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Taking care of our lymphatic system, one of our best body cleaners

by Peri Best
Body brushing stimulates the skin and activates your immune system. Photo: Sun Studio Creative/Unsplash

by Peri Best


So many women I know are being challenged with breast cancer right now.

Is there something we are doing or not doing that is contributing to this seeming epidemic?

Perhaps a look at how the system in our body that functions as one of our best cleaners will help us help ourselves.

A major component of the immune system is our lymphatics. The lymphatic system is a network of nearly invisible vessels that mostly follow the veins and arteries throughout the body.

Scattered along these vessels are little buds called lymph nodes.

These are the filters and cleaners of the fluids of the body. Once the fluids are put through the laundromat of the lymph nodes, it empties back into the bloodstream at a point just under the collar bones on either side of the sternum (breast bone).

Unlike the blood which has a pump (the heart) to keep it moving around the body, the lymph depends mostly on the movement of your muscles to keep it moving back up to your upper chest area.

There are three crucial things we can do that help the lymph move efficiently through the body: drink pure water, keeping our fluid levels up facilitates all body function; exercise regularly to keep that lymph flowing; and body brushing — it’s one of the most healthful things you can do for yourself.

Body brushing stimulates the skin and activates your immune system.

I like to do it first thing in the morning. As a wake-me-up, it has no equal.

When I started doing it, I used a soft bristle brush like a bath brush but I soon graduated to my stiff-bristled hairbrush. Brushing up the inside of the arms and legs and down the outside simulates the yin and yang meridians.

Brushing around the armpits and groin areas stimulates the lymph nodes that are concentrated in those areas. I like to finish with a good circular rub around my collar bones, neck and face (soft brush there).

It feels incredibly invigorating!

Major lymph pathways are under the arms and under the breasts.

Where do bra straps press most tightly? You got it!

All around those very areas where the lymph nodes need to flow and clear. Try an undershirt without elastic under the breasts instead.

Also in regard to lymph nodes, toxins and the underarm area. Sweat is one of the body’s ways of releasing toxins. Why would we use an antiperspirant when what we need to do is get rid of the toxins from that part of the body?

The toxins have nowhere to go but into breast tissue or lymph nodes in the area. Try a deodorant or powder instead.

The energy kinesiology that I practice includes the balance of lymphatic drainage.

If your system is not clearing toxins as efficiently as you think it should, you might consider this healing technique. In the meantime, don’t just brush your teeth daily, try brushing your whole body!

Within us lives an army ready to mobilize and destroy at any moment.

The white blood cells, although they comprise only a tiny percentage of the blood, are a variety of killer cells that respond to parasites, bacteria, fungi, viruses and rogue or cancer cells of all kinds.

Some white blood cells called neutrophils combine with oxygen when they encounter bacteria and burst, producing bleach and hydrogen peroxide.

Mr. Clean from the inside out.

The chemistry of how these killer and helper cells work is very intricate and specific. Yet like any other healing process the body undertakes, it only works when the sympathetic nervous system is turned off.

In other words, we only heal when we are not in an active stress state.

Our protective army needs to get the message that they can go to work.

You can send that message by learning how to relax consciously.

People who are dealing with cancer help their army by visualization. Relaxation exercises help us become aware of our stress triggers and we gradually learn how to diffuse them.

Self awareness is a powerful key to health.

Peri Best is an independent health, wellness and fitness professional living in the Boundary.