When we think of acne, the lymphatic system isn't usually the first thing on our minds. Our face wash, current diet, or stress levels- sure! But the lymphatic system? Not usually. Infact, most people aren't even aware of what a lymphatic system is, or that it can drastically impact the clarity of your skin!
The lymphatic system is pretty underrated in the world of skincare, and definitely not talked about as frequently as it should be. The entire system is responsible for ridding the body of toxins, waste, and other unwanted materials. And as I am sure you’ve heard- our skin is the largest, and last organ of elimination. Only once our kidneys, liver, and other internal detoxifying process have been backed up- does our body use our skin as a detoxifying method. Acne is just one of the unpleasant ways your body copes with excess waste, toxins, and hormones.
Where does the lymph system come into play with all of this? Congestion of the lymph system could be a possibility in why your skin is freaking out,at the very least it may exasperate your condition.
What is the Lymph System and How Does it Work?
You know those things in your throat that swell up when you're dealing with a cold or sore throat? Those are your lymph nodes! At least the most commonly known ones. Lymph nodes actually appear all over your body working through a variety of organs, vessels, and ducts. The lymph system helps to collect extra fluid from the body, filtering out waste, toxins, and excess hormones. The proper functioning of the lymphatic system is not solely important for your skin- but important in keeping you healthy as well. The lymphatic system is commonly known as the body's sewer or drainage system, and we all know what happens when your drains get clogged! Things get backed up and can't drain properly, It's not fun.
Signs that Lymph Congestion is Causing your Acne
While I don’t think lymph congestion is necessarily a main causation in acne, I do believe that it can make matters worse because waste is "backed up" and staying in your body for a longer amount of time. A weakened immune system also means that your body can't fight the infection properly, which may be to blame for pimples that take forever to go away.
Here are a few main signs of a sluggish lymph system:
- Food sensitivities
- Feeling sore or stiff in the mornings upon waking
- Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck, groin, or underarms
- Cold hands and feet
- Weakened immune system
5 Ways to Stimulate your Lymph for Glowing Skin
Luckily, getting your lymph system up and running again isn't terribly hard to do! Listed below are a few ways you can stimulate your sluggish lymphatic system for glowing, clear skin.
1. Drink Water
While it may seem like the most obvious (and cost effective) solution, drinking lots water can actually help to flush out your entire lymphatic system. Because the lymph is made of 95% water, drinking enough water is essential for lymph health. Without enough water, lymphatic fluid cannot flow properly. Adding lemon can help to expedite the process by remineralizing the body and lymph.
One of the best ways to stimulate your lymph nodes is actually through exercise. The lymph system doesn't have its own pump, like a heart, so you have to move your muscles around in order to stimulate it. While just about any exercise will do, try to make sure that you're getting in some aerobic form, like jogging or tennis, a few times a week to stimulate lymph activity. Using an inversion table or rebounding are two other easy ways to quickly detox the lymphatic system by providing a gentle massage to your entire system.
3. Get a Massage
Now you have one more reason to love massages! Massage, more specifically, lymphatic massage can help to stimulate the lymph by using a specific amount of pressure and rhythmic motion to get the lymph fluid moving properly. Lymphatic massage works to push up to 78% of stagnant fluid back into circulation.
4. Dry Brush
Dry brushing is a favorite technique of many holistic health bloggers and TCM practitioners. You take a dry brush, with coarse bristles and brush in an upward motion towards the heart, this helps to stimulate the sweat glands, open pores, and get rid of dead skin cells. It helps to encourage the movement of lymph and blood in the underlying organs, clearing up built up toxins. It can also help to improve skin conditions and cellulite.
5. Practice Stress Reduction Techniques
Anxiety and stress can affect almost every region of your health. So, it's no surprise that anxiety and stress can actually cause swollen lymph nodes. Cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, can actually block the drainage of lymph fluid. Persistently high cortisol can actually cause lymphoid tissue atrophy aka your lymph may start slowly disintegrating. The best way to prevent this from happening is by practicing stress reduction techniques. This is where yoga, meditation, finding a soothing hobby, or exercise can come in handy.