10 Ways to Improve Your Lymphatic System Function

Cancer & Heart Disease

How to boost your immune system
The results have been mixed. Protect yourself from dementia, stroke and brain injury with PQQ August 26, The answer is "yes" if you're uncomfortable, or if you're going to be outdoors for an extended period where such problems as frostbite and hypothermia are a risk. There are still relatively few studies of the effects of nutrition on the immune system of humans, and even fewer studies that tie the effects of nutrition directly to the development versus the treatment of diseases. Maintain a healthy weight. While some people age healthily, the conclusion of many studies is that, compared with younger people, the elderly are more likely to contract infectious diseases and, even more importantly, more likely to die from them.

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11 Ways to Boost Your Lymphatic System for Great Health

To function well, it requires balance and harmony. There is still much that researchers don't know about the intricacies and interconnectedness of the immune response. For now, there are no scientifically proven direct links between lifestyle and enhanced immune function.

But that doesn't mean the effects of lifestyle on the immune system aren't intriguing and shouldn't be studied. Researchers are exploring the effects of diet, exercise, age, psychological stress, and other factors on the immune response, both in animals and in humans.

In the meantime, general healthy-living strategies are a good way to start giving your immune system the upper hand. A healthy immune system can defeat invading pathogens as shown above, where two bacteria that cause gonorrhea are no match for the large phagocyte, called a neutrophil, that engulfs and kills them see arrows. Your first line of defense is to choose a healthy lifestyle. Following general good-health guidelines is the single best step you can take toward naturally keeping your immune system strong and healthy.

Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults and bolstered by healthy-living strategies such as these:.

Maintain a healthy weight. Take steps to avoid infection , such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly. Many products on store shelves claim to boost or support immunity. But the concept of boosting immunity actually makes little sense scientifically. In fact, boosting the number of cells in your body — immune cells or others — is not necessarily a good thing. For example, athletes who engage in "blood doping" — pumping blood into their systems to boost their number of blood cells and enhance their performance — run the risk of strokes.

Attempting to boost the cells of your immune system is especially complicated because there are so many different kinds of cells in the immune system that respond to so many different microbes in so many ways. Which cells should you boost, and to what number? So far, scientists do not know the answer. What is known is that the body is continually generating immune cells. Certainly it produces many more lymphocytes than it can possibly use.

The extra cells remove themselves through a natural process of cell death called apoptosis — some before they see any action, some after the battle is won. No one knows how many cells or what the best mix of cells the immune system needs to function at its optimum level. What can improve your mood, boost your ability to fend off infection, and lower your risk for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and colon cancer?

The answer is regular exercise. It may seem too good to be true, but it's not. Hundreds of studies demonstrate that exercise helps you feel better and live longer. This report answers many important questions about physical activity. It will also help guide you through starting and maintaining an exercise program that suits your abilities and lifestyle.

As we age, our immune response capability becomes reduced, which in turn contributes to more infections and more cancer. As life expectancy in developed countries has increased, so too has the incidence of age-related conditions. While some people age healthily, the conclusion of many studies is that, compared with younger people, the elderly are more likely to contract infectious diseases and, even more importantly, more likely to die from them. Respiratory infections, influenza, and particularly pneumonia are a leading cause of death in people over 65 worldwide.

No one knows for sure why this happens, but some scientists observe that this increased risk correlates with a decrease in T cells, possibly from the thymus atrophying with age and producing fewer T cells to fight off infection.

Whether this decrease in thymus function explains the drop in T cells or whether other changes play a role is not fully understood. Others are interested in whether the bone marrow becomes less efficient at producing the stem cells that give rise to the cells of the immune system.

A reduction in immune response to infections has been demonstrated by older people's response to vaccines. For example, studies of influenza vaccines have shown that for people over age 65, the vaccine is much less effective compared to healthy children over age 2. But despite the reduction in efficacy, vaccinations for influenza and S. You can help clear a congested lymphatic system by raising your consumption of raw foods — particularly fruits and vegetables, which have naturally-occurring enzymes that help clear toxins and promote their exit from the body.

Fruits and vegetables also raise the water level in the body and help to hydrate it, while their healthy amounts of fiber promote intestinal function, making it easier for intestinal fluids to migrate to lymph nodes.

Also, raw foods tend to be alkaline, helping to neutralize pathogens and relieve the burden on the lymph. In addition, at the same time, try to reduce consumption of lymph-clogging dairy, sugar, gluten and processed foods. As the lymphatic system is 95 percent water, it is important to avoid becoming dehydrated.

Experts advise drinking half your weight, in ounces, of water a day. Remember, not all water is created equal — so if possible drink pure spring water or purified water to reduce your toxic burden. Use an inversion table, which allows you to be suspended upside down while strapped in by the feet. Being in this unusual position can help promote free-flowing lymph. Use a quality inversion table with a safety strap to control the angle of inversion and safety locks to hold it in place. Herbal substances can enhance the lymphatic system by improving lymphatic flow and drainage and facilitating removal of toxins.

Goosegrass, or Galium aparnine — also known as cleavers — is a time-honored lymphatic tonic, valued for removing and draining trapped bacteria from lymph glands. Using a brush with coarse bristles, gently brush the skin in the direction of the heart. Although you may feel silly doing this, experts say it stimulates circulation and encourages the movement of lymph. By the way, dry brushing can be particularly helpful in breaking down deposits of cellulite caused by a sluggish lymphatic system.

Utilized in the body to break down proteins and aid in digestion and metabolism, enzymes can help dissolve and clear away toxic accumulations in both the lymph and the blood, promoting lymphatic drainage and stimulating the immune system. You can take them as a supplement — or obtain them through diet by eating papaya, which contains the enzyme papain, and pineapple, which contains bromelain.

Designed to stimulate the flow of lymph and drainage of toxins, specialized lymphatic massage uses gentle pressure and rhythmic circular motions.

You can also perform a do-it-yourself version by gently massaging the lymph nodes under your jaw. Dry skin brush before showering. Use a natural bristle brush. Brush your dry skin in circular motions upward from the feet to the torso and from the fingers to the chest. You want to work in the same direction as your lymph flows—toward the heart. Alternate hot and cold showers for 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. 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. There are countless benefits of getting your lymphatic system moving more efficiently, including more energy, less pain, and improved detoxification. Follow me on Twitter mschoffrocook and Facebook. Share it with your friends tweet email.

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