Loving the Lymph System: Our Spring Freshet
The beginnings of Spring mark the start of the journey of emerging: the slow and steady ascent back into a growth cycle again. Our patience and will to survive and thrive through the dark, cold introverted Winter months is rewarded with the beauty of the gentle snow drop poking her head through the damp ground, by the song of the robin and the rush of the creeks; with the sun cascading through the clouds to warm our skin once again.
This is the time of the freshet, the wetlands become swollen with winter’s release, our creeks and streams rise, our rivers rush swiftly with the shedding of the waters of last season. Just as the natural world flushes its waters, cleansing them through the wetlands and marshes, spring offers us an opportunity to do the same, to release winter’s storage, its heaviness and stagnation. What served us well in Winter is meant to be released; allowing space for the lightness, the new and fresh optimism that spring so generously offers.
The waters of our body are managed and maintained in part by the lymphatic system, a network of tissues and organs that aid in ridding the body of toxins, waste and other unwanted materials while bathing the cell level in vital nutritents. The word “lymph” comes from the Latin word lympha, which means “connected to water.” The intelligent design of our lymph systems demands we remain active for the fluid to circulate and move throughout our bodies.
Spring is a wonderful time to connect with our lymph systems to help flow it more effectively, aiding all body systems in their ability to take out the waste and discarded remnants of the Winter gone by. When we shed away the spent and used energy we make space for growth to occur, for new, fresh water to flow.
Morning Ritual for Lymph Love
The time upon arising and getting organized and ready for your day can be hectic, rushed and often spent disconnected to one’s self, both physically and emotionally. When time is allowed for self care we make space to check in, giving us a moment to meet our unique needs and create a flow to our day that is more sustainable, more manageable and harmonious. Including a Lymph Love focused Ritual in Spring connects us to the waters of our body and allows for us to integrate into the rhythm of this new and nourishing season.
FIVE METHODS TO LOVE YOUR LYMPH
- Begin each day with a fresh, clean, warm glass of water that includes a squeeze of fresh lemon, a teaspoon of raw apple cider vinegar or a splash of homemade kombucha or tibicos. By consuming your water warm you gentle encourage your digestive juices to wake up and get ready for action, cold water will shock the digestion, slowing the release of important enzymes and impairing absorption of nutrients. That squeeze or splash of something acidic will fire up your digestive juices, kindling your internal mechanisms to kick in.
- When you are just about done that first glass of water add in your dosage of an alterative herbal formula. Easiest taken with a tincture formula you may also wish to consume as a tea. Alterative herbs are those that specifically work to clean the blood and some directly support healthy lymph flow (called Lympathics). You may wish to include herbs such as Arctium lappa (Burdock root), Gallium aparine (Cleavers), Taraxacum off. (Dandelion leaf), Urtica diocia (Nettle leaf), Alnus rubra (Alder bark), Ceonothus americanus (Red Root).
- Next hop on that rebounder. As mentioned above the lymph likes movement, its needs the muscles to squish and move it to the glands for it to drain. Even better it likes us to defy gravity. Take 10 minutes and jump away your troubles, allow the lymph to flow, collecting debris, bathing the cells with life sustaining fluids and freshening the body in general. This is your own spring Freshet!
- Now its time for the dry skin brush treatment. Using a course, natural bristle brush work from your feet upwards. Begin to brush the skin, always in a direction towards the heart. Move upwards to the thigh and buttocks area. Brush your torso thoroughly and then your arms and finally your neck, avoiding your face, ending by brushing towards the lymphatic nodes that are located near your armpits below the collar bone. Take your time and enjoy the lovely feeling of dry skin brushing.
The benefits are profound and include:
- Cellulite reduction
- Removing the dead skin layers, encourages cells to regenerate
- Strengthen immune system function
- Stimulate the hormone and oil-producing glands
- Tighten the skin preventing premature aging
- Tones the muscles
- Improves circulation
- Improves function of the nervous system
- Tones digestion
- Aids the skin in its detox role for the body
- And of course: Cleanses and supports the lymphatic system
- Time for the Tub: Include hydrotherapy in your morning lymph love ritual. Prepare a bath using ¼ cup of Epsom salts with 10 – 20 drops of a lymphatic focused essential oil blend. Citrus essential oils have an affinity for the lymph system, as do some of the tree oils. Look for Pink Grapefruit (Citrus paradisii), Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis), Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), Juniper (Juniperus communis), Lemon (Citrus limonum) and Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) to help encourage the waters of your lymph system to flow. Finding the correct temperature for your bath is essential, not too hot is important. Follow your tub soak with a cold rinse off to further stimulate the lymph to flow.
BONUS: Once out of the tub and towel off try the classic yoga pose called Legs up the Wall (a passive, supported version of Viparita Karani).
Remember, the lymph loves it when we defy gravity, making its job of flowing upwards to the collarbone area easier and swifter. Scooch your bum to the edge of the floor where the wall and floor meet. Next put lie on your back and put your legs up the wall, focus on your breath and take a few moments to relax and tune in to how your body feels. Starting your day with this new, ritual for Lymph Love will help reset your body systems in general with a focus on flowing your waters fully through the body.