Hay House Radio Episode Recap
- Episode Name: “Energy Medicine Yoga for Lymphatic Health”
- Live Broadcast: April 12th, 2019 at 12:00 pm Pacific Time
Episode Summary Re-cap
In this continuing series on the importance of your lymphatic system for overall health, we reveal some powerful, easy techniques you can do at home to keep your lymph flowing. Author and Energy Medicine Yoga expert, Lauren K. Walker joins us to share proven techniques in energy medicine and yoga to support your health, immunity, energy, ideal weight by supporting your lymphatics!Special Guest: Lauren K. Walker
Lauren Walker is the author of Energy Medicine Yoga: Amplify the Healing Power of Your Yoga Practice (Sounds True, 2014) and The Energy Medicine Yoga Prescription (Sounds True, 2017). Both books won the Nautilus Silver award for best Mind/Body publication. She’s been teaching yoga and meditation since 1997 and created Energy Medicine Yoga while teaching at Norwich University. She teaches EMYoga across the US and internationally and has been featured many times in Yoga Journal, Mantra +, Yoga Digest, and published a feature article about her yoga work in The New York Times. She was recently named one of the top 100 most influential yoga teachers in America. For more of her work, see EMYoga.net.
Lymphatic System: Eastern Medicine Meets Western Medicine
Our indigenous ancestors had the kind of wisdom that was vast and deep. These days, if you know the healing practices, ceremonies, language, and rituals from ancient indigenous cultures and you look at the latest science, it’s incredible how many parallels you find.
One of the biggest crimes in our society, in my opinion, is dismissing ancient wisdom as “primitive,” simply because it’s practiced and described differently than the ways we value in today’s society.
The truth is, indigenous cultures had a right-brained, intuitive orientation. The things they valued included concepts that were felt and experienced or observed in nature. Today’s “modern” thinking values a left-brained, logical, linear orientation. What you can see and prove within the walls of labs in double-blind studies is the name of the game. Unfortunately, this often dismisses wisdom that is just as valuable and just as true.
The lymphatic system is a good example. Our ancestors in Chinese medicine, Native American medicine and Ayurvedic medicine (likely many other indigenous medicine too!) knew about the lymphatic system and had several practices to keep lymphatics healthy for mind and body health. We have evidence that these ancient medicines knew that lymph in the brain had to be cared for based on tools, practices, rituals, oral history, written stories, and some observations by anthropologists. Science, however, only found the brain lymphatics in 2015. Prior to that, science firmly believed that the brain was immune-privileged and stopped at the neck. These days, science is excitedly looking at brain lymphatics for how it can be supported for better moods, memory, and resolution of Alzheimer’s, dementia, schizophrenia, depression, and more.
Let’s take a moment to honor all the different ways people perceive the world. Some are linear and logical and others are more intuitive and sensing. Whatever category you fall into, honor how your mind works. We all benefit when we honor all of the ways knowledge is shared!
Lymphatic System, Immune System, Digestive System – All Integrated
Your immune system and lymphatic system work together to scan for invaders and when identifying them, your immune system essentially takes the invaders fingerprint and creates a weapon to remove it, break it down, and eliminate it from the body. Your lymphatic system is key for moving toxins out of your body.
70% of your immune system is in your gut, which reinforces the link between your digestive system, lymphatic system and your immunity (along with the importance of what you eat to support immunity!).
A sluggish lymphatic system can affect your digestive system and your immune system.
This is why symptoms of sluggish lymphatics can result in wide-ranging symptoms, such as:
- Liver, kidney and spleen symptoms (key organs of eliminating toxins)
- Memory and mood disorders
Pre-menstrual Syndrome (PMS) – sore and tender breasts, low moods, fatigue
- Skin ailments
- Sleep disorders
- Weight gain and cellulite
Energy Medicine Yoga Techniques for Your Lymphatic System Health
Let’s learn a few Energy Medicine Yoga (EMYoga) techniques you can do right now!
Energy Medicine Yoga Technique #1 – Neurolymphatic Reflex Points Massage
Neurolymphatic reflex points are points on the body that, when massaged, trigger the lymphatic system to dump toxins and debris into the venous blood supply for elimination.
These points are all over the core of your body, arms, and thighs, both front and back. Many people will notice that these points are sore, which is a sign of stuck lymph.
Lauren recommends that you move along these points in your body, massaging them with a medium pressure – not too light and not hard enough to cause bruising, but deep enough to feel it. It’s important. Lauren says, to avoid massaging anywhere on your body with a cut, wound, tumor, or issue that is painful for underlying health reasons.
Just start massaging, looking for sore points and focusing there. If you’re sore all over, don’t work every single point, Lauren warns, just do two to three points at a time because you’re activating a detox in your body. This detox is a good thing, but too much of a good thing can result in too many toxins trying to exit the body all at once! This causes uncomfortable symptoms, so it’s always best to go slowly.
Detox Support for Neurolymphatic Reflex Point Massage – Detox symptoms include: headaches, flu-like symptoms, fatigue, and emotions like anger or frustration are not uncommon. This is why you want to choose only two to three sore points at a time to massage. Here are some self-care routines you can to do support your body and make detox easier to navigate:
- Drink Water – Drinking plenty of filtered water is critical to support elimination of toxins. In Ayurveda, they recommend you sip warm water every 10 minutes to support detox, Lauren says.
- Take a Salt Bath – You can use ½ – 1 cup baking soda (especially if traveling and you need to feel grounded), sea salt or magnesium flakes (for more energy).
- Do Abhyanga – this Ayurvedic full-body oil massage is done daily, most often in the morning, to release toxins built up from the night before. Heat an oil, like organic sesame oil, gently to 212 degrees Fahrenheit, remove from the heat and cool. After massaging the oil into your body, allow it to sink into your skin for about 15 minutes, then take a shower or bath to clean the oil off your body. “This is really helpful to create a healthy microbiome,” Lauren says.
- Use Essential Oils – Add these to your bath or in a carrier oil that you use for abhyanga oil massage. Some lymph-supporting essential oils are: frankincense, grapefruit, lemon, or lavender.
- Schedule Time for R&R – when starting a new detox routine it’s important to give yourself extra time for rest and relaxation. This gives your body time and space to heal.
Energy Medicine Yoga Technique #2 – Inversions
In yoga, inversions are a wonderful way to support moving your lymphatic system. Here are some options:
- Bridge Pose (first picture, below)
- Legs up the wall Pose (Viparita Karani, second picture below)
- All Fours to Downward Dog – Start with all fours pose and move into downward dog pose. Do this several times, moving from one to another (all fours is the fourth picture, below and downward dog is the third picture below).
Click to enlarge
Energy Medicine Yoga Technique #3 – Breathing
- Nose Breathing – Breathe in and out through the nose, taking full deep breaths in three parts. Breathe into your low belly, rib cage, and apex of the lungs. It helps if you put your hand on those areas so you can feel the activation of how the body expands with your breath. This pulls lymph from the lower body into the chest cavity.
- Kaphalabhati Breathing – This advanced breathing technique involves pumping the stomach as you breathe through your nose and stimulates your vagus nerve, which helps you stay calm, positive and controls your immune system. Kaphalabhati supports your lymph movement for better immunity and moves your vagus nerve, which improves your mood and digestion.
Energy Medicine Yoga Technique #4 – Digestive Support
- Clearing Lymph from the Small and Large Intestines (can relieve diarrhea and constipation)
- Resetting the Ileocecal and Houston Valves (can help stop acid reflux and excess gas).
Energy Medicine Yoga Technique #5 – Spinal Flush
The spinal flush is an Eden Energy Medicine technique that helps move the lymph in your shoulders, neck and spine. Donna Eden recommends it as the best intervention for anything. Lauren suggests you do this with your significant other if you have any kind of stress between you. Along the spine are points to release physical toxins. And if you go out one more inch from those points, you will hit the points that release emotional toxins in the body. If your partner is angry at you, have them do this spinal massage for you. This allows them to get out their anger and those angry emotions won’t enter into you. Instead, the emotions dissipate from both of you!
Here’s Donna Eden Demonstrating the Spinal Flush
Energy Medicine Yoga Technique #6 – Nasya for Clearing Brain Lymphatics
Nasya is a practice of putting oil in the nasal passages which supports your sinuses, nose, throat, head, and glymphatics. You can do this sitting up and massaging sesame oil into your nasal passages or adding drops into your nose and sniffing.
You can learn more details and steps for doing this in a video that comes with Lauren’s book, The Energy Medicine Yoga Prescription.
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Tune in Next Week
Tune in next week to 21st Century Medicine Woman, when my guest is lymphatic system expert, Linda Anne Kahn. Linda Anne will reveal techniques for enhancing brain health and headache relief by supporting your lymphatic system.
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