18 Signs Your Lymphatic System is Clogged and How to Get It Moving Again!

18 Signs Your Lymphatic System is Clogged and How to Get It Moving Again! from #naturalhealth #healthcoach

If you have been living with nagging health issues and are looking to restore your health and feel better, one function of the body that is vital to address is detoxification. One system of the body that is of particular importance for detoxification is the lymphatic system.

The lymphatic system, which runs parallel to the circulatory system, contains a hundreds of lymphatic vessels and bean shaped nodes that are located throughout the body. This system carries a clear fluid, known as lymph throughout the body. Lymphatic fluid helps to deliver vital white blood cells throughout the body which help to fight disease. But lymph fluid is also where toxins are deposited from the body to be filtered by the lymph nodes.

The lymphatic system is a vital part of our immune system and when it becomes clogged and the lymphatic fluid is not allowed to flow freely, it compromises your immune system and allows toxins to build up.  The resulting buildup of toxins can cause symptoms and can ultimately lead to infection and disease.

How do you know if your lymphatic system is clogged?

There are several tell tale signs that lymphatic fluid is not moving effectively and that toxins are building up in your body.

  1. Bloating
  2. Swelling in your fingers/rings fitting more tightly
  3. Brain fog
  4. Digestive issues
  5. Parasites
  6. Depression
  7. Sinus infections
  8. Skin problems/dry and or itchy skin
  9. Enlarged lymph nodes
  10. Chronic fatigue
  11. Feeling sore or stiff when you wake up in the morning
  12. Unexplained injuries
  13. Excess weight
  14. Cold hands and feet
  15. Constipation
  16. Worsened allergies
  17. Food sensitivities
  18. Increased colds and flu

Unlike the circulatory system, in which the heart acts as a pump, this system has no pump.  But there are certain things that you can do to activate your lymphatic system and get it flowing and removing toxins again.

How to get the lymphatic system moving


When you exercise and actively move your body, it activates the flow of lymphatic fluid throughout the body. Exercising is the most effective way of increasing the function of the lymphatic system. But you do not have to engage in vigorous exercise to get the lymphatic fluid moving! Gentle to moderate intensity is all you need! Exercise also helps encourage perspiration, which helps to release toxins. This can help to lighten the toxic load on the lymphatic system.

Deep breathing

Slow, relaxed deep breathing is a simple way to activate the lymphatic system. Most people do not breathe deeply throughout the day. In fact, while focusing on tasks, most people actually hold their breath without being aware that they are doing so. It is important to make a conscious effort to make some time throughout your day to practice some deep breathing. That will help you to detox….and it’s great for reducing stress as well, which can also add to the toxins in your body!

Dry brushing

Dry brushing is the use of a soft, natural bristle brush on dry skin in order to manually activate the lymphatic system.  Here is a video that will show you the best way to incorporate skin brushing into your daily routine.

Other ways you can support your lymphatic system

Clean up your diet

If you are eating foods that are packaged and highly processed, you are most likely consuming a large amount of chemical additives, preservatives, artificial coloring and flavors. These chemicals are unnatural add to the toxic load on the body. It becomes much more challenging for the lymphatic system and other detoxification organs to effectively filter out so many toxins and can make you sick more quickly.

Switch to a diet of whole foods instead of pre-packaged, convenience foods. Be sure to include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables! Vegetables such as dark, leafy greens, low sugar fruits and nuts such as walnuts and almonds can actually help to promote the flow of lymphatic fluid as well as reducing the amount of toxins entering your body. When you can, opt for organic versions of these foods. Organic versions will expose you to far fewer pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, and will lower the toxic stress on the body as well!

Don’t wear tight fitting clothing

Clothing that is tight fitting can reduce circulation throughout the body. Tight clothing can actually reduce and restrict the movement of the lymphatic system preventing detoxification. Bras and tight fitting underwear can constrict flow in areas where there are a highly concentrated number of lymph nodes, and can lead to an increase in the symptoms associated with toxin buildup in the body. It is okay to wear these items on occasion, but it is important to not wear them for long periods of time on a regular basis. For instance, women who wear a bra for long periods of time should reconsider doing so and men who wear tight fitting underwear, may want to consider switching to boxer shorts.

Drink plenty of water

All of the organs and systems of the body need regular hydration in order to function properly. The lymphatic system is no exception.  This system is comprised primarily of water and so it is vital that you are getting enough clean, filtered water to support full functioning. Keeping yourself well hydrated also supports the rest of the body’s natural detoxification pathways and can reduce the load on the lymphatic system as well.

With so many living a sedentary life, eating unhealthy foods and not actively doing what they can to move the lymphatic system, it is no surprise that many face the symptoms that accompany a system that is sluggish or clogged. But taking action to support the detoxification of your body by moving lymph will help you to ultimately avoid chronic illness, increase energy and lead you on the path to better health.

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20 thoughts on “18 Signs Your Lymphatic System is Clogged and How to Get It Moving Again!

  1. Loved the video on dry brushing and would like to have the print out on technique that was mentioned, can you help me find it as apparently I am doing it all wrong!

  2. Does this also affect your appendix? I’ve been feeling sick to my stomach and sore deep on my right side. My advanced chiropractor gave me some drops under my tongue to help clean my lymph nodes. Also have a Hydel hernia. Especially sick when. I sit straight up. Don’t know if I should go to my Dr. Or wait a for results.

    1. Hi Linda,
      It may. The problem is that we don’t understand the function of the appendix, but it does contain lymphatic vessels, so there is a connection to the lymphatic system there. We just don’t understand how the connection works. Doing simple things like deep breathing, lymphatic massage and exercise can also help to move the lymphatic fluid. And of course, avoiding junk food and toxins in household cleaners and personal care products can help as well!

    2. Peg, I have the same deep, painful feeling in the right lower abdomen. Even had a CT scan – NOTHING FOUND. It hurts! I stopped drinking caffeine and it helped tremendously – Don’t have the painful episodes like I used to (only occasionally). Also, I realized that smoking made it worse, too (I started smoking a bit lately because of stress – I know, not the way to handle it, but…). Anyway, I am trying to figure out what the heck it is, too. Even had my liver and adrenal checked. I also have fibromyalgia so maybe that has something to do with that. I am trying to dry brush thing this week when it comes in the mail. I’ll try anything at this point!

  3. I have tiny firm round lumps under the skin in a line down the outer side of my upper legs. I’ve tried massage but the problem’s worsening. I’ve just read above about diet, breathing, exercise and reducing chemicals around the house. Will these activities help to alleviate these hardened vessels in my legs? My doctor doesn’t know what they are.

    1. I really can’t say. It may, but not understanding where the underlying dysfunction that is causing the issue is coming from, right now you are just guessing. You may consider working with an FDN practitioner who can do some functional lab testing with you. That could help uncover where those dysfunctions are coming from and help you to find the right protocol to help your body to reverse it.

  4. I have been having numbness in my hands in the morning and also deal with arm pit order. I know my lymphatic system is plugged. How do I stop the numbness in my hands?

    1. Unfortunately I can’t answer that for you. The numbness could be caused by a number of different things. Sorry! If you are interested in connecting with an FDN practitioner to help resolve that issue, please send an email to [email protected]. Thanks!

  5. Had lymph nodes checked. Nothing found. Lymph drainage is very poor. Drain and the fluid builds right back up. I now have chronic fatigue and sinusitis and stiff joints. What kind of brush do I use?

    1. Find a nice soft bristle brush that will be comfortable on your skin. Also, do plenty of deep breathing exercises and make sure you are getting some exercise…that will help move lymph as well!

  6. I had HELLP Syndrome and was in the hospital for six days. All the fluid they gave me blocked my lymph system. It’s been three months now and I am still struggling with my bowels and with water retention in my waist and thighs. I am also bloated every night. I run and work out every day. I also have been doing brushing. I have not gotten my period after my c section three months ago either.

    1. Wow, that’s a lot to deal with. It’s amazing how your health can be impacted by a blocked lymphatic system! Hopefully you’ll be able to get that moving again so that your symptoms begin to go away!

  7. My best friend has suddebly broken out in acne. Up until six months ago her skin was totally clear. She is 30 years old. She also gets very tired, has bouts of a flu type episode where her body hurts and she feels totally drained. She also has a red pimply rash on her buttocks. Could this be a lympthatic issue?

    1. It could, but there are other things that could cause that as well. The best thing she can do is to get tested to understand exactly what areas of her body need healing support.

      1. How do you get tested? I suspect that my lymphatic system may be blocked. I had a lymph node swell up and then burst about 10 years ago. a straw colored liquid drains from it. About 4 years ago, I started having numbness in my arms and legs. No doctor seems to have any idea what is happening to me. I feel better when I exercise and I take high doses of vitamin C (which helps too). I have a chiropractor that says h=she is helping my lymphatic system move by pressing in my shoulder area. That helps too

    2. This sounds like Dermatitis Herpetaformis (Herpes-like dermatitis) and can most likely be completely reversed by giving up ALL FORMS of grains but Wheat, rye and barely are the most likely culprits. I had this when I learned that it was a food allergy caused by what I believe is Lyme Disease. This was miserable to deal with and got worse and worse to the point that I could barely stand to shower due to the stinging pain and the itching was horrible. This also was present on my elbows. My case cleared up completely in the space of a month or so and only returned once when I had been eating corn chips. Again, cut out all forms of grains, dairy, corn, soy and most likely peanuts. You must also watch out for sneaky ingredients like corn starch.

  8. I believe there are massage therapist who specialize in offering lympthatic drainage massages. Has anyone heard of this, or had one done with any success? Thanks

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