Self-care rituals are a great way to take charge of your own health. Learning how the body works and how to support the body’s natural healing processes will help you to feel better naturally and without drugs or medications. Keeping the lymph moving in your body is the number one way to boost your immune system as we enter the cold and flu season. Anyone out there have kids who come home from school every fall with runny noses? Today I am sharing with you an easy, at-home way to move your lymphatic system so you can ward off those nasty bugs and germs: Gua Sha.
The lymphatic system
The lymphatic system is made up of glands, lymph nodes, the spleen, thymus gland and tonsils. Unlike the circulatory system, it does not have a pump to move it. It relies solely on the movement of the body to flow. This system plays a crucial role in our immunity. It is often referred to as the immune system. The lymphatic system bathes our body’s cells and carries the body’s cellular waste away from the tissues to the blood, where it can be filtered by two of the body’s main detoxification organs: the liver and kidneys. This waste is made up of the byproducts of our bodily processes, over-the-counter and prescription drugs, illicit drugs, cigarette toxins, other airborne pollutants, food additives, pesticides and other toxins.
In Ayurveda, the ancient Indian science of life, the lymphatic system is referred to as Rasa, the river of life. When the river of our lymph is flowing, our immunity is strong and we are able to ward off infections and germs. Like I said before, the lymphatic system relies on external forces to keep it flowing, like muscle movement or intentional massage.
One way to keep your lymphatic rivers flowing is to practice a self-care ritual called Gua Sha. I learned about this practice while studying Ayurveda with my dear teacher, DeAnna Batdorff, from the Dhyana Center in Sebastopol, California. A true wise woman.
What is Gua Sha?
How and When to Use Gua Sha:
For those visual learners out there, here is a VIDEO TUTORIAL on how to gua sha.
I hope that you find this useful. I would love to hear if you already know about this technique and if you have found it to be helpful. Please note that Gua Sha is intended for normal healthy tissues. If you have a serious medical condition, please consult your primary care provider before making changes in your health care practices.