Debunking the Top 5 Assumptions about Immune Health

Assumption #1:
“I’ve got a runny nose and sore throat. I’m getting sick!”

Actually, there are two possibilities here:
ONE: You have chronic issues with your sinus drainage and there is some threat to that area coming in, indicating the bad guys are trying to take even more territory. The innate immune system jumps in and attacks them full force so the area can be more protected. Next, the adaptive immune system keeps fine-tuning what’s chronic and what’s needed to kill the bad guys. So, essentially, you are getting sick because you are actually getting stronger, immune-wise, to deal with the outside source. The key is to get MORE SUPPORT to strengthen your immunity: take immune-boosting herbs like Reishi or Astragalus; abstain from immuno-supressants, like sugary foods; and get food-based vitamin C, not ascorbic acid or corn syrup-based vitamin C.

TWO: You may have done something to lower your immunity and the good guys are so weak and tired that the bad guys are starting to take over. Here are a few simple immunity strengthening fundamentals: chew your food longer, get more sleep, become and stay hydrated, and eat more high mineral content foods, like veggies. You’ll likely feel better, faster.

Assumption #2:
“I boost my immune system by working out for two hours in the morning.”

Actually, although the exercise is indirectly moving lymph, the myth is that you are doing a good thing for your lymphatic system. The key is to get lymph flowing a bit every hour for five to ten minutes, reaching optimum capacity of lymphatic movement, which is 1-3 liters per day. Movement can take several different forms: walking, running, jogging, gentle stretching (which I call Lymphatic Toning), rebounding, breathing or even sex. But as soon as you stop moving, the stimulation to the one-way, no-pump lymphatic system will slow down eventually and possibly stop all together, therefore needing to be stimulated again to move.

Assumption #3:
“At the end of my day, when my ankles swell, I help my lymphatic system out by raising my legs up into the air, or above my heart.”

In reality, healthy lymphatic flow is NOT impacted by gravity. It is only when you have had this system compromised that gravity can impact the lymphatic drainage system (chronic inflammation, critical internal thoughts, car accidents or surgeries, emotional trauma, lymph node removal, radiation, acidic foods, etc.). The key, again, is to move as much as you can throughout the entire day in a steady pace–not too hurried nor too slow.

Assumption #4:
“I am going to help my muscles recover from a workout by getting
a high-pressured massage.”

During any type of high-pressured massage, some lactic acid will drain from muscle tissue; and this is good. The problem arises when you leave the massage feeling like it was “too deep.” This is likely because the flow of lymph has slowed and in most cases stopped entirely, due to excessive pressure. If there is improper flow of lymph your body will neither be able to remove toxins from, or provide nutrients to muscles.

Though the lymphatic vessels run very deep into the body, very little pressure is required to produce lymph movement. Too much pressure does not help fatigued muscles recover. In fact, a 1995 study showed lymphatic vessel walls started to break down with damaging results due to prolonged pressure of any more than the weight of 17 nickels, roughly 35 grams. Though designed to repair themselves within 24 – 48 hours of being compromised, unchecked inflammation can skew the outcome of repair.

To counter the possible drawbacks of high-pressure massage, follow up with lighter strokes (observing the 17 nickle pressure limit) so the lymphatic vessels can keep functioning properly. Reflexively, muscles will loosen up to allow lymph to move long after your session. Additionally, support flow by eliminating tight clothing, especially over a long day. Be especially careful not to restrict flow through the back of the knee, ankles, around the shoulders, and breast tissue.

Assumption #5:
“I’ve been told that my lymphedema won’t ever get better. All I can do is maintain.”

A lymphatic machine employs light frequencies and vibrations which enter the body through conduction (the skin), retraining the lymphatic fluid to move to where there are healthy nodes. This also allows for the blood to be purified and negative ions to be added to the body. I’ve seen heavy, numbing lymph fluid move to where there are healthy nodes and successfully bring lymphedema stages from a 4 to a 1 and have even seen clients become asymptomatic. With the machine, lymphatic fluid is rerouted and retrained to properly drain away from scars and to nodes, learning to follow those drainage patterns even between sessions. The key is to assess your lymphatic draining potential.

On March 14, I will discuss the lymphatic system and perform live demonstrations on audience members. All attendants will go home with a better understanding of how lymphatic therapy can help heal chronic back and neck pain, detoxify the whole body, decrease swollen ankles and rashes, heal emotions, and enhance nutrition for fighting autoimmune diseases such as vitiligo, lyme, SIBO, and celiac.

Nicole Wirth, LMP helps her clients heal themselves, gain back lost energy, and live longer,  more vital lives. She educates her clients on the lymphatic system, emotions, and taking care of their bodies with reverence. Her practice is in the Great Pacific Northwest, just south of Seattle, WA. Contact her or learn more about her work at