bouncing now?
Yeah, probably. Don’t worry, there are other ways to stimulate the lymphatic system.
- Dry brushing – use a soft natural bristle brush and sweep towards your heart for 5-10 minutes before your bath or shower.
- Massage – using a light pressure technique to move the lymph called lymphatic drainage massage.
- Deep breathing from the bottom of the diaphragm while letting your belly expand works.
- Hydration! Staying hydrated is critical as even mild dehydration can inhibit lymphatic flow.
- Infrared sauna treatments – increased sweat production and improved blood flow help detox the body and can be quite relaxing.