Tag Archives: Lymph

Why Your Lymph System May Need Some TLC

 

Source: Dreamstime.com

 

Though I rarely get whatever viral thing is going around any more, I was felled by a nasty virus (an adenovirus, I think) on January 13, exactly one week before Trump’s inauguration, and was quite ill with it for over a month. I called my virus “Donald Trump” since it seemed that fear and grief about his impending reign had weakened my immune system, allowing the virus to take hold. Then I took a two week trip that unexpectedly involved a great deal of inactivity with little opportunity for exercise and came home with a garden variety cold. A whole lot of being inactive and sick for me.
At various times last week I felt a strange kind of dull pain in my left side. In that lung? In the lower part of my heart? I couldn’t say exactly where it was located but it was something new and scary. So I mentioned it to my chiropractor when I saw her over the weekend. She did some lymphatic drainage massage in that area. My sinuses, which I’d thought had completely recovered from the two viruses, started draining, I immediately felt my energy improve, and the pain was gone.
Turns out, not surprisingly when I think about it, that the lymph had become stagnant on my left side (and probably elsewhere too) and she’d gotten it moving again. She reminded me that I know a bit about how to do lymphatic drainage on myself and recommended doing some daily. I’ve taken her advice.
Since I’m aware that most of us don’t know much about the function of lymph in the body, I decided to make this post (my first in a long while) about the lymphatic system.

 

Source: LiveScience.com

 

 

LYMPH

Lymph is a clear-to-white fluid containing white blood cells (especially lymphocytes – the cells that attack bacteria in the blood) and fluid from the intestines called chyle, which contains proteins and fats. The clear liquid inside a blister is lymph.  (MedLinePlus, 2017)

 

 

LYMPHATIC SYSTEM

Source: Anatomy Chart Body
The lymphatic system transports nutrients to the cells and collects the cells’ waste products. It is made up of lymph fluid,  lymph nodes,  bone marrow, organs (thymus, spleen, appendix, tonsils, adenoids), lymphoid tissue in the small and large intestines (called Peyer’s patches), capillaries, vessels and ducts that transport lymph and fluids secreted by glands through the body. This system is responsible for removing cellular debris, large proteins, foreign bodies, pathogenic agents (bacteria, viruses, toxins, cancer cells, etc), and excess fluid from the extracellular spaces. The  lymph system is a major player in the body’s immune system, defending the body against harmful agents and destroying accumulated wastes. (DiagnoseMe.com, 2017), (MedLinePlus, 2017), (Science Clarified, 2017) & (Zimmerman, 2016)
As our blood moves through its circulatory system and reaches the capillaries, a portion of the blood’s plasma seeps out of the capillaries and into the spaces surrounding the cells. This plasma, at this point called tissue fluid, consists of water and dissolved molecules small enough to fit through the small openings in the capillaries.
Tissue fluid delivers needed nutrients to cells while also collecting waste products from the cells. Some tissue fluid gets returned to the blood capillaries via osmosis. Other tissue fluid enters capillaries that are part of the lymphatic systems and becomes known as lymph. (Science Clarified, 2017)

 

 

LYMPH NODES

Source: websupport1.citytech.cuny.edu
Lymph nodes are soft, small, round or bean shaped structures. They usually cannot be seen or easily felt. They are located in clusters in various parts of the body, such as the:
  • Neck
  • Armpits
  • Groins
  • Inside the center of the chest and abdomen
The ones around our lungs and heart are located deep inside the body. The ones in our armpits and groins are closer to the surface.
Our bodies contain approximately 400 – 1,000 lymph nodes, with more than half of them located in the abdomen. These nodes are reservoirs that act as a purification system. They:
  • Make immune cells that help the body fight infection
  • Act as filtration and purification stations for the circulating lymph
  • Capture and destroy toxins
  • Trap cancer cells and destroy them
  • Concentrate the lymph, re-absorbing about 40% of the liquid present in the lymph
– (DiagnoseMe.com, 2017) , MedLinePlus, 2017), (Science Clarified, 2017) & (Zimmerman, 2016)

 

 

THYMUS

Source: Sott
The thymus gland is located in the chest, under the sternum,  between the lungs, just above the heart. This small organ stores immature lymphocytes and produces a hormone called thymosin, which stimulates the development of disease fighting T cells and prepares them to become active T cells. T cells help destroy infected or cancerous cells. (Zimmerman, 2016)
The thymus’s dual function as both an endocrine and lymphatic gland gives it a significant role in our long-term health. Fortunately, the thymus has produced all our T cells before we reach puberty, when the gland becomes smaller.
The thymus helps protect the body against autoimmunity (a condition created by chronic inflammation in the body that causes the immune system to turn against itself or other tissues in the body). (Sargis, 2014)

 

BONE MARROW

Source: www.slideshare.ne
In mammals the bone marrow is a primary site where lymphocytes develop. Unlike the thymus, bone marrow doesn’t atrophy at puberty and keeps producing lymphocytes as we age. (The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica, 2011)

 

SPLEEN

Source: Live Science
 The spleen, our largest lymphatic organ, is located on the left side of the abdomen just above the left kidney. It is part of our immune system, involved in the production and removal of red blood cells. When it detects dangerous bacteria, viruses, or other microorganisms in the blood passing through it, the spleen and the lymph nodes around it create white blood cells called lymphocytes which produce antibodies to kill the intruders and stop infections from spreading. People who have lost their spleen to disease or injury are more prone to infections. (Zimmerman, 2016)

 

APPENDIX

Source: Ecology Global Network
The human appendix is a narrow pouch of tissue about four inches long and about a quarter of an inch in diameter. It extends from the lower end of the cecum, between the small and large intestines. Like the rest of the digestive tract, it has an inner mucosal layer;  but unlike the rest of the intestine, the submucosal layer of the appendix contains masses of lymphoid tissue, suggesting it plays a role in the immune system in addition to the digestive system. (Taylor, 2017)
While it has long been thought that the appendix is vestigial and useless to modern humans who don’t live on a diet of raw foods, recent research has shown that the appendix is indeed useful, that it serves as a “backup factory” for beneficial probiotic bacteria in the gut that promote digestion and protect the body from illness.
“Not only was it recently proposed to actually possess a critical function, but scientists now find it appears in nature a lot more often than they had thought. And it’s possible some of this organ’s ancient uses could be recruited by physicians to help the human body fight disease more effectively.
“Your appendix may serve as a vital safehouse where good bacteria can lie in wait until they are needed to repopulate the gut after a case of diarrhea. Past studies have also found the appendix can help make, direct and train white blood cells.
“The appendix appears in nature much more often than previously acknowledged …  in Australian marsupials such as the wombat and in rats, lemmings, meadow voles, and other rodents, as well as humans and certain primates.
“If the good bacteria in your colon dies, which could happen as a result of cholera or dysentery for instance, it appears your appendix steps up to help recolonize your gut with good bacteria.” (Mercola, 2009)

 

 

TONSILS

Source: solopetje.com
The tonsils are large clusters of lymphatic cells located in the pharynx (the membrane-lined cavity behind the nose and mouth, connecting them to the esophagus). The American Academy of Otolaryngology describes the tonsils as the body’s “first line of defense as part of the immune system. They sample bacteria and viruses that enter the body through the mouth or nose.” (Zimmerman, 2016)
Source: allthingsfulfilling.com
For a large part of the 20th century, children in the US were likely to have their tonsils removed – often for no good reason. I vividly remember being subject to this surgery when I was five (not a good memory) and getting rewarded with strawberry ice cream while I was recovering. While the surgeon was in there, he also removed my adenoids.
“A generation or two ago, taking out a child’s tonsils often was the first line of defense against chronic throat infections and breathing problems. Today, as doctors have studied the tonsils’ purpose and have developed stronger antibiotics, it often is the last.
“In the 1930s, tonsillectomies were performed as preventive measures. By the 1960s and ’70s, close to 2 million were performed in the United States each year. The American Academy of Otolaryngology estimates that now fewer than 600,000 tonsillectomies are performed annually.” (Washington Times, 2000)
Although not done in the 1930’s, a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy were advised by my pediatrician even though I wasn’t having chronic throat infections or breathing difficulties.

 

 

ADENOIDS

Source: Bupa Salud
The adenoids are a mass of soft tissue located in the roof of the mouth where the nose and throat connect behind the soft palate. They are a part of the immune system and, like lymph nodes, are composed of lymphoid tissue. As with the lymph nodes, white blood cells circulate through the adenoids to help fight off infections and other foreign invaders. Typically, the adenoids shrink during adolescence and may disappear by adulthood. (WebMD, 2017)

 

 

THORACIC DUCT

Source: www.slideshare.net
The lymph system also performs a second important function. Fats that have been absorbed in the small intestine enter lymph vessels located there. Those fats are then carried through the lymphatic system back into the blood circulatory system. (Science Clarified, 2017)
After the lymph has collected the emulsified fats from the small intestine and has been propelled along via tiny valves inside the vessels of the lymphatic system,  it is collected into the thoracic duct (the largest vessel in the lymphatic system).
The thoracic duct is the the major vessel in the lymphatic system. It begins near the lower part of the spine and transports lymph that has collected emulsified fats from the small intestine. This duct runs up the body, emptying the lymph back into the blood through a large vein near the left side of the neck. Without adequate movement of the body, the lymph moving upwards in the thoracic duct becomes stagnant and lymph accumulates in the body. (Innovate Us, 2013)

 

A VIDEO ABOUT THE LYMPH SYSTEM

Here’s a short video describing the lymphatic system:

 

WHERE THE TROUBLE CAN BEGIN

While the blood has a pumping heart to create enough pressure to propel it into and along the arteries, the  lymphatic system isn’t connected to the heart and has no pump of its own to move lymph around the body. Instead, it relies on muscular contractions to create a pumping action. The lymph system contains millions of tiny one-way valves which allow lymph fluid to circulate, flowing in only one direction – usually upward, against gravity.
And this is where we get into trouble. Most of us sit a lot and don’t get adequate exercise to keep our lymph circulating efficiently.

 

Source: BBC

 

 

WHAT CAN HAPPEN IF YOUR LYMPHATIC SYSTEM GETS SLUGGISH

 

Source: vandonnasam.wordpress.com
When your lymphatic system becomes congested or your lymph nodes are swollen, your body will feel sluggish, stiff, achy, maybe even in pain.  Your joints may feel painful or weak.
Your kidneys and liver will become toxic because the toxins delivered to them for excretion are unable to be processed efficiently by these purifying organs. This toxicity may lead to digestive disorders, frequently catching whatever virus or bacterial thing is going around,  hormonal imbalances, poor circulation, and weight gain.
Your immune system will eventually become compromised because it requires an efficient lymphatic system to keep the body in good health – – and you’ll be on your way to cooking up some unpleasant autoimmune diseases and conditions. Even cancers. (Benjamin, 2017)

 

EDEMA

Source: Organic Lifestyle Magazine

 

“The American medical community historically ignores lymph stagnation as a possible cause of disease.  Despite this, the following conditions are examples that are reported to improve through improved lymphatic drainage:
“Allergies, prostatitis, chronic sinusitis, heart disease, eczema and other skin conditions, fibrocystic disease, chronic fatigue, repetitive parasitic infections, MS, edema, lupus erythematosis, inflammation, high blood pressure, bacterial infections, viral infections, puffy eyes, low back pain, cancer, ear or balance problems, arthritis, headaches, cellulite, excessive sweating and obesity.” (DiagnoseMe.com, 2017)

 

 

 

SOME SERIOUS DISEASES AND DISORDERS OF THE LYMPHATIC SYSTEM

LYMPHADENOPATHY, enlargement of the lymph nodes caused by blockages of lymph fluid there (LYMPHEDEMA). Symptoms of lymphadenopathy include a feeling of fullness in the arms or legs; a reduction in flexibility in the wrists, hands, and ankles; noticing that clothes, rings, and wristwatches have become too tight. Swollen lymph nodes can also be felt in the neck, armpits, and groins. Causes of lymphadenopathy are usually infection, inflammation, or cancer. (Zimmerman, 2016)
Source: SlideShare
LYMPHOMA, which develops when lymphocytes grow and multiply uncontrollably,  is a blood cancer that develops in the lymphatic system. The two main types are Hodgkin and Non-Hodgkin:
HODGKIN LYMPHOMA (HL) is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow affecting the lymphatic system. It is one of the most curable forms of cancer. If HL is left untreated, the cancerous cells crowd out normal white cells and prevent the immune system from fighting infection.
NON-HODGKIN LYMPHOMA (NHL) generally develops in the lymph nodes and lymphatic tissues. In some cases, it also involves the bone marrow and blood. NHL refers to a diverse group of blood cancers that share a single characteristic in how they develop. It is further classified into a variety of subtypes depending on whether they are slow growing or aggressive. (Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, undated)
Source: Mayo Clinic
CASTLEMAN DISEASE is a group of serious inflammatory disorders causing lymph node enlargement and perhaps resulting in multiple-organ dysfunction. Without being classified as a cancer, it is similar to lymphoma and is often treated with chemotherapy. (Zimmerman, 2016)
Source: Castleman Disease Collaborative Network

 

LYMPHANGIOMATOSIS is a condition in which multiple tumors (lymphangiomas) or cysts form  on vessels in the lymphatic system. These tumors can cause pain, difficulty breathing, or other symptoms depending on where they are located.  (patientslikeme, 2017) & (Zimmerman, 2016)
Source: LMI
Clearly you want to avoid developing any of these diseases and conditions!

 

Source: Youth Voices

WAYS TO GET YOUR LYMPH MOVING

PROFESSIONAL LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE MASSAGE

Source: Lymphadema Support Group of New South Wales
Practitioners of Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) massage use a variety of rhythmic, gentle pumping actions to move the skin in the direction of the lymph flow. Getting regular lymphatic drainage massage from a professional is very beneficial for keeping stagnant lymph moving. Any deep tissue massage is helpful, but lymphatic drainage massage is specifically designed to get the lymph moving around the body so impurities are removed and fresh hydration and nutrients are flushed through the system. (Benjamin, 2017) & (DiagnoseMe.com, 2017)
Source: Endo Systems

 

Fortunately, there are also quite a few things you can do yourself to get your lymph fluids moving so they can do their important jobs and keep you healthy. Here are some of them:

EXERCISE

Exercising creates a pumping action with the muscles that moves lymph fluids, circulating them to your liver and kidneys so they can be filtered by these organs and excreted from the body. Good exercises include walking briskly and high intensity workouts, or both, every day to get your lymphatic system moving. (Benjamin, 2017)
“An exercise plan for anyone at risk for or diagnosed with lymphedema includes some combination of flexibility and stretching exercises: strength training, aerobic exercise that uses the upper body, helping with weight loss and encouraging deep breathing, which in turn helps lymph move along.” (BreastCancer.org, 2017)

Source: Lymphoedema Support Group of New South Wales

 

 

STAY HYDRATED

Chronic dehydration slows and stagnates the flow of lymph. The lymphatic system consists mostly of water so a dehydrated body causes it to slow down.  If you’re dehydrated, the system will be unable to filter its lymph properly or remove  chemicals and toxins through the liver and kidneys. Remember that you can be dehydrated even if you don’t feel thirsty. (DiagnoseMe.com, 2017)
Source: School of Natural Medicine UK

 

BREATH WORK

Breathing calms your heart and nervous system, improves mood, calms OCD-type racing thoughts, alters your brainwaves (for the better!), and also helps your lymphatic system properly drain and purify your body.
By taking adequate, calm breaths in through your nose,  you’re providing your body enough oxygen to work with. Oxygen and hydration are essential to keeping the lymphatic system clear of impurities. Exercise also promotes adequate breathing. (Benjamin, 2017)

 

 

 

REBOUNDING

Rebounding – jumping on a trampoline – gets your heart and respiration rate up. This easy up and down movement uses the force of gravity to move lymph around the body. (Benjamin, 2017) If you don’t have a trampoline, you can put your hands against a wall or sturdy piece of furniture and jump up and down in place.
“It is claimed that rebounding is so efficient in stimulating the lymph flow that some call it ‘Lymphasizing’.” (DiagnoseMe.com, 2017)

 

 

LAUGHTER

Laughter, as they say, is great medicine. It’s also an effective method for helping your lymphatic system. When we laugh, we take deeper breaths that stimulate the lungs, circulatory system and other organs that work in harmony with the lymphatic system. (Benjamin, 2017)
If nothing strikes you funny enough to actually LOL about, try some Laughter Yoga.

 

 

Laughter Yoga can be done by yourself too. Maybe while showering. It doesn’t add any extra time to your morning routine and can vastly improve your whole day.

 

 

 

DOING LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE ON YOURSELF

You’ll learn how to do effective head and neck lymphatic drainage massage on yourself in this video by Heather Wibbels, LMT:

 

Another video by Heather shows how to do lymphatic drainage on your arms:

How to do self lymphatic drainage on your breasts:

 

Another of Heather Wibbels’ videos shows how to perform lymphatic drainage massage on your abdomen and trunk.

 

You can Google self lymphatic drainage to find other videos on how to drain the lymph from puffy under eyes, stopped up ears, swollen legs, and other body parts.

 

HOT + COLD SHOWERS

This invigorating technique consists of switching the water in your shower between very hot and very cold – emulating a Finnish sauna in which you sit in the hot, steamy sauna and then run outside naked into the snow or dip your body in near freezing water.
The temperature changes stimulate movement in your lymphatic system and blood circulation by expanding and contracting vessels in each system. Said to be quite rejuvenating.  (Benjamin, 2017)

 

 

EAT RAW FRUITS

The acids and enzymes in raw fruits eaten on an empty stomach stimulate lymphatic system drainage – grapes, lemons, limes, grapefruit, apples, etc. Adding essential oils of these fruits to your water bottle to drink throughout the day also stimulates lymphatic drainage and digestive detoxification.  (Benjamin, 2017)

 

 

APPLY ESSENTIAL OILS TOPICALLY

Applying essential oils – lemon, ginger, peppermint, and rosemary – to the lymph node rich areas of your body is also good for stimulating lymphatic drainage. (Benjamin, 2017)

 

Please send a comment to share other ways you know of to stimulate the lymph system.

 

 

Source: Pinterest

 

The body contains almost twice as much lymph as blood: about 6-10 liters of lymph compared to 3.5-5 liters of blood. (DiagnoseMe.com, 2017)

 

 

Source: slideshare.net

 

 

REFERENCES

Benjamin, D. (2017). 10 Ways To Empty Your Lymphatic System From Toxins Causing You To Feel Weak. See: https://healthywildandfree.com/10-ways-to-empty-your-lymphatic-system-from-toxins-causing-you-to-feel-sick-fat-and-weak-immunity/

BreastCancer.org. (2017). Lymphedema and Exercise. See: http://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/lymphedema/exercise

DiagnoseMe.com. (2017). Lymphatic Congestion. See: http://www.diagnose-me.com/symptoms-of/lymphatic-congestion.php

Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. (2011). Lymphatic system. See: https://www.britannica.com/science/lymphatic-system

Innovate Us. (2013). What is the function of Thoracic Duct? See: http://www.innovateus.net/health/what-function-thoracic-duct

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. (undated). Lymphoma. See: https://www.lls.org/lymphoma

MedLinePlus. (2017). Lymph system. See: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002247.htm

Mercola, R. (2009). Your Appendix is Useful After All. See: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/09/17/your-appendix-is-useful-after-all.aspx

patientslikeme. (2017). Lymphangiomatosis. See: https://www.patientslikeme.com/conditions/1737-lymphangiomatosis

Sargis, R.M. (2014). An Overview of the Thymus: The Gland that Protects You Long after It’s Gone. See: https://www.endocrineweb.com/endocrinology/overview-thymus

Science Clarified. (2017). Lymphatic system. See: http://www.scienceclarified.com/Io-Ma/Lymphatic-System.html

Taylor, T. (2017). Appendix. See: http://www.innerbody.com/image/dige03.html#full-description

Washington Times. (2000). Once-routine tonsillectomy now performed as last resort. See: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2000/oct/1/20001001-012109-2030r/

WebMD. (2017). Picture of the Adenoids. See: http://www.webmd.com/children/picture-of-the-adenoids

Zimmerman, K.A. (2016). Immune System: Diseases, Disorders & Function. LiveScience.com. See: http://www.livescience.com/26579-immune-system.html

 

 

 

© Copyright 2017. Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

How to Survive Days of High Heat, Humidity & Pollution

Updated 7/30/2016.

 

(Source: www.8screensavers.com)
(Source: www.8screensavers.com)

 

One evening earlier this week my body suddenly felt like its power grid was shutting down and I was going to faint. Fortunately I was sitting at my computer desk at the time.
New York City, along with much of the country, has been suffering through a prolonged heat wave with temperatures in the upper 90’s, high humidity, and ‘bad air’ alerts nearly every day.  Even a short while spent outdoors produces heavy sweating as the body tries to keep itself at a reasonable working temperature.
I’d been trying to stay hydrated but this scary  experience made me realize I was probably dehydrated at the cellular level and needed to pay more attention to my electrolyte balance during this kind of weather.
So this is what I did – and will continue to do until the weather becomes more conducive to life:
  • Replenished my electrolytes with a packet of Emergen-C  Immune Plus (Blueberry-Acai flavor) – because it’s what I had around – mixed into a cup of filtered water
  • Ate some pink sea salt to restore needed trace minerals to my body
  • Manually cleared the lymph glands in my neck and across the top of my chest to drain accumulated toxins from my lymphatic system and sinuses
  • Worked on my pyloric and ileocecal valves to get my digestion moving
  • Used a hollow, spiky 6″ Bodymind ball vertically along the center of my back to open up the energy channels running from my spine to the rest of my body

 

 

 

ELECTROLYTE BALANCE RESTORATION

 

(Source: the-sage.org)
(Source: the-sage.org)

 

WHAT ARE ELECTROLYTES

Electrolytes are minerals found in our bodily fluids. They carry an electric charge and are essential to keeping the heart, nerves and muscles functioning properly. Therefore, it is important to maintain a precise and constant balance of electrolytes to stay healthy. The kidneys play an important role in ensuring that electrolyte levels remain steady despite any changes the body may undergo. Having an electrolyte imbalance – an excess or a deficiency – in the body can be dangerous and in some cases fatal. (Gulati, 2011)
On average, the body produces about 100 watts of electricity a day. Our electrolytes take on a positive or negative charge when they dissolve in body fluid, enabling them to conduct electricity and move electrical charges or signals throughout your body. These charges are vital to many processes that keep us alive and functioning well, including the operation of the brain, nerves, and muscles, and the creation of new tissue. (Morris, 2015)

 

FUNCTIONS OF ELECTROLYTES

There are many electrolytes needed to run the body. Here’s a list of some of the most important ones and their primary functions (Morris, 2015):

Sodium

  • Helps control fluids in the body, impacting blood pressure
  • Necessary for muscle and nerve function
  • Helps balance all the electrolytes

 

Chloride

  • Helps balance electrolytes
  • Balances acidity and alkalinity, which helps maintain a healthy pH
  • Essential to proper digestion

 

Potassium

  • Regulates the heart and blood pressure
  • Helps balance electrolytes
  • Aids in transmitting nerve impulses
  • Contributes to bone health
  • Necessary for muscle contraction

 

Magnesium

  • important to the production of DNA and RNA
  • Contributes to nerve and muscle function
  • Helps maintain heart rhythm
  • Helps regulate blood glucose levels
  • Enhances the immune system

 

Calcium

  • A key component of bones and teeth
  • Important to the movement of nerve impulses and muscle movement
  • Contributes to blood clotting

 

Phosphate

  • Strengthens bones and teeth
  • Helps cells produce the energy needed for tissue growth and repair

 

Bicarbonate

  • Helps the body maintain a healthy pH
  • Regulates heart function

 

Our electrolytes perform many other functions, including regulating body temperature, respiratory rate, digestion, energy production, fluid transport across cells, ion transport, renal function (including bladder control), glucose metabolism, neurological function, signal transduction, thought, and memory; maintaining fluid levels; preventing cardiac arrhythmia. All our senses also rely on electrolytes in the body for gathering information and then transporting those messages to the brain and the muscles; and many, many more. (Kane, 2016)
It would be easier to count the number of stars in the sky than the number of functions electrolytes perform in our bodies. (Kline, 2015)

 

 

 

WHEN ELECTROLYTES BECOME UNBALANCED (Morris, 2015)

 

(Source: draxe.com)
(Source: draxe.com)

 

The levels of the fluids found inside and outside the cells of our bodies should remain fairly consistent. On average, about 40% of our fluids are inside the cells and 20% are outside the cells. Electrolytes help the body adjust these values to maintain a healthy percentage balance.
While it’s normal for our electrolyte levels to fluctuate, they can become seriously imbalanced – resulting in the creation of  too many or not enough minerals or electrolytes. Among the things that can cause such an imbalance are:
  • Fluid loss from heavy exercise or physical activity
  • Over hydration – drinking too much water
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Medications such as diuretics, antibiotics, and chemotherapy drugs
  • Alcoholism and cirrhosis of the liver
  • Heart failure
  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia
  • Severe burns
  • Some forms of cancer

 

 

 

EMERGEN-C

 

81MU-Oc9FaL._SX522_

 

 

I took a packet of Emergen-C Immune Plus because it was what happened to be at hand. If you prefer to avoid the sugars, colors, and flavors in Emergen-C products, you could use LyteShow or LyteCaps, and/or drink raw coconut water and switch from refined table salt to a pink sea salt.
Ingredients in Emergen-C Immune Plus (Blueberry-Acai) packets:

 

81S3m4j-qbL._SX522_

If you can’t make out the fuzzy image above (the best I was able to find), see this page on VitaCost’s site – which also lists the less than desirable ingredients in Emergen-C, such as the fructose and maltodextrin.

 

 

 

LYTESHOW & LYTECAPS

These two electrolyte products will replenish your electrolytes without any of the calories, sugars, sweeteners, carbohydrates, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives in Emergen-C products:

717Dg5kSNJL._SY679_

Liquid: LyteShow – Electrolyte Concentrate for Rapid Rehydration – 40 Servings (With Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc)
Each 4 ounce bottle contains 40 servings of LyteShow concentrate. Depending on usage, each bottle lasts approximately 2-6 weeks. Ingredients include balanced ions of magnesium, sodium, chloride, and potassium. Also contains zinc, an essential trace element, and citric acid. (Amazon.com)

 

81CNF1eHZAL._SY679_

Capsules: LyteCaps – Perfect Balance of Electrolytes for Serious Rehydration – 30 Servings, 60 Vegetarian Capsules (With Magnesium, …
  • Each 60 vegetarian capsule bottle contains 30 servings of LyteCaps. Ingredients include balanced ions of magnesium, sodium, chloride, and potassium. Also contains Vitamin D3 and L-Tyrosine.
  • LyteCaps contains a carefully formulated balance of electrolytes in a dry, capsule form. Minerals include magnesium, potassium, sodium, calcium, as well as patented TRAACS® manganese and zinc.
  • Contains no calories, sugars, sweeteners, carbohydrates, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Manufactured in an FDA-regulated and NSF GMP-certified facility.
  • Take LyteCaps with water to replace electrolytes and fluids lost from sweating, exercising, or even drinking alcohol. More comprehensive than your typical sports drinks, LyteCaps provides a health-focused alternative that can help prevent muscle cramps and help you recover quickly. (Amazon.com)

 

 

 

RAW COCONUT WATER

Then there’s my very favorite way to restore electrolytes: Hold Harmless Organic Raw Coconut Water. I like to mix it about 50/50 with filtered water.

 

CCW_Facts_OGP

 

HIMALAYAN PINK SEA SALT

Himalayan Pink Sea Salt contains 84 trace minerals, including the electrolytes our bodies need. I carry a small GoTubb of it in my purse when I’m traveling or eating out in my own city – and also sometimes just sprinkle some into my palm and lick it off.

 

 tumblr_mkbbrhqgn41ra1ir4o5_1280

 

Here’s a brief comparison of refined white table salt with Himalayan Pink Salt so you can see how switching from table salt to Himalayan Pink will benefit your health.

 

606692-38127-13

For more information on the benefits of sea salts and health risks of refined table salt, see The Healing Properties of Unrefined Salts. (Hardin, 2014B) and Sea Salts vs White Table Salt (Hardin, 2016).

 

 

SPORTS DRINKS, ENERGY DRINKS & SODAS

 

(Source: blog.smilegeneration.com)
(Source: blog.smilegeneration.com)

 

It’s best to avoid a “sports drink” like GatorAde if possible – unless it’s the only thing available to you to avoid dehydration and electrolyte depletion. These drinks tend to be loaded with sugar (or, even worse for you, artificial sweeteners) and food dyes. You’ve no doubt observed their garish colors.

 

(Source: www.wikihow.com728 × 546Search by image )
(Source: www.wikihow.com728 × 546Search by image)

 

And I hope you know by now that sodas like Coke, Pepsi, and other soft drinks – both the regular and diet versions – are not good choices either, that they damage your health in the following ways:
  • Most of them contain caffeine
  • The diet or ‘lite’ versions contain artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, a  ‘sugar coated poison’.
  • They damage teeth
  • They weaken bones
  • They damage kidneys
  • They promote weight gain
  • They adversely affect fertility
  • They promote gastroesophageal reflux
  • They interfere with brain functioning
  • And … they’re actually DEHYDRATING to boot
For more information on why these pseudo-thirst quenchers are harmful, take a look at 10 Reasons Why Drinking Coke (and other Soda Drinks) May Be Harmful For Your Body
(Naik, 2016).

 

 

 

 

MANUAL CLEARING OF LYMPH GLANDS IN NECK & CHEST

 

(Source: www.higherpurposehealing.com)
(Source: www.higherpurposehealing.com)
Lymph is a clear, watery fluid that contains our white blood cells, protein molecules, various salts, glucose, bacteria.
Our lymphatic system is the body’s inner drainage network, protecting us from illness and disease-causing chronic inflammation. Its principal role is to protect the body against damage from infections caused by pathogenic bacteria and cancel cells while helping keep fluid levels in balance.
The lymph system consists of a complex network of vessels and nodes spanning almost the entire body, carrying fluids from tissues into the blood, and vice versa. This system is a critical part of our immune system and important for wound healing.
Along with those lymph vessels and nodes, the tonsils, adenoids, spleen and thymus are also part of the lymphatic system.
Lymph nodes are located near major arteries since the lymphatic system needs to connect to our blood flow to keep the blood clean. Some of the most prominent locations of our lymph nodes are the throat, armpits, chest, abdomen, and groin.
Toxins, pathogenic bacteria, and other illness-causing microbes  enter our bodies every day and make their way into the lymphatic fluid. Eventually, this fluid and its contents can get trapped inside the lymph nodes, where infection-fighting white blood cells called lymphocytes attempt to destroy them. Bacteria and toxins are filtered out and more white blood cells are produced, used up, and replenished.
Another important function of the lymphatic system is keeping bodily fluids in balance. (Axe, 2016)

 

 

lymphaticsystemgraphic1

 

Unlike the circulatory system which has the heart to pump blood around the body, the lymphatic system has no type of pump. Movement of the lymph from the outer reaches of the body toward the heart occurs when we breathe and move our muscles. This arrangement worked well before we took to sitting as much as most of us do today – at desks, in cars, in front of the TV, as spectators at sporting events. In our sedentary life style, the lymph in the body is likely to become stagnant and fail to move toxins through the lymph nodes and out of the body.
See Fighting Off A Virus (Hardin, 2014A) for instructions on how to clear your own lymph glands manually. After even a few minutes squeezing out the lymph nodes on your neck or along the top of your chest, you’ll likely feel more a lot more alert, healthier, and happier.

 

 

 

PYLORIC & ILEOCECAL VALVES

 

PYLORIC VALVE – LOCATED BETWEEN THE BOTTOM OF THE STOMACH & TOP OF THE SMALL INTESTINE

(Source: slideplayer.com)
(Source: slideplayer.com)

 

 

 

LOCATION OF ILEOCECAL VALVE – LOCATED BETWEEN THE END OF THE SMALL INTESTINE & TOP OF THE LARGE INTESTINE

(Source: www.utahmillers.com)
(Source: www.utahmillers.com)

 

Malfunctioning pyloric and/or ileocecal valves play a part in many physical illnesses and conditions. Either or both of these valves can become sluggish and remain open when they should be closing or stay closed when they should be opening.
An ileocecal valve stuck in the open position can cause diarrhea, leading to dehydration and lack of energy. A valve sticking in the closed position can cause tightness in the bowel movements or constipation. Both conditions create a toxic condition and cause imbalances anywhere in the body where there is blood.
See MALFUNCTIONING PYLORIC & ILEOCECAL VALVES – AND HOW TO FIX THEM for various techniques to work on your pyloric and ileocecal valves.

 

 

BODYMIND BALLWORK

 

(Source: www.yogacitynyc.com )
(Source: www.yogacitynyc.com)
This technique is taught by Ellen Saltonstall at her yoga studio in New York City. “The distinct feature of Bodymind Ballwork is the use of rubber balls of varying sizes and textures (as small as a walnut and as big as a melon), which support, massage and stretch localized areas of the body.  There are techniques for every part of you, from head to toes. The result is a wonderful feeling of lightness and ease in the body, and quiet alertness in the mind.” (Saltonstall, 2016)
The ball I use down the center of my back is the green spiky one shown at the lower right of the photo above. It’s hollow and about 4″ in diameter.
See Ellen’s website for more information.  She’s currently at work on a book on BodyMind BallWork principles and techniques.

 

 

Many thanks to Ellen Saltonstall for bringing LyteShow to my attention.

 

 

 

CLEAR SIGNS IT’S TOO HOT OUTSIDE

damn_its_hot_outside_640_16

 

505135be5bea3e19e471339bc26bd29f

 

signs-its-hot-seagulls-beach

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES

Axe, J. (2016). The Lymphatic System: How to Make It Strong & Effective. See: https://draxe.com/lymphatic-system/

Gulati, S. (2011). The Role Of Electrolytes In The Body. See: http://www.symptomfind.com/nutrition-supplements/role-of-electrolytes-in-the-body/

Hardin, J.R. (2014A). Fighting Off A Virus. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2014/10/12/fight-viruses/

Hardin, J.R. (2014B). The Healing Properties of Unrefined Salts. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/?s=healing+properties+unrefined+salts

Hardin, J.R. (2015). MALFUNCTIONING PYLORIC & ILEOCECAL VALVES – AND HOW TO FIX THEM. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2015/08/15/malfunctioning-pyloric-ileocecal-valves-and-how-to-fix-them/

Hardin, J.R. (2016). Sea Salts vs White Table Salt. See: http://allergiesandyourgut.com/2016/05/22/sea-salt-vs-white-table-salt/

Kane, E. (2016). The E-Lyte Story: Why You Need Electrolytes! BodyBio. See:  http://www.bodybio.com/content.aspx?page=elyte-electrolyte-101

Kline, D. (2015). What Are Electrolytes And Why Do You Need Them? Cherish the Body. See: http://cherishthebody.com/what-are-electrolytes-and-why-do-you-need-them/

Morris, S.Y. (2015). How to Prevent an Electrolyte Imbalance. See: http://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/how-to-prevent-an-electrolyte-imbalance#Overview1

Naik, D. (2016). 10 Reasons Why Drinking Coke (and other Soda Drinks) May Be Harmful For Your Body. See: http://listsurge.com/10-reasons-why-drinking-coke-and-other-soda-drinks-may-be-harmful-for-your-body/

Saltonstall, E. (2016). Bodymind Ballwork. See: http://www.ellensaltonstall.com/ballwork-kinetic-awareness/

 

 

 

 

© Copyright 2016. Joan Rothchild Hardin. All Rights Reserved.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.