When it comes to reaching your wellness goals, we often focus on factors like diet, exercise, and sleep, with the occasional extra focus on resolving any issues that may present through supplementation and services—digestive distress or IBS, puffiness, constipation, etc. At VIVA Wellness, we tend to see you when you are renewing your desire to resolve symptoms and getting to their root—you come to us because we are focused on holistic health and creative solutions. We know that any sort of wellness goal may require addressing something seemingly unrelated since the body and health is a reflection of the entire system, including mental, emotional, and energetic aspects, too.
One aspect that is often overlooked but plays a vital role in our overall health is the lymphatic system. This intricate network of vessels, nodes, and organs not only plays a critical role in immune function but also influences gut health and the balance of the gut microbiome. Sort of surprised this isn’t talked about more often? Us too.
The Lymphatic System and Gut Health
The lymphatic system acts as a drainage system, removing waste products, toxins, and excess fluid from the body tissues. This includes the gut, where lymphatic vessels and nodes play a vital role in transporting nutrients and absorbing fats from the digestive tract, ensuring proper digestion and nutrient absorption. A healthy lymphatic system aids in the elimination of harmful bacteria and toxins, reducing the risk of gut infections and inflammation. This is also why we suggest pairing colonics and lymphatic drainage services together! When you receive a lymphatic drainage treatment before your colonic, you open up your detox pathways which means an even more successful colonic. Lymphatic drainage promotes detox and gets things awake and flowing, AND it moves your body into the “rest & digest” state which means the colon will more easily release, effectively eliminating waste and toxins.
The Gut Microbiome and Lymphatic Health
The gut microbiome refers to the community of microorganisms residing in our gastrointestinal tract. These microbes are the key players in digestion, metabolism, and immune function. Interestingly, and of no real surprise when you think of it, recent research has highlighted the influence of lymphatic health on the gut microbiome. The lymphatic system facilitates healthy immune cells in the gut, preventing excessive inflammation and promoting a diverse and balanced microbial ecosystem. Inadequate lymphatic function may lead to imbalances in the gut microbiome, increasing the risk of digestive disorders, autoimmune conditions, and other systemic health issues.
And for most of us, generally, when you’re feeling sluggish and out of your flow, you can tell that your gut is working differently.
Factors Affecting Lymphatic and Gut Health
There are seemingly countless factors that may be impacting our lymphatic and gut health. A sedentary lifestyle, consistently poor dietary choices, chronic stress, and certain medications can impair lymphatic function and disrupt the gut microbiome. To promote lymphatic health, it’s important to engage in regular physical activity, maintain a balanced diet rich in nutrients, fiber and antioxidants, manage stress levels, and avoid unnecessary or consistent exposure to environmental toxins and use of antibiotics that may disrupt the gut microbiome.
Additionally, there’s another component we haven’t yet discussed—Gut-associated lymphoid tissue (or GALT). This refers to a specialized component of the lymphatic system that consists of a network of lymphoid cells, including lymphocytes, macrophages, and dendritic cells, located within the walls of the gastrointestinal tract.
GALT helps to identify and eliminate harmful pathogens while balancing beneficial bacteria and dietary antigens. Lymphatic massage, also known as manual lymphatic drainage (MLD), can provide valuable support to GALT. This specialized massage technique involves gentle, rhythmic movements that stimulate lymphatic flow, facilitating the removal of waste products, toxins, and excess fluid from the gut. By enhancing lymphatic circulation, MLD helps to improve immune function, reduce inflammation, and support the overall health of the gut-associated lymphoid tissue.
Strategies for Enhancing Lymphatic and Gut Health
The good news is that to support overall lymphatic health and promote a thriving gut microbiome, think about your overall state of wellness:
- Regular exercise, particularly activities that involve rhythmic movements like walking, yoga, or rebounding, can stimulate lymphatic flow since the system relies on these movements as the “pump” of the system.
- Focusing on adding in foods such as leafy greens, citrus, ginger, turmeric, and fermented foods, can provide essential nutrients and beneficial microbes.
- And to bring it back to the “whole body” / holistic health approach, it’s still a key piece of the puzzle to practice stress management techniques like meditation and deep breathing. Stress is HARD on the lymphatic system and the microbiome.
- SLEEP! High quality and enough sleep can help reduce inflammation and support a healthy gut environment.
The significance of lymphatic health in maintaining a thriving gut microbiome should not be underestimated. By nurturing our lymphatic system through healthy lifestyle choices and mindful practices, we can support optimal gut health, enhance digestion, and foster a diverse and balanced microbiome. Remember, a holistic approach that addresses both lymphatic and gut health can pave the way for overall well-being and vitality.
Ready to start supporting your whole system health, digestive health, and lymphatic system? Book your lymphatic drainage services and colon hydrotherapy today.