Lymphatic Drainage + Skin
Republished with permission from Silk + Palm an Evio Community Partner
I feel like at this point we've all heard about the lymph nodes + lymphatic drainage but still aren't really sure what they are or how they benefit the body and skin. In this blog post I'm going to explain exactly that so you can hopefully better understand why it's so important, and how to get things moving!
What is the Lymphatic System?
The Lymphatic System consists of lymph nodes, the thymus and the spleen. Lymph Nodes are tiny glands that are linked to your immune system and they contain a fluid called Lymph. This lymph carries viruses, bacteria and toxins out of the body, which helps the body fight diseases and illnesses. They are located all throughout the body but the bigger nodes are located in areas like the neck, chest, abdomen, armpit (such an important area for women!), and the pelvis.
How do they affect your skin?
Lymph Nodes don't have any sort of pumping system that moves the fluid throughout the body, you do that! Things like exercise, even just walking, or breathing gets lymph moving. When lymph isn't moving properly though, you'll notice dull, dehydrated skin that lacks any kind of glow. You'll also notice acne and breakouts. Anyone dealing with acne, doesn't have proper flowing lymph. Toxins have built up in the blood + body, and it comes out on the surface.
If you're dealing with acne or just dull skin, these tips are for you:
This will forever be the number 1 way to get lymph moving in the body. It doesn't have to be strenuous exercise though, simply walking a couple times a day is beneficial. So whatever your favourite form of movement is, make sure you're doing it daily for at least 30 minutes.
Surprise surprise, when does water not make the list! Lymph fluid is primarily made of water so keeping your intake high is super important. Less water = thicker, slower moving fluid = more toxins. Nobody wants that, so make sure you're hitting the H2O!
3. DRY BODY BRUSHING
Dry body brushing has become very popular over the last couple years but for good reason. Not only does it exfoliate the skin and leave you super soft but it increases blood flow and gets lymph moving. When brushing you always want to go towards the heart in long strokes. I always start at the feet and move up the legs. From my hands to my chest, focusing extra attention on my armpits (so important for breast health in women!), do my tummy in a clockwise circular movement, and same on the back. When finished you will be a little pink but that'll go away quickly, hop into the shower to wash away all the dead skin cells and finish with a body oil or moisturizer when you're out!
4. GUA SHA
My favourite of them allllll. I do this daily to my face. When done properly it gets the tiny lymph nodes on the face moving and draining into the neck area, which is super important for skin health, but more so for anyone getting breakouts + acne. If you actually look at a picture of where the lymph nodes are located on the face, you'll see that they are VERY common please for breakouts to happen. When using a Gua Sha tool at home, always start with the neck, moving downward towards the chest. This is done to open the lymph nodes up and prepare the area for the lymph you're going to drain out of the face. If you're unsure of where the lymph nodes on the face at located, just follow the temple down to the neck, making sure to hit the area in front of the ears. Also, the area under the jaw contains some nodes that are prone to acne. Try and incorporate this into your daily routine and I promise you'll notice a difference!
Obviously had to include acupuncture in this. Not only does acupuncture get Qi moving in the body, it gets everything moving in the body, including blood and lymph! If you find yourself feeling stuck, dull, worn out, or needing a body detox, give acupuncture a try!
Alright babes, I hope this helped explain what lymphatic drainage is and why it's so important for the skin, and hopefully you can include a couple of the tips to help yourself... ✨GLOW WITH THE FLOW✨