Your lymphatic system is a vital component of your vascular system, as it removes toxins from your body and helps to keep you healthy by protecting you from illnesses. This organ is comprised of a vast network of lymphatic vessels that transport lymph fluid throughout your body and to your heart. Because lymphatic blood does not have a pump and instead relies on the relaxation and contraction of muscles to move it along, the circulation of lymphatic blood can become stagnant very quickly. Increase the amount of water you drink and manually palpate your own skin to help your lymphatic drainage system in your legs work more efficiently.
Method 1 Draining Your Lymphatic System Manually
1. Place your affected leg on a flat surface and sit with your other leg up. You must be able to reach your leg without bending your body to the ground. Place your affected leg out in front of you while sitting on a couch or a bench. Maintain proper posture by keeping your shoulders back.
Alternatively, if both of your legs are affected, you can drain them individually.
2. Lightly rubbing the skin of your neck between your collar bones will get you started. Cross your hands and place them below the level of your collarbone. Using both hands, gently press on the skin of your lower neck to relieve tension. Maintain the gentleness of your strokes so that they only move the skin and do not massage any muscles. Strokes in this area should be repeated 10 times. Massage each area that you come into contact with in a circular motion.
The massage should not be painful or leave you feeling sore afterward.
3. Palpate the skin over the lymph nodes in your armpit with your fingers. In your armpit, look for a hard lump that is located on the same side as your affected leg. Gently move the skin in a circular motion with your hand, directly over the lymph node, a total of 10 times. Please do not press too hard.
The lymphatic blood from your leg will travel up your leg and into your higher lymph nodes, where it will remain. The act of massaging them increases the flow of blood to them.
4. Massage the skin on the inside of your leg outward, starting from the inside of your leg. Begin at the top of the affected leg and work your way down. Lie down on your inner thigh and gently press your hands against it, moving them outward and back toward yourself in a sweeping circular motion. As you do this, make gentle movements with your skin. Repetition of the strokes ten times in each position, followed by a movement down the leg until you reach the foot.
In order to reach your calf, bend your leg until you are able to do so comfortably.
5. Massage the skin on the outside of your leg inward, starting at the ankle. Again, start at the top of your leg and work your way down. To do this, start with your hands on the outside of your thigh and move them toward your inner thigh, making a slight movement of the skin. Each motion should be repeated ten times, and you should move down your leg until you reach your foot.
Manual drainage has the potential to be dehydrating. Make sure to drink plenty of water following your workout.
6. In order to encourage lymph to flow back to your trunk, bandage your leg. Take a bandage and wrap it around the affected leg from the toes all the way up to the thigh. If possible, begin by wrapping the bandage around the toes and gradually loosening it as it moves up the leg.
You can either have a lymphedema specialist apply the bandage for you or have them show you how to do it yourself.
7. Use a pneumatic compression device to compress the air. A pneumatic compression device is a sleeve that you can wear over your affected leg to help reduce swelling (s). An electric pump is connected to the sleeve and is responsible for intermittently squeezing the affected limb and pushing lymphatic fluids away from the affected limb and into your trunk.
The use of these devices can also be beneficial in improving circulation in the legs and preventing blood clots from forming.
Method 2 Improving Your Lymphatic Health
1. A lymphatic drainage massage can be obtained from a licenced massage therapist. Your massage therapist will gently palpate your leg and gently move your lymphatic blood upward toward your other lymph nodes, as directed by your doctor. Make certain that your massage therapist understands that the goal of your massage is to improve the lymphatic drainage in your lower extremities.
Inquire with your primary care physician about a referral to a licenced massage therapist in your area.
Furthermore, you can request a referral from your doctor for a physical therapist who specialises in the treatment of lymphatic edoema.
2. If you are able, jump on a trampoline for 10 minutes to get some exercise. The vibrations and reverberations produced by a trampoline increase blood flow and can aid in the drainage of lymphatic fluid from the body. Take advantage of a trampoline for approximately 10 minutes, performing light, slow jumping. It is less stressful on your joints to exercise in this manner, and it also helps to strengthen your tissue as well.
If you don’t have access to a trampoline, look for one in a nearby bounce centre or purchase a small trampoline that will fit in your home.
3. Throughout the day, make sure to drink plenty of water. Because your blood is mostly water, it also aids in the removal of toxins from your body. Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day, or whenever you feel thirsty, to keep your body hydrated. Drinking dehydrating liquids such as coffee and alcohol should be avoided.
Sports drinks with electrolytes can also be consumed to replenish electrolytes lost through sweating.
4. Deep breathing with your diaphragm will help to move fluids out of your torso. Take long, deep breaths in through your nose that lift your diaphragm away from your spine. Repeat several times. Slowly exhale through your mouth to complete the cycle. Breathe deeply for a set of 10 times twice or three times a day to improve your blood flow and help the body flush toxins out of the system.
For a better sense of how your diaphragm is working, lie down on the ground with your hands below your lungs. Breathe in and out slowly, paying attention to how your hands move up and down as you inhale and exhale.
5. Consume raw vegetables, seeds, and nuts to keep your body healthy. Raw foods contain enzymes that aid in the breakdown of toxins in the body. Because your lymphatic system is responsible for removing toxins from your body, providing it with enzymes to aid in this process will make its job easier. Try to include as many raw vegetables, seeds, and nuts as you can into your diet as you possibly can.
6. To warm up your body, consider using an infrared sauna. A sauna’s effect is to raise the temperature of your body, which increases blood and lymphatic circulation in the process. It will also assist you in relaxing your muscles and making it easier for your body to move toxins throughout the entire system. Once a week, treat yourself to an infrared sauna.
You can purchase an infrared sauna for a few hundred dollars, or you can visit one at a health clinic in your area for a few hundred dollars.
7. Avoid wearing clothing that is too tight around your legs. Your clothing can have an impact on the way your blood flows, and if your clothes are too tight, they can impede or even completely stop your circulation in some cases. Dress in loose-fitting pants and underwear that won’t dig into your skin while you’re exercising. Choose clothing that allows you to move freely and sit comfortably.
As a general rule, if your clothes are leaving marks on your skin when you take them off, this could indicate that they are far too tight.
8. In the case of severe lymphedema, consult your doctor about complete decongestive therapy. Decongestive therapy (also known as complete or complex decongestive therapy, or CDT) is a type of treatment that can be particularly beneficial if you have moderate to severe lymphedema caused by cancer or another chronic illness. If you have lymphedema that has proven difficult to control with other methods, talk to your doctor about trying this treatment.
CDT consists of a combination of therapies, such as gentle massage and the use of compression garments, as well as dietary and exercise modifications to improve circulation.
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