Today Tiffany shares her passion for one of the body’s lesser-known and appreciated organ systems, the lymphatic system. We’ve known about the system for over 400 years and yet our understanding of its function and contribution to health has a long way to go. However, given what we do know about this vital system, there is potential for yoga practice to provide significant support for its healthy function.
Tiffany unpacks how the lymphatics act as both a “clean-up crew” for the circulatory system and an “information highway” for the immune system, along with other key roles, and shares implications of recent lymphatics research.
Listen to this episode to learn what the lymphatic system is, the many ways we can support the lymphatic system through yoga practice, and why it is so important to maintain good lymphatic flow.
“Good lymphatic flow is associated with a healthy immune response by keeping information flowing back to the nodes.” – Tiffany Cruikshank
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“The lymphatics are like the information highway of our immune system.” – Tiffany Cruikshank
- While vital, the lymphatic system is not widely well-known or understood [01:49]
- The lymphatic system as both a “clean up crew” and “information highway” [4:42]
- The brand new Yoga Medicine Lymphatics course [10:35]
- Roles in fluid regulation, fluid metabolism and tissue pressure [11:34]
- Roles in assimilation of dietary fat and fat-soluble vitamins [12:44]
- Key drivers of lymph flow [13:25]
- Highlighting the importance of the lymphatic system; implications for detoxification, cancer and lymphedema, inflammatory bowel diseases [14:14]
- Touching on glymphatics, the lymphatics of the brain [20:22]
- Cautions on using yoga as a lymphatics intervention for cancer and lymphedema [21:42]
- Implications of breath-work and diaphragmatic movement on lymph flow [24:45]
- Yoga as support for lymphatic health: inversions, whole-body movement, changing pressure around lymph node clusters, increasing blood circulation [30:55]
- Other helpful techniques: brushing, tapping, arm lifts, fist pumps, bouncing, rocking [35:52]
- Gentle myofascial release to stimulate lymphatics [39:07]
- Supporting general lymphatic health versus specific support for conditions with lymphatic dysfunction [40:21]
- Resources on Yoga Medicine Online [42:11]
- Details on the new Yoga Medicine Lymphatics course [45:52]
- Key takeaways [47:55]
- Watch this episode on YouTube
- LIVE Online Lymphatic Yoga Teacher Training
- Yoga Medicine Resources:
“Research suggests that the lighter touch and the gentler work that we do is also potentially more helpful.” – Tiffany Cruikshank