Our lymphatic system is basically the sewer system for our body. Like the circulatory system for the blood, it has millions of vessels but unlike the circulatory system, it doesn't have it's own pump.
The heart keeps nutrients moving through the blood to fuel the cells but there is also waste that cells release and toxins that circulate, which now need to be carried out of the body. When this stagnant waste builds up in the body, we become toxic, sluggish and not able to cope with many stressors and diseases.
Lymph is moved by deep breathing, walking, rebounding and other muscle action. When muscles are squeezed, lymph fluid is pushed along to be filtered by the lymph nodes on the way back through the veins to the heart then on to the liver and kidneys.
A simple way to keep lymph moving efficiently is through exercise and deep abdominal breathing.
Notice for a moment what kind of breather you are.
Lay one hand on your belly and one on your chest. Which one rises first? This will tell you if you are more of a chest breather or an abdominal breather.
Many people in western cultures are chronically shallow chest breathers. We live in a fast paced world and have forgotten how to soothe ourselves and slow down.
We live in this small space inside our bodies and tend to breathe only in that small space as well. Busy, busy, hurry, hurry, get it done! Sound familiar?
Taking time each day to practice intentional deep breathing will offer you an amazing de-stress coping skill, will oxygenate your baby and provide you an incredible tool to use in labor.
Simply Deep Breathing
The most basic thing to remember is that you can't expand your lungs fully if they aren't emptied completely first. It's also important to breathe IN through your nose and OUT through your lips.
Start with your exhale through loose lips. Breathe OUT slowly for a count of 8. Hold for a few seconds then breathe IN for a count of 8. NOW...breathe IN even more for another count of 8, hold for a few... then exhale slowly (count of 8) starting over.
This simple breathing exercise, repeated at least 5-10 times daily can do wonders to support your health, your baby and your life!
As a tool for labor
Practice lymphatic breathing for 20-30 minutes a day, laying on your left side with a pillow plumped up under your top knee and your arms and fingers laying loose.
Loosen your lips. Relax your brow. Let your shoulders drop. Feel your belly rise and fall. Expand those lungs fully mama.
Feel your belly rise and fall.
Picture your placenta and baby fully receiving the blessing, love and oxygen you're sending. Feel the warmth. Enjoy each moment.
I know when you're pregnant, it can feel like forever. I promise you, it's not. Take this time to savor. It is such a beautiful season as new life grows within you. It's quickly gone.
Bask in the joy that you are doing everything possible to provide a perfect womb environment to grow your incredible baby.
Love & birth joy! Lisa