You may not realize it, but we are walking conversations. Our organ systems are in a constant state of back and forth with one another. Our residential gut bacteria and flora consistently check in with our own cells, ping-ponging signals to each other in rapid fire. We are made up of dynamic, fluctuant micro-units of water, nutrients, and chemical signals. I'd argue there's a bit of magic and stardust in there too, but the point is that even when we are still, we are not very still at all. Yet, like any complex system dependent on proper signaling and discussion, we are at risk of communication breakdown. It happens in many different ways, but what we do understand is that movement of fluid and interrupted chemical signaling between cells may be one of the single biggest contributors to the development of chronic inflammation and disease.
The lymphatic system is a switchboard through which our cells relay fluids and all they contain to the vascular system. That is, without a properly functioning lymphatic system, your cells wouldn't be able to properly receive nutrients and oxygen, nor would they be able to off-load poisonous byproducts from their daily functioning. It is also a path by which the immune system travels from one part of the body to the other. It is so important, that some viruses and microbes (like Lyme disease) have evolved to shut down lymphatic access to their hiding places.
This is why it is surprising to me that the lymphatic system is so infrequently discussed as a part of any long-term health plan, whether preventive or therapeutic. A properly functioning lymphatic system depends largely on basic and consistent lifestyle behaviors; namely, movement. When I say movement, I don't mean exercise (though that certainly doesn't hurt). I'm talking about varied and frequent movement throughout the day. Stretching, lifting, gathering, walking, etc. We tend to downplay the importance of this as a means of reducing risk for chronic disease, but it is certainly worth examining.
I love recommending this in combination with periodic use of lymphatic support herbs, because even in the holistic and herbal world, we forget to make this a key part of any plan.
If you want to show your lymphatic system a little extra love, try the Warming socks instructions below (or as I say to the kids, Magic Socks). :) Also be sure to sign up very soon for the Lymphatic Herbs class I'll be teaching (after the snowstorm is long gone) on Thursday! PRE-REGISTER HERE and learn how to herbally support this system and have a mini-spa experience to end your day. Bring your friends!