Detoxing, draining and de-bloating; these may not be the words you associate with your beauty routine, but learning to look after your lymphatic system reaps plenty of rewards
With a plethora of perks, from banishing water weight to flushing out toxins, giving lymphatic drainage a go may be the best thing you do for your body this year. Unlike a regular spa massage, it targets certain trigger points on your body and encourages your natural waste removal system to pick up speed and banish any builtup nasties, while also plumping up skin and encouraging great gut reactions. “Lymphatic drainage is not only key to our health but will have an adverse effect on our beauty if it’s not running efficiently,” says Katie Brindle, Chinese medicine practitioner and founder of Hay’ou Method. “Cellulite, heavy legs and bingo wings are all exterior manifestations of a sluggish lymphatic system”. From your energy levels to the softness of your skin, the benefits of lymphatic drainage for your body are countless.
Far from just being a waste removal track, the lymphatic system can also benefit the immune, digestive and nervous systems too, so learning how to drain it effectively can give your whole body a beautifying boost. Flavia Morellato, lymphatic drainage expert to the stars also laments the importance of stimulating the lymphatic system: “It’s essential for looking and feeling your best self,” she says. The process of toxin removal from the body is thought to aid everything from weightloss to anti-ageing, due to the impact it has on the metabolism, digestive system and regeneration via the new nutrients it delivers to your cells. If you want to try it out from the comfort of your own home, there are a range of fantastic methods and tools that will de-bloat and buff-up your body. “The lymphatic system is close to the surface of the skin and it only takes a light pressure to release congestion,” says Katie. As one of the most recognised companies in this field, Hay’ou offer a wide variety of products that are designed to get the blood pumping and those lymph nodes flowing, from body tapping for energising and body combing to combat cellulite. Known traditionally as Pai Sha, tapping with bamboo is a traditional therapy that is a simple, yet effective way of easily improving your overall health. You can use Hay’ou’s ready-made tapper tool to gently pat all over the body for one to five minutes each day, to get the blood pumping and stagnant energy circulating too. Pay special attention to the lymph nodes located in your abdomen, hip joints and inner elbows, to really stimulate some serious drainage. You can use it as an energy boost in the morning or as a way to regain some relaxation before bed.
As well as the incredible internal benefits of boosting your lymphatic system with tools and techniques, the external appearance of your skin can be altered too, from curbing cellulite to beating bloat caused by water retention. A body comb may sound like somewhat of a niche concept, but using this specially designed tool to firmly comb down your body, starting at your scalp and back of the neck, can visibly reduce heavy legs, water retention and can even help break up fatty deposits, leaving you with soft, smooth and supple skin. If you don’t want to invest in a crystal comb just yet, a bathroom staple body brush will also do the trick. We love the firm yet soft bristles on the Soak Sunday brush, which not only helps to boost blood flow and circulation, but also feels incredibly energising. Making this part of your daily routine is an easy way to beautify your body with minimal effort. If you already have a Gua Sha tool that you use on your face, you can glide this down your limbs too, for a spot of allover lymphatic love. As well as testing out tools, you can also treat yourself to a massage from the experts. These types of specialised massage offer a unique stimulation of the immune system through fascia and connective tissue and really generate an influx of good health for your whole body at a deep level. Flavia advises that the best way to prolong results of a lymphatic drainage session is to: “Keep drinking lots of water, begin body brushing, and avoid alcohol, carbohydrates and sugar.”
If you’ve tried the tools, body brushed to oblivion or even undertaken a magic massage from a lymphatic expert, there are other ways you can support your lymphatic system, from supplements to stretches, hydration and even healing herbs. Lola Biggs, dietician at Together Health recommends including circulation stimulating herbs and spices in your diet, such as ginger, black pepper and turmeric. Supplements such as these can also help to protect the liver and help the lymphatic system do its job of aiding digestion and removing toxins from the body. As well as this, Lola suggests supplements containing magnesium; a mineral that plays an extensive role in the body and can really help to perk up a tired lymphatic system. She recommends complete forms found in marine sourced formulations, for the most natural and powerful boost. Diet and exercise are further efficient, yet easy ways we can give our lymphatic system some love. Food that’s packed with colourful pigments from fruits and vegetables will ensure our cells have an abundance of protective antioxidants. This protects our insides from damaging toxins and other nasties. Movement is also a great ‘prevention strategy’, as Katie Brindle explains: “When we exercise, the flow of lymph into our circulation can increase by 10 to 15 percent. The lymphatic channels run through the fascia, so when we move, the lymph fluid glides through it easily and the immune cells within are able to fight infections and reduce inflammation throughout the body.”
1. Firmly and slowly press and stroke your comb along the arrows, focusing on your scalp. 2. Start where you hairline begins at the top of your forehead. Comb back along the top of your head down to your neck. 3. This stimulates and relaxs the body, while calming the mind. It’s great for getting going first thing in the morning.
1. Rapidly tap down the insides then the outside of your arms. Then pat down the outsides and insides of your legs and feet. 2. Using the tool, tap a circle around your abdomen followed by your thymus (in between your breasts). 3. Tap gently on your soft joints: the insides of your elbows, armpits, back of your knees and the inside of your hip joints.
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