Lymphatic Exercises: Yoga & Qigong (pronounced Chee-Gong)
Terrain Wellness 3-3-3 Lymph Exercises
As discussed previously, lymph vessels require active movement of the body to effectively do their jobs. It is very important that our lymph is moved from the extremities to the center of the body, so that wastes and toxins from our cells can be removed from the body. Dr. Vy and Dr. Dani have come up with this dynamic exercise routine we call the “3-3-3” to improve lymph circulation.
- Brings your attention into your body and out of your mental space
- Increases lymph and blood circulation
- Loosens up stiff muscles and joints by allowing for different types of movement than the usual routine
- Easy to do! You can vary the way you do the exercises or the length of time to fit your needs. No special equipment is needed. It does not take up much space. Do it during your breaks at work!
Benefits of lymphatic exercise:
Qigong (pronounced “chee gong”) is a form of meditative exercise that has been used in China for thousands of years to improve health and cultivate energy. “Qi” means energy and “gong” means to train or cultivate. It is similar to Tai Chi, but does not have any martial applications. Recently, it has been shown to be effective for many health conditions.
- Prevent bone loss
- Reduce oxidative stress
- Improve physical strength, flexibility, and balance
- Improve immune function
- Promote balance between the parasympathetic (“rest and digest”) and the sympathetic (“fight, flight, or freeze”) nervous system, therefore improving digestion and decreasing anxiety
- Promote heart health by increasing heart rate variability and decreasing hypertension
Benefits of regular Qigong (say it chee-gong) practice:
Chinese “Slapping” exercises
This is an exercise that you will often see elderly people in Chinese parks perform in the morning as they do their walks. “Slapping” is performed with a cupped hand and though it sounds loud, the actual force on the body does not have to be very strong. The right amount of force depends on the person, but it should never hurt. The movement helps to increase circulation to the surface of the body, where there are many lymph vessels.
Yoga and stretching
An important part of yoga is regulated deep breathing. Deep breathing helps to regulate the nervous system and promote relaxation. It also creates a pumping action to increase lymph movement back to the abdomen and chest. Any yoga will be helpful for lymphatic movement. We have chosen a few exercise that are especially targeted to lymph drainage from the limbs. These exercises can be done at a desk, if needed. However, we recommend standing if possible.
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