How are you doing bodywise? Chances are if you have made it this far, you have some great strategies that keep your body humming and happy. Chances are you have also experienced some glitches in your body’s overall wellness that have required differentiation from your favorite strategies to get your body back in balance. If you have ever been curious about what your body is trying to say to you, with its aches, pains, and other nagging symptoms, I invite you to get familiar with the body systems and their underlying fields and flows of energy.
From the holistic perspective, your body is designed to heal itself. Your body is a miracle body, capable of self-repair. Yet our modern environments and lifestyles often work against the needs and self-healing mechanisms of the body. As the owner and operator of your body, you have the capacity to turn on the healing resources within. Bodywise is an exploration of how to enhance that process. In this column, I’ll lead an exploration of various Santa Barbara practitioners’ ways of interfacing with the body and accessing its innate capacity to heal. You’ll learn about many effective approaches to accessing that capacity on your own.
One great way to start activating your body’s healing resources is to stimulate your body’s flow of lymph. Lymph, a central component of the immune system, is a clear fluid that circulates through the lymph vessels and nodes. The lymphatic system produces antibodies and white blood cells, carries fats, hormones, and proteins to cells, and assists your body in eliminating wastes. Unlike the circulatory system, the lymphatic system has no central pump. Instead, it relies on your body’s movement to keep it flowing. Exercise and deep breathing are the best ways to propel your lymph through its pathways.
Another great way to get your lymph moving is through massage of the neurolymphatic reflexes. These reflexes regulate energy flow to the lymphatic system. They turn off like circuit breakers when toxins accumulate and overload the system. Massaging the neurolymphatic reflexes clears up this congestion and turns the energy back on to the lymphatic system and its related vital organs and muscles.
From the holistic perspective, these body systems have corresponding energy pathways and are interdependent. When neurolymphatic reflexes are congested, they are generally sore and easy to find. You can massage them yourself or see a practitioner who specializes in massaging these reflexes. In my own shiatsu (acupressure massage) practice, I integrate neurolymphatic scrubbing with the application of direct pressure and energy along the meridian pathways.
Begin by pressing on the tissue below your clavicle (collar bone) between your ribs and on the outer edge of your pectoralis muscles. Try pressing in this general area. If you find a sore spot — make a vibrating motion to jostle the underlying tissue. The reflexes on the outer edge of your pectoralis muscle are on the same circuit as your brain, so by stimulating these points, you’re not only helping your immune system, but you’re also helping your brain to wake up! The front and back of your torso are full of neurolymphatic reflexes, which are detailed within the Touch for Health System.
If your immune system could use a boost, or your energy is feeling sluggish, I invite you to give your body a rub — or, better yet, see a bodyworker who specializes in neurolymphatics.