If you’ve been using essential oils for a while, you know how beneficial they can be in so many different aspects of your life… but do you know HOW and WHY they work? As I discussed in a recent post, essential oils affect two of our bodies major systems, the limbic and the lymphatic. While the limbic system helps determine emotional feelings, the lymphatic system helps dictate how we feel physically, particularly by fighting off infections.
The body has two major drainage points within the lymphatic system and are located underneath the right and left clavicle, which are at the base of the neck. Our lymphatic vessels carry a liquid called lymph via the contraction of our muscles. This fluid is filtered through the lymph nodes, which helps prevent harmful substances from getting into our blood stream. This liquid contains both waste and essential nutrients from the other cells of the body, and is an important part of our bodies functions.
You may have noticed that when you’re sick, the lymph nodes by your jawline are likely larger than usual; this is due to the fact that they’re fighting infection. The cells that fight these invaders are called lymphocytes and are made up of five different types of white blood cells.
When our lymphatic system is clogged, it prevents our bodies from disposing of toxic chemicals. This causes not only inflammation and pain associated with the lymphatic system, but possibly other diseases as well. We must proactively take care of ourselves by engaging in behavior that promotes a healthy lymphatic system, such as exercise, maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking, so that our lymphatic system can work as it’s intended.
Essential oils can also come into play in helping maintain a healthy lymphatic system. Studies have shown that it’s important to maintain a good balance of HCL (the chemical used to break down food and other chemicals in your stomach) and Potassium in order to have ideal acid/base body chemistry. There are several essential oils, such as Grapefruit, that help promote this balance.
One effective way to use essential oils is through a drainage massage. Sometimes the lymphatic fluid is not dispersed and disposed of properly, which leads to swelling. You can use localized massage to relieve the pressure and promote open flow. To do this, place your hands in a “W” shape by overlapping your thumbs; this will allow you to maneuver and disperse the built up fluid. Steer the fluid towards the subclavian, since the lymph vessels move from the feet upwards.
Here are some oils that you may find helpful for the lymphatic system: Cypress, Fennel, Grapefruit, Helichrysum, Lemongrass, Lime, Sweet Orange, Tangerine
*For informational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
A lot of people still don’t know how essential oils work and what their benefits are, so it’s good to know that there are sites that provide an overview on what they can do for our bodies and minds.