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Lymphatic Wellness 
The 10 Most Important Areas You Need to Be Focusing On NOW

Keeping your immune system strong is the single most valuable gift that you can give to yourself. This simply isn't possible without giving your lymphatic system the care and attention that it so highly deserves. I am beyond excited to share recommendations of actions you can take to optimize your lymphatic health, and ultimately, your life.

Please note that there are circumstances in which it is very important to consult directly with a trained professional before taking any of these actions. If you have EVER had ANY lymph nodes removed, received radiation therapy, or have a family history of lymphedema, please speak with your doctor about the best ways to support your specific needs.  

Let's jump right in!

Why is having a healthy lymphatic system is so important?

We are all very aware that our bodies are constantly being bombarded with toxins in this day and age--even if we are extremely cautious about what we eat and conscious of the environment that we are exposed to. Pesky toxins and poisons still manage to creep their way into our anatomy.  

Your lymphatic system is your first line of defense against toxins, heavy metals, viruses, bacteria, and infections.  When our lymphatic system is not functioning properly, it gets backed up and becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. If not properly managed, your lymph system can mirror a stagnant puddle of water that becomes slimy and murky.  You wouldn't want to drink that water, so why bathe your cells in it!?

Some common symptoms that occur when your lymphatic system gets backed up are: Fatigue, Brain Fog, Bloating, Swelling, Pain, Headaches, Puffiness, Poor Digestion, Apathy, Reoccurring Illness, Allergies, and just moving slower and not as optimally as you could.  Let's fix all that.

Here We Go!


Deep breathing is one of the simplest and most profound ways to move lymph fluid through your body. This is also an action that should be done before any other fluid-moving technique. Deep breathing allows for the deepest lymphatic channels to open. By clearing these pathways first, it creates a clear thoroughfare for lymph from other, more superficial, parts of the body to have fluidity.

Start by placing your hands on your solar plexus, just below your rib cage and above your belly button. As you inhale, push your hand into your abdomen creating resistance against the breath. [This forces you to engage your diaphragm as you breathe in.] Then, gently release your breath as you exhale while releasing the resistance in your hands.  Repeat for several minutes or at least 10-15 breathes. If I could choose one thing on this list for you to increase your overall health, this may be the one.  


Unfortunately, many of us spend most of our time sitting. When our bodies are inactive, it leads to stagnancy in our lymphatic system.  Unlike our cardiovascular system, our lymphatic system does not have a pumping mechanism. As your muscles constrict and squeeze against the lymphatic vessels, the lymph fluid is pumped throughout the body. This does not need to be hard-core, strenuous exercise to receive the benefits.

Gentle movements can have profound effects on our bodies. In fact, one of the best activities to support fluid movement is walking! Our lymph nodes like to hide in the deep crevasses of the body. They hide in our neck, armpits, and hip creases so as we pump our arms and flex our hips to walk, we are actually massaging these lymph nodes and squeezing fluid through them. Again, this doesn't have to be strenuous, but getting your heart rate up does increase this benefit.  It is important to build up to strenuous exercise and to make sure to replenish your body with minerals if you work up a good sweat.  


The solution to pollution is dilution!  Your body is desperately trying to flush toxins out of the system at all times, but it can't do this without the flow of water. Your lymphatic system eventually flows back to your bloodstream to be processed by your kidneys. If you want your kidneys to flush, you must drink water.
Better yet, lemon water. You know how the sour taste of lemons makes your face scrunch up? It does the same thing to your lymph vessels, aiding in your bodies detoxification process.
I know you have heard that you need to drink more water, but this is vitally important to helping your body flush out toxins -  so just do it!


We are all so different in what our specific microbiomes can break down and absorb, but this is one tip that is appropriate for everyone and can make a huge difference in how hard the lymphatic system has to work. When we eat food that is processed, or has had pesticides sprayed all over it, those toxic chemicals end up in your blood stream and it's your lymphatic system that has to eliminate these toxins. Eating strictly organic can seem expensive, but in the long run, I assure you that it will end up saving you money and do wonders for your health. I'm always surprised when people say that they eat healthy, and yet cannot seem to loose weight. My questions is: Are you eating an organic diet??? Try making this change for a few months and notice how much more energy and vitality you have!


The toxins we put on our skin can be even worse than the ones we ingest.  When we eat food that is not necessarily healthy for us, our body does a relatively good job of containing it and eliminating it (unless we have a leaky gut).  When we put toxins on our skin, it is absorbed and goes directly into our bloodstream.  This is BAD!  My general rule is, if I wouldn't eat it, I wouldn't put in on my skin.  This can be difficult but there are lots of little changes we can make to start eliminating these toxic chemicals we put on our bodies every day.  Switch from lotion to using organic coconut oil or olive oil.  Stop using perfumes and dryer sheets and switch to essential oils for example.

There are a lot of reasons why deodorant is particularly bad for us. Most popular brands have aluminum in them, a very toxic metal associated with Alzheimer's and other chronic diseases.  Furthermore, we are putting it on with the intention to stop us from sweating.  We NEED to sweat to get these toxins we just put on out of our body.  This is also an area where we have huge clusters of lymph nodes.  If these nodes are constantly working to eliminate the toxins from our deodorant, then they are not able to focus on killing off viruses and other harmful bugs that might be creeping through our system.  Be cautious, many of the natural deodorant alternatives have clogging agents that keep you from detoxing.  

On days where you simply must wear some form of deodorant, I recommend the Thai Stick.  It's a chunk of salt that you get wet and put it on your under arms. The layer of salt kills any bacteria that causes you to smell, while still allowing you to sweat.  If there's a day where you absolutely must were an antiperspirant, I beg you to wash it off as soon as possible and definitely before you go to bed.  You might find that, after not wearing deodorant for a few weeks, your body has eliminated the build up in that area and you won't even have a smell anymore!


Lymphatic massage drastically increases the rate in which lymphatic fluid flows through your system. The more fluid that gets filtered through your lymph nodes on a daily basis, the less likely you are to develop colds, coughs, and infections.

The image above is a wonderful map of the way superficial lymph flows through your system. The areas with the big black dots are clusters of lymph nodes. I would focus on these daily starting just above the clavicle and continuing underneath your armpits, on either side of your sternum, and down at your panty line. I would highly recommend beginning with deep breathing, then you can start massaging these areas using a gentle pumping motion towards your heart. Spend 30 seconds to a minute in each area.  

Again, if you have every had any lymph nodes removed or radiation therapy, do not do this without consulting with a lymphatic therapist first so they can guide you in the direction of flow for your body.  


My clients ask me all the time if this actually works.  YES!! This is a great way to gently move along the fluid that is sitting there, often stagnant, in your lymphatic vessels.  I love the technique so much I've decide to create a whole training video on the proper way to do this.  The important thing is that you always want do brush towards your heart using long, gentle strokes.  Not only is this a fabulous way to support your immune system, but it also makes your skin so soft and smooth.  I find it very refreshing and kind of addicting.  One final added bonus to dry brushing is that it helps improve the appearance of cellulite. 

Between opening up your lymph nodes as described in #6, and stimulating your vessels with a dry brush, you will get a really great flush.  Try this for a few weeks and notice the difference in how you feel! You'll be hooked!


Often times, there are blockages in the body that are best dealt with by a professional. Getting a lymphatic massage several times a year will ensure that you are operating at your best.  Generally, I recommend going and getting a professional lymphatic massage every time you get the oil changed in your car. If it's time to change the fluid in your car, chances are, the fluid in your body could use a good flush too. I also find this to be helpful if you're getting over an illness, or if you find that you just don't have as much energy as you usually do.  

While doing all the techniques listed above will keep your system in good shape, professional lymphatic massage can get down to deeper issues and jumpstart your system quickly. If you find yourself feeling bloated, sluggish, or foggy, it's probably time to go get a few lymphatic massages. Enjoy!!!


Cryo therapy is all the rage these days--and with good reason.  One of the major reasons it is so beneficial is that it is supporting your lymphatic processes. It does this by cooling your body's core temperature down causing the blood to rush out of your limbs and to your abdomen to protect your vital organs. Putting this kind of stress on your body every once in a while is really good for your system.  It's like getting a total reboot.  As the blood rushes back to your limbs after warming up, if floods your body with fresh, oxygen rich fluid.  This rapid exchange of fluid does wonders for you immunity.  

In addition, these freezing cold temperatures constrict your lymphatic vessels, pushing the fluid along, allowing for more of your bodies blood to be cleaned and filtered through your lymph nodes.  

These sessions can be rather costly, so I also recommend cold showers as the cheap alternative. You won't get the same rush of fluid to your organs this way, but it will constrict your lymph vessels, giving you an extra boost for pennies.  

This last tip should really be addressed first. Let's start with physical blockages.  

One huge factor that can effect our lymphatic flow is scar tissue blocking it's pathway.  When a surgeon cuts into us or when we have a trauma, the tissue becomes damaged, the lymphatic vessels that lay just beneath the skins surface are damaged as well, blocking the direction of flow. This blockage can be so severe that we experience swelling in the tributary limb. It is vitally important that scar tissue is released through cupping or myofacial release to restore proper lymphatic function.

Equally as profound, emotional or energetic blockages in the body can manifest as blockages in our lymphatic flow. Along with causing chronic pain and fatigue, these traumas can deeply effect our mental and physical health, and effect our relationships that are most important to us. It is very important to address these issues.

Thank you so much for reading these tips! I hope you find them as helpful as I have over the years.  If you have any questions, or if it's time to schedule your lymphatic massage, please call us anytime at 512.751.8146

With Love,
Jessica Anderson LMT, CMLT, CDT
Austin Lymphatic
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