Maybe you feel this way in the wintertime, when there’s less incentive to go outside and be active. You move less and complain of sore and achy joints in the feet or knees. You may feel tenderness around the breasts and experience some weight gain.
Contrary as it may seem, moving your body and activating those stiff parts is the best remedy to reduce pain.
It may be from inflammation building up when you are tired, stressed from not taking care of yourself or eating inflammatory foods. Inflammation is a sign of the immune system going out-of-wrack from an increase in blood supply to an infected area showing up as redness, heat, swelling, fever or pain such as an emerging pimple or cold sore. Typically, inflammation occurs and then corrects itself. When it festers and becomes chronic, pain ensues, and it worsens.
Movement is one of the best ways to reduce inflammation which gets your circulation going. It stimulates the lymphatic system, the body’s drainage system. There are over 600 lymph nodes located in the throat, groin, armpits, chest, spleen, abdomen, lungs, brain. It is a network of blood vessels and lymph nodes carrying fluids for tissues around the body.
The lymph system is also where many of the immune cells hang out, where they are born, transported or reside during attacks from foreign invaders.
Lymph vessels are the immune system’s superhighway that alerts cells to come to the rescue.
It removes foreign cells and proteins dumping them into the blood stream to be broken down and eliminated. It carries protein molecules, salt, glucose, bacteria and other substances throughout the body. This system protects us from illness and disease.
A COOL FACT The lymphatic system has no pumping system and relies on muscle activity and exercise for the lymph to circulate. Health professionals believe that the trend in lack of physical activity has contributed to higher risks of illness, infection and diseases. Makes sense, right?
When the lymphatic system becomes stressed symptoms of illness occur such as chronic fatigue, swelling in lymph nodes, muscle aches and pains, joint pain, fibromyalgia, arthritis, sore throats and colds and viruses.
Here are 5 ways that movement stimulates the lymphatic system to reduce pain:
- As part of your daily exercise, try gently tapping or massaging the parts of the body that are achy to activate circulation. Starting at the centre of the chest, the arms, the armpits along the sides of the breast, the breasts themselves, the stomach and down the legs, the ankles, feet and then back up along the back of legs to the lower back (kidneys and adrenals). Tap the head, neck and shoulders too., I do this in qigong sessions.
- Jumping up and down, shaking your body pumping the heals and rapidly moving the hands, arms and shoulders, bouncing on a rebounder (a small trampoline) jumping up and down for two minutes to get your heart rate up and circulation stimulated.
- Using a vibrating machine or Dr. Ho’s Circulation Promotor, stimulates circulation in the feet and body. If not, soak your feet in hot water with Epsom salt or take a hot bath with Epsom salt.
- Swimming is great exercise for stimulating the lymphatic system and not straining joints. Aquafit (in deep water) is an excellent activity to do as well if you don’t like swimming laps.
- Connecting to your breath as we do with mindful meditation. Breathing calms the mind and body! Sign up for Heal to Health: A mindful practice for coping with stress!
Daily exercise has its benefits too:
- Exercise activates the body releasing dopamine to feel happy
- Improves gait and balance
- Activates the metabolism, stimulating stomach acid for absorbing nutrients and gut flora.
- Improves mood, self confidence, and sleep
- Builds bone density.
If you have a dog then you have to go outside a few times a day. It is a perfect way to get your body moving without stress.
Yours in health,