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Heal Yourself Topics

The 1-2-3 Method
3 Phases of Healing
Water for Health
Moist Heat Therapy
Lymph System Health
Fascial Health

More to come!

To give anything but your best is to sacrifice the gift
Steve Prefontaine

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3 Phases of Healing.

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Most depicted as our body’s waste filtration system, a properly functioning lymph network is critical not only for sustained health, but also when one is injured, or suffering from a chronic health condition or disease.

The Lymphatic System (lymphs) is part of our Circulatory System and a major component of our Immune System. This vital system lying just below our dermal layers is a network of organs, nodes, ducts and vessels that carry lymph fluid full of both immune cells and any cellular and bacterial debris from tissues to the blood stream to be processed by the liver and kidneys.

Excellent for Lymph Health

An herbal remedy protocol is invaluable in the Inflammatory and Repair phases of healing, when the most stress is put upon the Lymph System to push antibodies to affected areas and to flush debris and toxins away.

  • Rubbing an herbal topical (transdermal) spray, lotion or salve into the skin opens the pores, creates heat, and activates lymph flow.
  • A transdermal Magnesium spray penetrates cellular structures and conducts a massive healing event, including expelling toxins and waste that accumulate at an injured site and moving them into the lymphs.
  • A tincture or tea immediately moves into the bloodstream, moving to affected body areas or toning healthy tissues, organs and joints.


Lymph System = Waste Management

lymph systemWhen injured or ridden with a health condition, a lot of cellular activity is taking place in the body. A massive repair job moves immune cells on site to fight foreign invaders, such as bacteria and viruses, and to destroy abnormal or damaged cells for removal. This “destroy and/or remove” process is ongoing for days and weeks.

In cold mechanical terms, the Lymph System is the body’s sewage or waste system, with two vital functions — in its fluid are immune cells immediately sent to injured sites to rally healing, and, its accumulating fluid-waste is carried to the kidneys and liver for further detoxing and extraction of micronutrients.

The sewage or waste in lymph fluid is made up of the byproducts of our bodily processes (including dead cells generated by recovering from injury or illness), over-the-counter and prescription drugs, illicit drugs, cigarette toxins, other airborne pollutants, food additives, pesticides, etc. You get the picture — it is an everyday job, 24/7, for our body’s waste system.

Previously it was thought that the lymphatic system only went up to our neck, but recent research has mapped new lymphatic vessels going into the brain, uncovering new links between the brain and the immune system. So, as your Lymph System goes, so goes your Immune System!

There is more lymph fluid in our body than blood. It flows in lymphatic vessels alongside blood vessels throughout our body just below the skin. It is comprised of glands, lymph nodes, the spleen, thymus gland and tonsils. It bathes our body’s cells and carries the body’s cellular sewage away from the tissues to the blood, where it can be filtered by two of the body’s main detoxification organs: the liver and kidneys.

This is all great but for the fact that our lymphs have no pumping mechanism (like the heart functions to move blood through arteries and veins) to move any lymph fluid. That is why MOVEMENT is critical!


lymph nodesLymph nodes are important to understand, especially because we might sometimes have “swollen glands” (which are simply infected Lymph nodes) as a result of injury or illness. These nodes are found all throughout the body, but are especially predominant in these areas, and more as seen in the figures: upper inner thighs, armpits, breast, neck.

The Lymph nodes provide antigens for purifying fluids containing anything from allergens to cancer cells before being routed to the liver and kidneys. If lymph doesn’t move out of small lymph nodes through their ducts into the kidneys and liver, it backs up like a clogged sewer line. Ergo, an infected Lymph node, or “swollen gland.”

Lymph nodes are not glands, but the accumulation of contaminated lymph fluids in a lymph node can lead to all sorts of health complications, some serious. The main reason is because, unlike blood vessels that can pump blood, via the heart, throughout the body, Lymphs have no pumping mechanism to get rid of the waste.



Movement is Vital for Health!

A sedentary lifestyle encourages poor health. It does not matter if you sit in front of a TV or video game console for hours, sit at a desk in front of a computer, or even must convalesce from an injury. The result is the same within a matter of minutes: The Lymph system shuts down — THAT'S JUST THE WAY IT IS, FOLKS!

Poor lymphatic flow can cause an increase in fluid retention, increase the appearance of cellulite, and lead to more toxin accumulation in the body. The Fat Flush Plan author, Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, estimates that 80 percent of women have sluggish lymphatic systems and that getting them flowing smoothly is the key to easy weight loss and improved feelings of well-being.

Lack of Movement Harms the Immune System!

lymphsA clogged, sluggish, or shutdown Lymph System easily compromises the Immune System. The Lymphs contain lymph fluid toxins that need to be drained and eliminated through the kidneys. If this does not happen regularly (like daily!), then the immune system becomes chronically stressed. This is why people who suffer from autoimmune conditions (Lyme is a good example) must keep their Lymph system active, so that toxins and bacterial debris are removed.

Moving lymph fluids is especially important for women who wear bras, and for people who use underarm deodorants containing toxins such as aluminum. Those toxins leech into abundant lymph node areas nearby and just beneath the skin.

There are countless benefits of getting your lymphatic system moving more efficiently, including more energy, less pain, improved detoxification, and much faster healing!



If you are suffering from injuries, excess weight or cellulite, or pain disorders like arthritis, bursitis, headaches or other conditions, a sluggish lymphatic system may be playing a role.  Here are 11 ways you can get your lymph flowing smoothly.


sky cloudsOur bodies have three times more lymph fluid than blood, yet no organ to pump it. Your lymph system relies on the pumping action of deep breathing to help it transport toxins into the blood before being detoxified by your liver. So breathe in that sweet smell of healing oxygen. Breathe out toxins.

It may sound strange, but expressive singing (like belting it out in the shower!) is excellent for activating the lymph’s. The reason is because of the bellows-like pumping of the diaphragm in the chest that initiates pulsating movements throughout the lymph system. In a similar way, belly laughing (laugh therapy anyone?) is beneficial.


Exercise also ensures the lymph system flows properly. The best kind is rebounding on a mini trampoline, which can dramatically improve lymph flow, but walking, yoga, stretching and aerobic exercise also work well. One of the best ways to increase circulation is physical activity, and that goes for lymphatic circulation as well. Moving your muscles also creates a pumping action to get the lymph flowing. Find an activity you enjoy and invest some time in it every day.


bouncerRebounding (or bouncing) works very well for moving lymph fluid so that the kidneys and other bodily organs can purify it.

A mini-trampoline bouncer around four feet in diameter is safe. It is close to the ground, so all you do is step up and bounce up and down for 10 to 45 minutes, indoors or outdoors. You don’t even have to leap high enough to clear the spring-bound mat, and you can hold onto something nearby to stabilize yourself if there are balancing issues.

bouncingEach time you bounce you increase the gravitational pull on your lymph. You’re getting low level “G’s” or increased gravitational pulls similar to what you feel from sudden changes of vehicular speed and direction or crazy carnival motion rides. With intense walking or even gentle rebounding, the “G’s” are in vertical alignment with your body and its lymph system.

Any athletic activity that requires jumping and/or running is great. Rebounding, however, is for those of us who might not have the time or capability for assertive activity. Just park the mini-trampoline bouncer nearby and take a rebounding break now and then.

Rebounding Tips:

  • Start with rebounding only 10 minutes or so — get used to it!
  • Mix up your jumping patterns
  • Bored? — listen to your favorite exercise music while bouncing
  • Bounce at commercial break when watching TV
  • Be prepared: Bouncing really does activate the Lymph System! You might experience effects unique to you.


Surprisingly, in this era of hyper-exercising, many health experts are now realizing the merits of walking to move that lymph around. Not leisurely window-shopping strolls, but brisk walks.

walkingWalking is a weight bearing activity. Gravity helps move lymph each time one steps briskly with a slight bound to the ground. The sudden stops of each step with your full weight create additional gravitational pulls, which helps pull the lymph downward. Studies have shown that walking helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

Walking Tips:

  • Walking should be done outdoors in as natural a setting as possible with trees, grass, lakeside or ocean, and open fresh air. Ayurveda stresses the importance of being in nature.
  • The walk should take 20 minutes or more, but 45 minutes is optimal.
  • Four times a week is good enough.
  • Start out as briskly as you can, then move into power walking if possible.
  • Since there are so many lymph nodes in the upper body in addition to the legs, i.e., the armpits neck and shoulders, arm movement should be more extreme than usual. Carrying hand-weights helps exercise and rotate the upper torso.



Without adequate water, lymph fluid cannot flow properly. Water is absolutely critical to health and healing. It is often cited to drink about half your weight in ounces daily, meaning a 160 lb person should drink at least 80 ounces of water. Experimentation with increased water intake will definitely yield benefits, especially better joint flexibility, less aching, headaches, swelling and general discomfort. To help ensure that your cells readily absorb water, add some fresh lemon juice or oxygen or pH drops.


These beverages are laden with Sugar, artificial colors and preservatives that add to the already overburdened workload the lymph system must handle. Foods that don’t react well with your body can lead to inflammation, water retention, weight gain, and poor circulation. Sugar is a big one that everyone should avoid to decrease water retention and improve lymphatic flow. Other common allergens include wheat and dairy, but you should get tested to see what foods affect you.

Drink a Herbal Tea —
Lymph-boostingtea sipping





Many herbal teas are mild and have therapeutic qualities.

Solomon's Seal tea is especially beneficial, as this website shares. Other lymph-supportive herbs include Astragalus, Echinacea, Goldenseal, Pokeroot or Wild Indigo root.

Some teas may interfere with medications. Avoid using herbs while pregnant or lactating and avoid long-term use of any herb without first consulting a qualified professional.

Eat Fruits —

juiceThe enzymes and acids in fruit are powerful lymph cleansers. Eat them on an empty stomach for best digestion and maximum lymph-cleansing benefits.

Most fruits are digested within 30 minutes or so and quickly help you feel better.

Eat Vegetables — Purification & Detoxing

To get adequate chlorophyll to help purify your blood and lymph. A few good foods to focus on that help to detoxify and decrease inflammation include:

heart food

Green leafy vegetables (kale, spinach, arugula, dandelion greens), Garlic, Ginger, and Lemons

Eat Raw, Unsalted Nuts & Seeds —
Essential Fatty Acids

To power up your lymph with adequate fatty acids. Choose from walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and macadamias, Brazil nuts, flaxseeds, sunflower or pumpkin seeds.nuts

Nuts are also an invaluable source for Magnesium, so make sure to include them in your nutritionstyle.


BRUSHINGDry skin brushing helps to stimulate the lymphatic system, increase circulation, promote removal of toxins, and decrease the appearance of cellulite. It also helps to exfoliate your skin, removing dead skin cells.

How to Do It

  • Use a natural bristle brush or a loofah
  • Brush your skin using gentle, circular strokes in the same direction as your lymph flows — toward the heart
  • Start from your feet, brushing upwards the front and back of each leg, and the buttocks.
  • Next, brush your fingers upward toward the upper arms and shoulders.
  • On your abdomen and your back you can brush using short strokes in a circular direction.
  • Avoid doing this on your face, as the dry skin brush can be rough on delicate skin. You should try to do this at the beginning of every shower.

Alternate Hot and Cold Showers

showerFor several minutes. The heat dilates the blood vessels and the cold causes them to contract. Avoid this type of therapy if you have a heart or blood pressure condition or if you are pregnant. The perfect accompaniment to dry skin brushing, ending your regular shower with alternating hot and cold water can be a great way to boost circulation, improve the immune system, and even walk out with a burst of energy.
At the end of your morning shower, turn the tap to hot (as much as you can tolerate) for 2 minutes, and then to cold (as much as your can tolerate) for 30 seconds. It is best to start with warm and cool, and gradually work your way up to your temperature extremes without burning your skin. Also, only do this on the neck down and be careful to avoid your head. Doing this as part of your morning routine will leave you feeling invigorated.



Get a Gentle Massage

Studies show that a gentle massage can push up to 78 percent of stagnant lymph back into circulation. Massage frees trapped toxins. You can also try a lymph drainage massage. It is a special form of massage that specifically targets lymph flow in the body. Whatever type of massage you choose, make sure it is gentle. Too much pressure may feel good on the muscles, but it doesn’t have the same lymph-stimulating effects.



1)     Lymph System. Medline Plus.
2)     Missing Link found between brain, immune system; major disease implications. Science Daily.
3)     Ball J, et al. Seidel’s Guide to Physical Examination. Lymphatic System. Chapter 9; 166-183.





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