Exercise is good for everyone, but eczema warriors may cringe at the thought of it, as sweat frequently stings and irritates their sensitive skin, making it flare, or making the itching worse. But when I learnt how exercises drain lymph nodes and thus are a big boost to the natural healing of eczema, I felt less bad about my eczema kids’ discomfort from sweating, and simply found ways to help them cope with it after their exercise regime.
In this article, we will look at:
- what are lymph nodes
- why is it important to drain lymph nodes for eczema
- how exercises help drain your lymph nodes naturally
- what are the best exercises that can drain our lymph nodes, these include:
- walking or jogging
What are lymph nodes
Lymph nodes are soft tissue nodules that are bean-shaped, joined by lymph vessels and other lymph organs to form the lymphatic system, which is part of the immune system. Lymphocytes (white blood cells) in the lymph nodes fight against bacteria and other undesirable substances which have been carried into the lymphatic system from other parts of the body, via the lymphatic fluid.
There are hundreds of lymph nodes all over our body, some nearer to the skin, and others deep within the body. The lymph nodes that we are able to feel are in the neck, underarms, chest, abdomen, and groin area, because these are where lymph nodes occur in more obvious clusters.
When there is an infection, lymph nodes swell because white blood cells multiply to fight the foreign substances, and also partly because of inflammation.
Why is it important to drain the lymph nodes for eczema
One of the roots of eczema is too much undesirable substances for the body to handle, whether they come from food allergies, environmental triggers, exposure to chemicals and toxins through cleaning products and personal care products, vaccinations, leaky gut, weak elimination organs, etc.
With too much bad stuff for the body to handle, it chooses to push out the toxins through the skin, which is one of our largest elimination organs, and a non-vital one at that. Hence eczema.
Draining the lymphatic system is essential for health because when the lymphatic fluid accumulates and become stagnant, so do toxins.
Unlike our circulatory system in which blood is pumped all around the body by the heart, there is no pump in the lymphatic system. Lymphatic circulation is a one-way flow, in which the lymph (another name for lymphatic fluid) move into the lymphatic system from the interstitial spaces of the cells everywhere in the body. It then moves upward, against gravity, and out of the lymphatic system through the veins under the neck, joining the circulatory system.
This upward movement of the lymph is aided by muscles in the lymphatic system. There are also one-way valves in the lymphatic vessels to prevent any back flow.
The two main ways to aid lymphatic drainage are massage and exercise.
How exercises drain lymph nodes
Exercises drain lymph nodes because lymphatic drainage relies on muscular contractions to work, to move the lymph against gravity. So when we get active, it keeps the lymph flowing.
What are the best exercises to drain lymph nodes
Any form of exercise or motion is great in maintaining a healthy lymphatic system, so go for something you love so that it keeps you going, and the exercise regime is a sustainable one. But the very best exercises to drain lymph nodes in the most effective way are those that involve up and down movements, because they open and close the one-way valves during these vertical motions, increasing lymphatic flow by up to 20 times.
Walking / jogging
Take a brisk walk in the park every evening, at a speed that increases your heart rate and works out a sweat. Even 20 minutes can be a great boost to your immune health. The swinging motion of your arms as you walk is actually crucial to lymphatic flow, as it serves to ‘pump’ the upper part of the lymphatic system.
If you love jogging, by all means go ahead, though strenuous exercise is not necessary for good lymphatic drainage. My 9-year old son with eczema loves a good jog with his dad, it gives them great bonding time, works the lymphatic system, and works out a sweat. Though he has to manage the itch and irritation caused by the sweat, by taking a shower soon after exercising, to wash it off.
Bouncing (also termed rebounding) on a trampoline is a gentle way to work some up and down movements into your life on a daily basis. It also exercises your cardiovascular system. 15 minutes a day will be great, either in one sitting, or spread over three 5-minute sessions. A trampoline with a handle bar will help with your balance and posture.
I have been doing this arm-swinging exercise myself when I feel sluggish and want to give my immune system and lymphatic drainage a boost. 20 minutes a day, really helps in lifting my mood and freshening me up, which I believe is because it is working the lymph. It is simple, can be done anywhere, and not strenuous at all. Watch the video linked below (by Dr George Love) to learn how to do it.
Jump rope if you must, to get all that energy out of your system too. But do watch out for those joints, they may not like it if you jump rope too often. A carpet, or some exercise mat or foam mat, or even grass would make your joints more happy than landing on hard tiles or concrete.
Daily exercises drain lymph nodes and take care of your immune health, so that the lymphatic system works for you to filter out the toxins in your body. When elimination works well, our body does not have to resort to using the skin in pushing out the undesirable substances, and eczema symptoms will clear up. As always, tackle the root and heal eczema naturally.