The primary function of the lymphatic system is to carry nutrients and waste material between the body tissues and the blood. It is a powerful network of elimination, that help rid the body of toxins, waste and other unwanted/excess fluid and hormones. Lymph nodes filter the fluid, stagnation or blockages in these nodes can mitigate the filtration process, increasing the amount of toxins in the blood and lymph.
The lymphatic system is not pumped around the body like blood. Lymph is pushed throughout the body by the blood system pulse (it runs alongside it) also breathing and muscle contraction. It can be increased by things like exercise, massage and dry body brushing.
How is acne related to the lymphatic system?
Lymph is a main transport mechanism for hormones-mainly progesterone throughout the body. If your lymph is not working properly, progesterone will not be able to get to where it needs to go – which will contribute to the progesterone-deficiency symptoms, which will lead to a imbalance causing a dominance of estrogen in the skin – and hormonal acne will be aggravated.
There are many lymph nodes in the neck, jaw and ear area. In fact, 38% of our body’s lymph nodes, are located in the neck. If the lymphatic system is not working well your lymph fluid will tend to accumulate in the lymph nodes in this area – which means that all the fluid above the lymph nodes will stagnate. If you tend to have a lot of breakouts in those areas – around your ears, around your neck, around your jaw – then there is a chance that your lymph may be stagnated.
Estrogen & Progesterone
With regard to hormones, the main type of imbalance in modern women is what we commonly refer to as “estrogen dominance.” Most women have too much estrogen stimulation relative to progesterone due to contraceptives, liver health and gut health. Estrogen and progesterone work so closely together that it is imperative that they stay in balance. In fact, the majority of struggles with hormonal imbalances affecting both the female brain and body may be associated with estrogen dominance.
Weight loss and breakouts
Estrogen is stored in body fat. If you lose weight, it’s important to make sure your body can clear estrogen — the fat loss will release stored estrogen into the bloodstream, causing temporary estrogen dominance.
What Are The Symptoms of estrogen excess?
• Breast tenderness
• Fibrocystic lumps in your breasts
• Heavy periods
• Weight Gain
• Fluid retention
• larger hips
• male breasts
• low testosterone
How to clear blocked lymphatic nodes
• Hydration (2 liters a day)
o When we are hydrated, the fluid in our lymph is thin and can move through our lymph vessels easily. A freer flow makes it easy to transport and expel toxins. But when we are dehydrated, our lymph fluid is thicker, making it hard to move toxins through our lymphatic system.
o Working out has been shown to stimulate lymph flow dramatically. The contraction of our muscles when we exercise pumps lymph movement from the inside out.
• Move your lymph manually
o Dry brush
Start at your feet and brush towards your heart. Doing so follows the natural flow of the lymphatic system, which remember, is unidirectional towards the heart.
o Lymphatic Massage
Manual lymphatic drainage
Gently massaging the skin in the direction of lymph flow (towards the heart), encourages healthy flow.
• Contrast hydrotherapy
o The practice of alternating between hot and cold water has been known to stimulate the lymphatic system and improve acne. Example routine:
Hot water for 3 min
Cold water for 1 min
Repeat cycle 3 times
o Or if you have access to a sauna. Alternate between the sauna and a cold shower.
o Eat more raw foods and vegetables
Ayurveda medicine teaches that “red foods” (literally, the color red) promote lymph health. Examples include beets, cherries, pomegranates, and cranberries.