Why Holistic Doctors Are Buzzing About Lymphatic Drainage
Paying attention to this important system will pay dividends to your overall health, but to the numbers on the scale as well.
You may have heard (or even noticed!) that in just 8 to 16 minutes of movement a day, you’ll likely lose weight working with Elev8d Fitness. It seems like a hoax—you’re not sweating buckets, your heart isn’t pounding out of your chest, you’re not gasping for breath. And yet, person after person sees the scale go down by changing nothing other than adding these light exercise routines to their day.
Elev8d isn’t like other fitness routines—the method only calls for eight minutes a day, four times a week. And yet test groups report a dramatic uptick in energy, weight loss, and an overall increase in functional strength. Elev8d workouts focus on functional movements, which work the entire body efficiently. But there is another key reason that the simple program has such dramatic results: “Elev8d helps promote weight loss is because it encourages something called lymphatic drainage,” says Elev8d Co-founder Pete Egoscue.
What Is Lymphatic Drainage?
Your lymphatic system is an important part of your immune system and functions like the second circulatory system—it is a network of vessels that lies right next to each vein in your body, and is responsible for things like removing interstitial fluid (that’s the fluid that surrounds cells), absorbing fatty acids from your digestive system, and transporting white blood cells from lymph nodes to bone and tissue.
This sounds fine and dandy, but in truth, a lot of what the lymphatic system does is remove waste, like dead blood cells, pathogens, and toxins.
“It’s in effect the sewer system of your body,” explains Egoscue. “When our bodies are functioning optimally, it removes the waste from our systems. But it can also become congested and remain backed up, which causes us to feel sluggish and retain weight.”
Now, it’s important to note we talked to a few traditional physicians who had never heard of lymphatic drainage being tied to one’s weight, and there are no scientific studies on the idea. But there is a subset of holistic doctors who support this idea, including Mark Sherwood, Naturopathic Doctor and founder of the Functional Medical Institute in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
“There are a lot of reasons the lymphatic system can become blocked,” Sherwood says. A few biggies are cancer, tumors, or cysts on your organs, but among the controllable factors are poor nutritional habits and being sedentary.
And since lymphatic fluid is a form of weight, if your lymphatic system gets blocked in any way you may experience weight gain or sluggish weight loss, Sherwood adds. It can stay stagnant like that for years—unless you do something to get your system flowing again.
What To Do
“Just like your venous system, the lymphatic system has to come against gravity, and it takes movement for that to happen,” Egoscue explains. That means the more you move, the more that waste is encouraged to drain.
There’s a special type of massage that’s effective in moving lymph fluid, Sherwood adds. But the easiest, most accessible aid: “Light exercise, namely stretching and moving in ways that realign your musculoskeletal system, help encourage lymphatic drainage,” he says.
That’s where Elev8d comes in: Considering most of us only really sit and stand throughout the day, we aren’t moving our body through all the directions it was designed for in order to optimize lymphatic drainage, Egoscue explains. Moving through the daily Elev8d sequences helps unblock your system, allowing the waste to move through and out your body. More energy, more functionality, and less weight are just a few of the perks of sticking with the routine.