I never cease to be amazed at the rich inner life of the human body.
Me too. I'm still freaked out that trillions of microorganisms inhabit my intestines. I'm wondering if I should RSVP for my entire microbiome next time I attend a party.
True, but today the gut can step aside. We're talking about another internal system that's revealing itself to be just as crucial to our wellbeing.
Sheesh. How many systems can one body hold? It's feeling crowded in here.
Prepare to discover the lymphatic system - your "secret river" and star of a new book, Lymph & Longevity, the Untapped Secret to Health, by cardiothoracic surgeon Dr Gerald Lemole. He believes the lymphatic system is as important as your blood circulatory system, and we need to take much better care of it.
What does this "secret river" do?
It's a network of vessels carrying colourless lymphatic fluid throughout your body, delivering important messages to your brain and organs, and connecting to your lymph nodes, which trap and destroy all kinds of health-harming nasties.
Lymph fluid also transports waste and toxins to your liver and kidneys, which in turn act as the body's bouncers, ejecting many undesirables.
Wow. I'm home to an industrial canal network.
Indeed. And if it's sluggish, the nasties can build up and cause inflammation and joint pain. Plus, your lymph system carries the immune cells that battle big baddies like cancer. You don't want to slow down those little battleships.
So how do we free up our flow?
Loving your lymph is fun! Relaxing in a sauna or hot bath improves circulation and widens vessels to promote good lymphatic flow. Monthly massages are a lymphatic lifeline.
Delicious spices such as cayenne, cinnamon, oregano, basil and turmeric deliver compounds that relax your lymph vessels and improve overall flow. Bouncing on a trampoline also keeps that current strong, as does lots of water and sleep.
And here's my favourite: singing or humming.
What? The lymph system loves music?
Dr Lemole says that when you hum, sing or chant, your lymph vessels dilate, allowing increased flow. He recommends that we hum throughout the day.
Wow. Karaoke just became medicine. It's sing-along-a lymph time!
Take me to the river and watch me flow.
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