How to Activate the Missing Link to Lasting Weight Loss.
With temperatures soaring, many of us will be exercising indoors and utilizing the most effective exercise known to man: rebounding.
Let me share with you what fitness expert Joanie Greggains and I wrote in The Fat Flush Fitness Plan:
“If the liver is the body’s filter, the lymphatic channels are its drainage system. Most of us are familiar with the cardiovascular system and its role in our well-being, but the lymphatic system needs to get a better press agent! Despite the crucial importance of this system to our health—and notwithstanding its central role in weight gain—many of us have barely heard of it.
Improving the health of the lymphatic system is the cornerstone of the Fat Flush Fitness Plan. The bloodstream carries oxygen and nutrients to every cell in the body, bathing them in a rich fluid that is pumped through the body by the heart. Then, a watery fluid carries away waste products and toxins from the cells, about 85 percent of which returns to the bloodstream. The remaining 15 percent flows into the lymph system, where it eventually reaches the heart.
Tame Your Water Goddess
The word lymph comes from the Latin word for “water goddess,” in honor of the fluid’s watery nature. Healthy lymph is transparent, with a slight yellow tinge and a vaguely opalescent sheen. Unlike blood, which is pumped by the heart, lymphatic fluid has no pump. Instead, what moves the lymph through its many ducts and channels is exercise.
That’s right, exercise. The behavior of the lymphatic system is one of the ways we know that nature intended us to be active, vigorously moving creatures, not sedentary couch potatoes or frantic workers chained to our desks. Mother Nature was so sure we’re be constantly moving—gathering food, building shelters, running away from wild animals—that she seems to have assumed that the lymph system could rely on voluntary activity, rather than on the involuntary constant beating of a heartlike pump. She didn’t count on eighty-hour work weeks and twenty-four-hour cable television.
Ideally, our lymph moves through a complex network of needle-thin tubes known as lymphatics, collecting excess fluid from cells all over the body. Different body parts produce different types of lymph: protein-rich fluid from the limbs; lymph full of white blood cells from the bone marrow, thymus, and spleen; and, more important for our purposes, high-fat lymph from our intestines. Fat is the only food element that moves through the lymphatic system. The proteins and carbohydrates that we ingest go right from the intestines into the blood stream, but the intestinal lymphatics draw fat into the lymphatic system before it reaches the blood.
Now, what happens when the lymph isn’t flowing properly? First, the excess fluid that isn’t draining from our tissues causes them to swell. As we know from the Fat Flush Plan, these bloated, inflamed tissues can add up to 10 or 15 pounds to your weight, and cause you to swell two extra dress sizes. These facts will help you understand why doctors recommend these steps to achieve good lymphatic health:
- Drink lots of high-quality liquids. Both your blood and your lymph need water to help keep the fluids flowing. Ironically, drinking more water actually means you’ll retain less. The Fat Flush Plan accomplishes this goal with a unique lymph-cleansing combination of pure, unsweetened cranberry juice diluted with water.
- Eat a proper balance of lean proteins, slow-acting or low-glycemic carbs, and the right kind of fats. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are essential but too much of the wrong fats, such as trans fat or hydrogenated fat, can clog your lymph system as well as your arteries.
- Avoid pollutants, additives, solvents, pesticides, and other toxins. Remember, it’s the liver’s job to filter these poisons out of your system. Otherwise they end up in the bloodstream—and in the lymphatic system as well.
- Keep moving. Again, the blood has a heart to keep pumping it through the arteries and veins, but the lymphatic system has only you. It is literally your bodily movements—walking, running, and dancing with your legs; pumping and swinging your arms—that keeps the lymph flowing.
Rebound to Switch on Your Internal Vacuum Cleaner
Rebounding is a remarkably effective form of exercise. It affects every cell in your body at once, and is particularly helpful to the immune system. That’s because the up-and-down movement, working with the force of gravity as well as against it, stimulates lymph flow—and it’s the lymphatic system that carries your white blood cells, which fight infection and help to neutralize malignant cells. Albert E. Carter, author of The Miracles of Rebound Exercise, describes the lymphatic system as “an internal vacuum cleaner.”
When you’re bouncing up and down on your rebounder, your cells are participating in three separate forces: acceleration, as you rise, and deceleration and gravity, as you fall. The demands on your body’s cells to adjust to each force make all your cells stronger. Your cells also experience a kind of squeezing from all the bouncing, which helps force toxins out of the cells. Meanwhile, your entire body is getting a workout, including all the vessels of your lymphatic system.
With just a few minutes a day of bouncing on the rebounder, you’ll begin to see and feel results—from tighter abdominal muscles, to a higher muscle-to-fat ratio, to improved skin elasticity and tone with less visible cellulite. You’ll also benefit from a stronger immune system and renewed bone mass.”
I’m a 5 year breast cancer survivor (estrogen +). I had a lumpectomy, lymphectomy, chemo and radiation followed with an aromotase inhibitor for 2 1/2 years of the recommended 5 years. As a result of surgery, I also have lymphedema which causes my left arm to swell at times. I know exercise is good for this but I’m also looking for some supplemental help. Sometimes when my arm swells, I feel as though I’m bloated all over… sometimes I can gain 10+ pounds even while eating around 1500 calories per day. I know I’d feel better all over if I could correct this static lymph system of mine. I will try the rebounder. Do you have any other recommendations?
Thank you for your post. If you can get a copy of the ‘Fat Flush Fitness Plan,’ you will see that Joanie and I developed several “lympth-fit” whole body workouts and self-health massage techniques to move lympth. My book ‘The Fat Flush Plan’ also contains a diet program designed to clean out the lympth. The cranwater component that I formulated is specifically designed to target lympth and cleanse stagnant tissues that have become swollen and inflamed or waterlogged! This Fat Flushing cranwater has become well known for its ability to markedly reduce cellulite as well but it is a specific lympth cleanser as is red clover tea.
Thank you Ann Louise and others for responding to my comment. I’ll be working on this condition accordingly.
Try Fibrenza & make sure your ph is balanced. Go to Lymphman.com to get some massages you can do yourself.
Thanks for this info. I have a friend that had a stroke several months back and is paralyzed on his right side. He is confined to bed and wheelchair and has had a lot of swelling in his hands and feet. He is a skinny guy, but I’m sure his liver is on overload because of all the meds he is on.
This sounds like such a wonderful thing to do – but ladies, make sure your bladder will allow you to jump up and down before you purchase any special equipment. I found out the hard (and expensive) way that I am not able to jump on a rebounder.
Hi Amy: So sorry to hear that rebounding did not work for you. I have several patients with bladder conditions who have purchased rebounders with special stability bars and are doing extremely well with gentle bouncing movements.
Will jump roping create the same results as using a rebounder? Thanks, Chris
Just posted the question about jump roping, and I typed an incorrect email address sorry!
Jump roping is also a helpful “lympth mover” but is much harder on the knees than rebounding. This is why I highly recommend a rebounder and encourage you to watch rebounding videos or pick up a copy of Joanie and my book 🙂
I too, had an issue with “leakage” while rebounding. This is how I addressed it; I would wear the most absorbent maxi pad I could find, and I would ignore the drippage while consciously lifting my pelvic floor muscles, knowing that I would eventually restrengthen them, and this problem would go away, which it did. The benefits of rebounding are too great, to allow a little incontinence to disturb the process 🙂
Hi Dr.Ann Louise,
Thanks for posting such a great article. I have always wanted to try jumping on a small exercise trampoline( rebounding) and need to lose some weight too. I had a ruptured disc in my lower back a few years ago but it is much better now and I hardly ever have pain, just wondering if the rebounding would be ok for me. I’m 43 and in good health otherwise! 🙂 Thanks for your help
Hi. Love your website and love the Fat Flush Plan.
Will bouncing while lightly holding say a chair back or counter… on your toes do the same thing for lymph drainage?
I am a breast cancer survivor of 23 years. I did have swelling of the arm and felt very bloated. Seek our a qualified Lymph Drainage massage therapist for initial relief and a plan (i.e. every 6 weeks or more); then preventative care through diet and rebounding
Thanks Joan! I will be looking for a Lymphedema Massage Therapist in our new location (South Florida). Post BC, I’ve been surprised a few times as regards the associated issues (scar tissue, hormonal issues, pain, etc). I’ve learned to just tackle each one as they come along.
Gigi, Debbie, and Joan:
Thanks for your posts. Buying a balance bar for the rebounder can be extremely helpful in maintaining the proper positioning and preventing injury to the ankle and/or knees. Using a guide like The Fat Flush Fitness Plan or Fat Flush for Life which provides detail info on how to rebound without straining or retweaking discs, muscles, and ligaments is the key.
While rebounding offers the most comprehensive lynmpathic stimulation (besides a lympthatic massage), any kind of gentle bouncing, walking, and swinging of the arms will get the lympth activated.
What else can you do to help lymphatic drainage. I have knee damage and cant rebound
Dry skin brushing is an easy and excellent way to stimulate the lymph system. You need a dry, natural bath brush with a long handle and spend about 10+ minutes with long movements toward to heart. If you Google skin brushing, you will find all the info you need.
Sandra: An excellent idea that is covered quite extensively in ‘The Fat Flush Fitness Plan’ along with facial lympthatic stimulation.
Debi: I would find a certified lymph drainage massage expert who can use a variety of massage techniques and special equipment to help you.
Is there a specific rebounder that you recommend?
ReboundAir is a long-time favorite!
Does a body massage plate work the lymph system the same as a rebounder?
Rebounding and vibration plate work are different methods with different results. The wonderful benefits of rebounding are much better documented!