Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Lymphatic Flow and Yoga

Lymphedema is a condition in which the lymphatic system fails to drain lympatic fluid from the body properly causing increased swelling and volume in the affected area. This is a increasingly heightened problem for cancer patients who have had lymph nodes removed or otherwise damaged by radiation and cancer treatments.

Yoga is an especially effective exercise in helping to revive the lymphatic system and expel lymphatic fluid. By concentrating on muscle contractions of the whole body and by incorporating deep conscious breathing, it serves as a pump to help direct lymph through the deep channels of the chest.

Types of yoga-influenced exercises to help with lymphatic fluid are:

Inversions - by placing your legs up a wall or lying on an inversion therapy table you create anti-gravity and drain lymph and used blood from the legs

Abdominal Twists - working the abdomen with twists and side bends simulates the flow of lymph fluid up through the core of the body by squeezing the organs and muscles and then allowing fresh fluid to soak back in as the twist is relaxed

Aerobic Exercise - dynamic flow practices cause large muscles in the body to contract and relax, the primary way lymph fluid moves through the body

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