So there I was, enjoying my first ever lymphatic drainage massage this morning, courtesy of Lovely Linda the Lymph Lady, immediately before my fortnightly colonic (I have yet to make friends with my enema kit, plus colonics are far more effective and don’t run the risk of anti-social bathroom floor accidents).
She was chuffed that I’d written a post about her lecture. But the chuffed-ness quickly morphed into “oh-no-you-didn’t-did-you-ness” when I happened to mention the latest addition to my daily ablutions – the Starbucks scrub (search on here for the original “Look after your lymph and sock it to your cellulite. Here’s how…”).
Reader, if you rushed out and brought home a truckload of coffee grounds after reading my last post, what I am about to tell you may not be so great for you – and a little costly (far more so than the expensive caffeinated creams I’ve hopefully saved you from buying).
But on the bright side, the respective CEOs of Dyno Rod, Drains Are Us, Roto Rooter and the like have probably been polishing their drain rods with ineffable glee ever since.
IN BASIC TERMS: DON’T STAND IN THE SHOWER OR BATH WHILE GRINDING COFFEE GROUNDS INTO YOUR THIGHS. IT COULD SERIOUSLY GUNK UP YOUR DRAINS.
Go in the garden. Stand on a plastic sheet. Do it on the surface of Mars. Scrub away at will, just not in the vicinity of a plughole.
In my defence, I never specified the location in which this particular ritual should take place. But on the balance of probability, you probably did – or were going to do – exactly what I did.
Oh well, crisis averted, albeit narrowly. First off, I was more concerned that if a blockage did ensue, I would be (wrongly) accused of guzzling coffee and trying to hide the evidence like drug dealers do on the telly during a bust.
However, my focus was sharply diverted when I remembered that aforementioned lymphologist Linda happens to be great mates with the lady who owns the house (and the drains) we are renting during our stay here. Double oops.
And p.s. – I just love Whole Foods USA! Here’s a photo of today’s break-out posse, pre-Whole Foods extravagant extravaganza…
We went to a raw food restaurant for lunch, then the beach, then this mecca of all things healthy and wholesome. And then we sped back to base at Hippocrates for the Saturday night delight of nut ice cream with carob and date sauce. Woo-hoo!
So here’s the post again, with the minor-yet-crucial amendment amended. Please re-share if you shared the earlier post.
A couple of posts ago, I promised you a solution to the dreaded Cottage Cheese Thigh, which, apparently, even the likes of Kate Moss and numerous Hollywood A-listers are plagued with.
And I shall deliver. But first, we need to discuss the bodily system which is at the heart of this: the lymph.
At Hippocrates, not only do we get lectures throughout the day, there is usually one in the evenings too. It’s not normally my habit to stay for these, but I was really glad I did on the night that we met Linda Cloward, or Lovely Linda the Lymph Lady, as I have named her.
We’ve all heard of lymph, and we all know that it’s something to do with our immune systems, and, of course, the carrot I drew you all in with – cellulite.
But I never realised until I heard this knowledgeable lady talk how crucial this system is to our health, our longevity, and our ability to fight disease. And that’s why it’s such a tragedy when scalpel-happy surgeons remove it without consent “just in case”.
It’s a pretty poorly-designed system, because although it’s so central to our health, and although it carries twice as much fluid around the body as our veins and arteries, it has no equivalent of the heart to pump it all around.
If you laid out the entire lymph system of the average human end to end, it would reach four times around the world. So it goes without saying that this huge system needs a major helping hand if it is to keep working optimally.
If you are fighting off infections, a great way to kick-start your immune system is to tap in the dips above your collar bone. Animals instinctively know this, which is why gorillas beat their upper chests when they are squaring up for a scrap – preparing for the repair their bodies may have to do afterwards.
WHAT HELPS YOUR LYMPH? (and also banishes cellulite)
- Any kind of movement
- Walking lots
- Hot and cold pools
- Far infra-red saunas – ONE OF THE BEST TIPS! (more of these another day – we have one in our garden here!)
- Gym workouts
- Aerobic exercise
- Rebounding – or just bounce up and down on your ankle joints if you can’t get to a class
- An oxygen-rich, plant-based diet. Meat and dairy just clogs everything up. Seriously.
- Dry brushing – VITALLY IMPORTANT!!!
We all know that we should dry brush our entire bodies each day with a stiff brush, right? Well, not necessarily so, says Linda.
It doesn’t take long for the brush to get clogged with toxins and dead skin cells, which means that you should dump it and buy a new one at least every three months.
But Linda – who is a fully-qualified lymph drainage expert – says you can just use a bog-standard flannel. You don’t have to be harsh, just use gentle, soft strokes to get the lymph moving, always towards the heart. And using a flannel means you can also include the tender chest area, which is vital.
Watch the full demo for how to do this like a pro here: www.lymphwaves.com
Once you know the method, you’ll soon realise that it’s possible to practice this three times when you shower: first, before you get in, second, with a sponge as you wash, and third, when you dry yourself with a towel.
Linda also gave this extra, little known tip to give the orange peel the permanent heave-ho: used, caffeinated coffee grounds. Rub on the area in question like an exfoliant before you shower (I have to get my coffee hit somehow these days). BUT DON’T FLUSH THE GROUNDS DOWN THE SHOWER OR YOU COULD BLOCK IT!!
By the time I leave Florida, I aim to have become a regular fixture in coffee shops across the state, asking for their used coffee grounds (most places, chains and independents alike, are usually happy to off-load these for free). Just compare this trick to all those creams you’ve probably tried in vain containing caffeine, costing a small fortune! Do this daily if you can.
Equally, essential oils such as citrus and fennel are great for the lymph. So burn it in an oil burner, bathe in it (10 drops in total for adults, 5 for children), or add to a massage oil.
IMPORTANT ASIDE: Given that you have a major cluster of lymph nodes in your armpits, it makes total sense to beware what you put on the skin, which absorbs everything. Top of this list is supermarket deodrants, or any containing aluminium compounds. Aluminium is a proven carcinogenic, and considering you put on deodorant every day, it’s not good news. Switch to brands which don’t use aluminium, such as Jason, Dr Hauschka, or Faith in Nature. Preferably, go for alcohol-free too.