Swelling in fingers? Cold hands and feet? Brain fog? Chronic fatigue? Allergies? These are all signs that your lymphatic system may be taxed.
The lymphatic system, with its main vessels running up and down throughout the legs, torso and arms, is considered the metabolic trash can for the human body, according to Dave Scrivens, certified lymphologist and co-author of “The Importance of Mobilizing the Lymphatic System.”
A compromised lymphatic system equals a compromised immune system, which sets the stage for inflammation and potential autoimmune conditions.
Other signs one’s lymphatic system may not be functioning optimally may include: digestive issues, bloating, feeling stiff and sore upon rising, lower immunity, sinus infections, and enlarged lymph nodes.
Unlike the circulatory system, the lymph system has no pump, so it relies on muscle contraction to move lymph freely through the body, removing waste products from the cells. Rebounding, also known as lymphasizing, creates a constant contraction and relaxation of muscles and connective tissues, and is known to be the most effective exercise for moving lymph.
Jumping up and down is good medicine, particularly for warding off viruses, bacteria and other invaders, according to Scrivens.
Studies on rebounding tout over 100 benefits for the human body, including improving balance, flexibility, circulation, muscle tone and mobility. Rebounding, when done on a quality rebounder, is also very gentle on joints, so its benefits can be enjoyed by seniors and children alike.
Lymph fluid moves through the channels of the lymphatic system, through over one million one-way valves, always in the same direction, with main vessels running vertically in the body. Vertical motion exercise, like rebounding, is an effective way to pump the lymph due to the up and down motion it creates, notes Scrivens.
In fact, lymphologists agree that, although lymph requires muscle contraction to flow, vertical motion exercise is more effective at moving lymph than other exercises like walking, biking or jogging.
Rebounding also builds cellular strength due to the gravitational effect of bouncing, Scrivens notes. This gravitational effect results in a pumping process that takes waste products out of the cells, and exchanges oxygen and nutrition from the bloodstream into the cells.
Without a functioning lymphatic system, the human body would not be capable of fighting infections. The lymphatic system produces lymphocytes, white blood cells, in response to a threat, like a virus. The white blood cells travel through the lymphatic system. Once they reach lymph nodes (over 600 in the body) and become activated by the virus, they form antibodies to defend and protect the body, while the lymphatic fluid flows to remove waste products from the cells.
Ensuring lymph is flowing efficiently is key to maintaining vibrant health