Our lymphatic system is the body’s built-in detoxification network, allowing us to properly expel bacteria-laden pools of fluid and toxins from external sources like food, alcohol, beauty products, prescription drugs, and internal sources like cellular waste and defunct proteins. While the lymphatic system is often overlooked, it’s an incredibly important contributor to our overall health. In fact, a clogged lymph system can oftentimes be the culprit behind a laundry list of ailments, including chronic sinus infections, eczema, respiratory problems, fluid retention, and yes, cellulite and fatty deposits.
Stan Kapica, President of Skin Science Solutions and holistic health expert explains that the lymphatic system has three primary functions that are each critical to maintaining our overall health: “It maintains the balance of fluid between the blood and tissues, known as fluid homeostasis, it forms part of the body’s immune system and helps defend against bacteria and other intruders, [and] it facilitates absorption of fats and fat-soluble nutrients in the digestive system.”
Some of the common signs of a congested lymphatic system include stiffness, brain fog, chronic fatigue, swelling (especially in the hands and fingers), bloating, recurring infections, and even autoimmune diseases. A blocked lymphatic system can be the result of a slew of different things, including a sedentary lifestyle and the excess consumption of processed foods. The good news is that there are several ways to stimulate a sluggish lymphatic system and accelerate drainage. While regular exercise and movement each day and avoiding inflammatory and sodium-laden foods are often the best way to keep your lymphatic flow functioning at its best, there are plenty of different ways to maximize your results. Read on to find out how to boost lymphatic drainage to improve your overall health, both at home and in-office.
“Pressotherapy is a detoxifying treatment, effectively sculpting body tissue by reducing trapped lymph and water. In this way, we’re able to help restore the body’s naturally occurring healing functions,” Kapica says in an advertorial for Skin Science Solutions. Some benefits of pressotherapy (similar to compression therapy), include reduced swelling and inflammation, enhanced skin tone and elasticity, reduce cellulite, and faster body-contouring results, faster muscle recovery from exercise, and stimulating both dermal and subdermal circulation for a healthy glow.
Book Now: Pressotherapy lymphatic drainage treatment ($200/session+)
Icoone, available in North America (the treatment is already extremely popular in Europe) exclusively by Skin Science Solutions is another in-office medical spa treatment powered by microstimulators (Roboderm®) that move in a range of different targeted motions over the body to stimulate detoxification and release pent up fluids, thereby promoting a number of aesthetic and medical benefits—results can even be seen with just one treatment, though it’s recommended to undergo at least three sessions for optimal results. The treatment works in three ways to contour the body, eliminate cellulite, and promote detoxification: boosting drainage by activating the flow of the lymphatic system, firming via boosting the release of collagen and elastin, and body remodeling by stimulating lipolysis and breaking up accumulated fat deposits.
Book Now: Icoone treatment via Spa Finder ($200/session+)
While the research supporting the connection between dry brushing and lymphatic health is scant, many people (both professional and otherwise) swear by it for reducing cellulite and boosting circulation. Dry brushing is thought to boost lymphatic detoxification by opening up the pores, allowing toxins to be released freely via sweat. Many professional skin treatments and massages incorporate dry brushing for these reasons, but you can also dry brush at home as well.
Buy: Temeaye Two-Piece Dry Brush Set ($16)
While saunas and steam rooms have been popular for helping the body sweat out toxins including alcohol, heavy metals, and nicotine for ages, infrared saunas go above and beyond simply relying on perspiration to detoxify. Infrared light technology is actually able to go a step further (in addition to inducing increased perspiration) because the technology effectively targets subdermal fat cells, helping to expel trapped toxins hiding in fatty tissue that would otherwise not be released. Many medical spas and fitness facilities offer infrared saunas, but you can also invest in an infrared sauna blanket to reap the benefits at home. It’s the best investment I’ve made.
Buy: HigherDOSE Infrared Sauna Blanket ($599)
Lymphatic drainage leggings work to stimulate the lymph, expel bacteria-laden pools of fluid, and boost circulation by not only heightened compression, but also by way of their built-in micro-massage technology. Essentially, the leggings are designed with embedded, woven massage beads and/or strategically-placed indentations aligned to your lymph nodes that apply pressure to your legs, hips, and behind. As you move, these ridiculously innovative design features “massage” you and stimulate fluid release (you can also reap their benefits by just sitting around too, by the way.)
Lymphatic Drainage Massage
Many professional massages and spas now offer lymphatic drainage massages now, but you can also get the same results at home with the proper tools, including this wood lymphatic drainage massager designed to boost circulation and promote the release of toxins and excess fluids.
Compression therapy helps to promote lymph drainage by massaging pressure points and boosting blood flow. These at-home compression leg massagers feel almost like a blood pressure device and the one below works just as well as the one I’ve used at my go-to wellness spa.
Buy: RENPHO Leg Massager with Heat for Circulation ($110)
Vibration plates can help to detoxify and boost circulation because the high-frequency motion induces muscle movement while stimulating the lymph system and thereby, promoting the release of toxins. Of course, you can also achieve similar results by engaging in high-impact exercises like running or HIIT.
Buy: LifePro Waver Vibration Plate Exercise Machine ($169+)
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