5 Ways to Drain Your Lymphatic System

Yoga practice that includes supported and inverted poses increases circulation of lymph—a clear, watery fluid that moves through the body picking up bacteria and viruses and filtering them out via the lymph nodes.

Unlike blood, which moves as a result of the heart pumping, lymph moves by muscular contractions.

Physical exercise, such as yoga, is key for keeping lymph flowing.

The movement of lymph is also affected by gravity, so anytime your head is below your heart— for example, in Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) and Salamba Sarvangasana (Supported Shoulderstand)—lymph moves into the respiratory organs, where germs often enter the body. When you return to an upright position, gravity drains the lymph, sending it through your lymph nodes for cleansing.

However, the regular layman is not an expert at Salamba Sarvangasana. Heck, I've been doing serious yoga for over a year now with an everyday commitment and I'm not super comfortable with Supported Shoulderstand. 

Therefore do what I did and invest in an inversion table. Plus, you get the added benefit of traction.

5 Ways to Drain Your Lymphatic System

1. Hang Upside Down
I have an inversion table, the Innova ITX9600 Heavy Duty Inversion Table and I love it. It moves my spinal fluid for me because mine doesn't move on its own anymore, it clears my lymph, takes pressure off my compressed lumbar, and gives my spine traction.

However, you can't just get on and flip yourself upside down.  You have to work up to the 85°.  

Start with 30 sec at 15° and over the course of a month work up to 3 min.  

The next month increase the angle to 30° again taking a month to work up to 3 min. 

3rd month is 45°, 4th month is 60°, and the 5th and final month is 85°

2. Child's Pose

Balasana - Child's Pose

Begin by sitting on your feet, with your knees separated and your big toes touching. With your eyes closed, fold your torso forward, letting your forehead rest on the floor or on a support like a bolster, blanket, or block so your head and neck can rest more fully. Place your arms on the floor in front of you.

3. Downward Facing Dog

Adho Mukha Svanasana - Downward-Facing Dog

From Child’s Pose, press your hands into the floor, tuck your toes under, and lift your hips up and back into Down Dog. Rest your head on a support. Extend through your inner arms while pressing the tops of your thighbones firmly back and away from your face.

4. Standing Foreward Bend

Uttanasana - Standing Forward Bend

This one is easy, you used to do it all the time in elementary school. You know where you bend over and touch your toes, or at least you used to.  Use a yoga prop or a chair it you can't touch your toes.

From Down Dog, walk your feet up until they are in line with your hands, hip-width apart. Clasp the back of your heels with your hands, gently bringing your torso toward your legs.

5. Dry Brushing

In 11 Tips for Losing Weight with Chronic Pain and Illness, I talk about dry brushing.  How flushing your skin, lymph, and fascia increases blood flow, reduces inflammation, water weight, tightens your skin, and moves your lymph.

I searched all over YouTube and this was the best video I found that wasn't about some attention-grabbing, look how hot I am in my underwear while I brush myself 'instructional' video.

These women have good knowledge and the model looks like she is an Olympic Athlete, not a Hawaiian Tropic Model.

Now go drain your lymph and reap the benefits!