After the excesses of Christmas and the celebrations and excitement of one year ending and to what the New Year may bring, our attention in January always turns to detoxing our bodies and losing weight.
Everyone at this time of year is talking about how you can detox your body. There are numerous offers and ads asking you to join a gym, go on a fad diet and stop drinking alcohol. There are also ads for various supplements, shakes and drinks to help you detox. However, your body is designed to detox itself, that's why you have a lymphatic system, immune system, kidneys and a liver.
Over the past 11 years, I have learned about how the lymphatic system works, more specifically to be able to treat lymphoedema (a condition caused by having a damaged lymphatic system). But, over time I've become aware and ultimately more knowledgeable, of how issues that affect the lymphatic system, can affect us. We can all admit to saying at some point that we feel bloated, tired, sluggish, lacking energy. This can largely be due to lymphatic/immune system issues.
Most people know about Cancer and we often hear that if the disease in the lymph nodes, 'it's not good news'. This is because your lymphatic system circulates hormones, immune cells, blood cells, viruses and unfortunately, cancer cells. So, we know that if cancer cells are in the lymph nodes, that it's not good because the cancer can spread to other parts of the body via the lymphatic system. However, do we ever stop to think about how other things can affect our lymphatic system. For instance foods, alcohol, our lifestyle and even the environment can affect our lymphatic system and in turn affect how we feel, how we look and how susceptible we become to infections? I try not to think about it. After all, life is for living. I like eating steak. I like drinking wine. I've been guilty of working horrendous hours and of either standing or sitting for too long because I like spending the money I work hard for. I like sunbathing. And I like walking through a busy city. And I'm sure many of you reading this like to do the same. But do we think about how all this might affect our bodies?
Now, I'm not saying that doing any of the above is wrong. I think that we're all aware of the saying: 'Everything in Moderation', or as Roman comic dramatist Plautus (c.250–184 bc), states: ‘moderation in all things is the best policy.’ And when we do excess of anything, we want to then 'fix' ourselves. To detox ourselves. I for one, after the excesses of too much food and fizz over Christmas now feel bloated and, for want of a better word, toxic.
So, during January I, like numerous others, will go off alcohol and try to lose weight. I'll go back to doing more exercise to make me feel better about myself. Muscle movement is great for encouraging movement of lymphatic fluid through this fascinating and complex system, as is having lymphatic massage. Lymphatic massage, or Manual Lymphatic Drainage, has numerous health benefits like:
Increasing immune cell production
Improves symptoms of sinusitus
Removes unwanted, damaging cells from the body i.e.: bacteria and virusis
Reduces swelling after an accident, injury, trauma or surgery
If you are unable to exercise regularly you should definitely have lymphatic massage to help circulation of 'good cells', like immune cells and removal of 'bad cells' like toxins and viruses. We should be more aware of how treatments like this can benefit us. Germans have lymphatic massage as a matter of course. It's something they've always done, along with having a sauna. I won't mention the benefits of a healthy diet, that's a topic for a nutritionist. However, it goes without saying: a healthy body and lifestyle, means a much healthier you.
Have a Very Happy and Healthy New Year!
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