Spring is a phase where life comes out of dormancy, waking and warming back up. River ice melts flowing fresh water to areas of need and animals start grazing on plant shoots to regain energy from sparse winter conditions. Our bodies, going through similar cyclical changes having bared the winter weather uses this time to wake up and move stagnation. The body uses the lymphatic system to assist in the removal of stagnation. Waste or by-products from tissue travels by way of the lymphatic system towards the heart through lymphatic vessels into and out of lymphatic nodes and onto lymphatic ducts draining into the circulatory system to be filtered and removed. This whole system amazingly works against gravity without any muscles from within. Pressure from the outside is what moves both superficial and deep lymphatic vessels. The deep lymphatic vessels exist underneath muscles where movement contracts these muscles compressing them and pushes the fluid upward. Superficial lymphatic vessels lay underneath our skin and are compressed by gentle pressure, the weight of a dime. This is the purpose behind skin bushing and light touch massage.
So what does this have to do with allergies? Allergies are a result of the immune systems response to something in the environment on hyperdrive triggering the immune systems army (cytokines, prostaglandins, other fancy medical terms) to check out the situation and respond if needed. The troops can respond via the lymphatic system they can also rest there-in the nodes- or circulate back. Now remember it’s spring, your body is still waking up. You may have not quite cleared the winter crud’s or moved your muscles well enough to remove waste so stagnation and immune system activation can create the perfect storm and back-up fluid or waste. Think of this like a clogged kitchen sink. This is when physical symptoms usually start. Not always disease-like more so quality of life concerns: heaviness, fatigue, sluggishness, congestion, etc. So now, how do we spring clean your lymphatic system to prevent symptoms?
- Diet-Foods fresh, light, and green. Baby salad greens, dandelion greens, sprouts, fiber rich and fresh. Lots of hydration.
- Exercise-Rebounding exercises help the fluid flow back toward your heart like walking on real earth, rebounders, trampolines, etc.
- Thoughts- It’s a new season. Time for regrowth, new beginnings, and change. What stagnated thoughts of yours need reframing?
- Medicine-Think green! Green’s drinks, cleavers, ocotillo, nettles. Cleavers grows like a crazy weed in Austin. Harvest a clean patch and brew tea! Lymphagogue is the herbal term used for herbs that circulate the lymphatic system. Nettles are a great possibility for allergies because they also have an anti-histamine like effect. Now remember the clogged sink analogy. You do NOT want to stimulate circulation when you are not eliminating therefore caution with constipation.
- Lymphatic massage. Make sure to only use the pressure of a dime and circulate towards the heart. Too much pressure can collapse the superficial vessels keeping the fluid from flowing properly. See the video below for an explanation of a simple head and neck lymphatic massage technique.
These Statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to replace medical diagnosis or treatment. If you or your family feel ill it is in your best interest to seek professional medical advice.