Tuesday 27 January 2015

Detox January

Detox January

I’m meeting lots of people at the moment who are detoxing and trying to stay well and healthy. New fitness routines are being put in place and healthy eating changes are taken place. It’s really great to see so many people looking after themselves and this prompted me to provide some information about how massage therapy assists in this process and give a brief outline of how our body actually detoxifies and helps fight infections.

It’s your lymphatic system that’s in charge of cleaning up toxins to provide immunity, preventing infections passing into your blood stream and aids in the digestion of fats. The lymphatic system protects the body as lymph nodes filter out harmful stuff before returning the fluid back to the blood system and prevents infection passing into the blood stream. 

How does massage therapy help me during detox? 

Massage uses long strokes to start warming the tissues and increase your circulation. These movements importantly increase the flow of your sluggish lymphatic system helping to assisting with the detoxification process. As your blood circulation also increases more nutrients and vitamins can be absorbed by your body and skin.  

Your skin is stimulated and softened; assisting in the removal of the top dead layer of cells therefore enabling the skin to breathe more easily and improves in condition. With healthy skin this in turn increases your resistance to infections as the skin provides a vital barrier to germs.

Also fatty cells can be broken down to be absorbed more easily by the lymphatic system during a massage and by using vigorous techniques such as hacking, this helps speed up the process.

Add Detox massage oil to your massage for increased results

I choose to use beautiful pre-blended massage oils by Base Formula for their additional benefits to clients. The many advantages of their Detox massage oil are explained below by Claire Saxton-Owen from Base Formula:

“This purifying massage oil is expertly blended to enhance the body’s natural detox process. With Sweet Almond Oil, Vitamin E and pure essential oils of Patchouli, Sweet Orange and Juniperberry. Patchouli is a relaxing and uplifting essential oil that can help treat stress, anxiety and depression. It is an excellent diuretic – which means it increases the production of urine to flush toxins out through the kidneys. It also helps to reduce fluid retention and the appearance of cellulite. Juniperberry is a purifying essential oil with a powerful cleansing and tonic action. It is used in lymphatic drainage massage and in helping the body to eliminate toxins. It can also help to alleviate nervous tension, anxiety and fatigue. Sweet Orange has a diuretic action that helps relieve water retention and aids the detox process. It is soothing and refreshing and can help to relieve anxiety, stress and insomnia.  It is also beneficial for the digestive system.” (Quote taken from Guild Gazette, January/February 2015)

Understanding your lymphatic system

The lymphatic system is similar to the veins and arteries in your body, in that it’s made up with tubes that start off as tiny capillaries in tissues and join up to form bigger and bigger vessels. The fluid inside these tubes is called Lymph and this fluid passes through lymph nodes which clean and filter the lymph that enters it.  Once the fluid has passed through the lymph nodes, the clean fluid is returned to the blood in your body.

The lymph fluid is collected by the capillaries which open up and allow toxins to enter it. When we eat or drink our body absorbs the nutrients and vitamins through our tissues and blood stream, which in turn nourishes our organs and tissues to keep us healthy. Anything our body doesn’t require keeps moving through our system to be excreted or turns to fat. The liver plays a key part in keeping any toxins and foreign substances entering our system via the digestive track. The liver removes drugs, alcohol and harmful substances from the system. As food and drink moves through our system, our lymphatic system is constantly working to filter out any toxins before they reach our blood stream.  

Proteins that are too big to enter the blood capillaries are broken down in the lymphatic system. If any damage or inflammation has occurred the lymph capillaries become even more permeable to let this debris enter.  This could be pus, damaged or dead cells, bacteria and cancerous cells.   

The lymph nodes fight any infections or bacteria it has collected up before returning this cleaned fluid to your blood system. The glands in your neck are actually lymph nodes, which you can sometimes feel enlarged when you are fighting off an infection like a cold.  There are approximately 100 lymph nodes in your body and can be found in your neck, armpit, groin, back of the knee and bend of your elbow. As particles enter the lymph node within the lymph fluid the node attempts to dissolve or break down toxins into small particles before they are released back into the body. 

Unlike our blood circulation, which is pumped by our heart, the lymphatic system does not have a pump.  The fluids are moved through our system by the constriction of our muscles which pushes the fluids towards our lymph nodes. This means that the lymph fluid moves very slowly through our system. Exercise therefore is very important and beneficial for our lymphatic system, as it speeds up the flow of the lymph fluid. Damage to your lymph vessels can result in severe water retention or oedema in the damaged area.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle 

Choosing a healthy lifestyle is essential to keeping well and healthy. Try to make healthy food choices and ensure that you keep hydrated by drinking lots of water.  Taking regular exercise is vital to staying healthy as explained above, even if you can only manage a walk.

To keep lymph flowing from your feet, walking is a must as this action helps pump the fluid up from your feet to your legs. Going up and down on your toes pushes the lymph through your feet up into your legs, so this movement is important for healthy feet and legs.

I hope the above information is beneficial and explained how our body filters out nasty bugs and toxins.

For further information about the other benefits of massage and the treatments that I offer, please see the website or contact me. 

Image courtesy of gameanna at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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