Could a lymphatic drainage massage improve your gut health?
There are many lifestyle and diet changes you can try to improve your microbiome and gut health from increasing fibre intake to getting plenty of exercise. But gut people have another trick up their sleeve: lymphatic drainage massage.
To find out more, we spoke to the massage experts at Urban about the lymphatic system, lymphatic drainage massage, and how it can help improve your gut health.
What is the lymphatic system?
The lymphatic system plays an instrumental role in protecting us from infection and disease. This network of tissues and organs is part of the body’s immune system and assists in removing toxins, waste and other unwanted materials from the body.
The principal function of the lymphatic system is the transportation of lymph, a fluid containing the white blood cells that are essential for fighting infections throughout the body. Lymph fluid passes through lymphatic vessels to the all important lymph nodes which filter the lymph.
In short, the lymph system keeps your whole body healthy by helping it respond to infections and disease.
Why is our lymphatic system important to gut health?
Toxins, dead cells and certain metals can accumulate in the body. A healthy flowing lymph helps flush all these toxins out. This system is especially important in filtering all the food we eat. In fact over half of your lymph nodes are concentrated around your abdomen and pelvis.
If your lymphatic system isn’t working properly, waste can build up, increasing inflammation, affecting your metabolism and how your body responds to certain foods. This can worsen bloating, constipation and other unpleasant gut issues.
What is a lymphatic drainage massage?
A lymphatic drainage massages uses light pressure at a slow pace, with soft pumping movements on the lymph nodes to open them up. It helps the flow of fluids towards the lymph nodes where toxins and waste is filtered.
The massage isn’t designed to make you sleep, but it’s normal to feel a little tired afterwards. You’ll probably also need to pee as waste products are flushed out of your system. It’s important to drink lots of water at this stage.
Check out Urban’s page on lymphatic drainage massage for more information and to try one for yourself.
The gut- boosting benefits of lymphatic drainage massage
A lymphatic drainage massage is all about movement and flow: the flow of your lymph system and the flow of your bowels too.
Flushes toxins and built up waste products
Helps ease water retention
Releases air and gas from the body
Stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS)
Relaxes muscles and tension which can in turn improve digestion and bowel movements
How to increase the benefits of your lymphatic drainage massage
Take your results even further with a few extra steps that will encourage your lymph system to flow smoothly and flush out any toxins.
Gentle exercise within 24 hours
Drinking lots of lukewarm water or herbal teas
Yoga or deep breathing
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