When our immune system declines is the result of degradation of the thymus gland.
It is important to keep in mind that the thymus gland is the master of the hormones and the immunity booster.
Thymus means “life energy,” indeed to many of my articles on this blog; if we don’t take proper care of our energetic field, our inmune system gets compromised and hence our overall wellness.
Aging is a natural cycle, but what is not natural is to accelerate it unnecessarily.
I will explain myself with this;
Our tissues mass decrease along the years, because of the shrinking of the thymus gland. This action results in changes in the architecture of the thymus.
The thymus gland is situated in front of our heart and behind the sternum bone of the chest.
Our bodies produce T-cells which are the primary products of the thymus gland.
They are called T cells because they mature in the thymus as a matter of fact.
When there is an energetic imbalance in our heart (Anahata chakra) the T cells regeneration drops below a certain level.
As outcome, the person gets sick because the immune system doesn’t have enough T cells to fight off infection. Yoga stimulates the thymus gland which builds immunity and massages the lungs, heart, bronchial tubes.
Now let’s mention the Lymphatic System, and its role to our inmune system.
The lymphatic system is a network of tubes (capillaries and vessels) that drain excess fluids from the body’s cells and return them to the bloodstream for eventual filtering and excretion.
The lymphatic system is part of the immune system, and protects our bodies against infections. It returns fluids that have leaked from the blood inside the cells, back to the blood. Without doing this our cardiovascular and immune systems would begin to shut down.
The lymphatic system contains three parts, a network of lymphatic vessels and capillaries, a fluid inside of the vessels called lymph, and lymph nodes that filters the lymph while it passes through.
The Lymph role;
Lymph is slightly yellow colored water like fluid. It is a mixture of about 90% water and 10% solutes such as proteins, cellular waste products, dissolved gases, and hormones.
The body is composed of about 60% water and the blood is only about 20% of this water.
Most of our body’s water is the lymph fluid!!!
Lymph may also contain bacterial cells that are picked up from diseased tissues and the white blood cells that fight these pathogens. Lymph may pick up bacteria and bring them to lymph nodes where they are destroyed. Lymph also transports fats from the digestive system. This is how important is to listen to our body’s messages when feeling that something is getting out of control.
The Lymph is slow to move.
Our breath and muscle activity are the only natural ways to boost the lymph flow.
Lymph flows in only one direction within its own system. This flow is only toward the neck.
Here, it flows into the venous blood stream through the subclavien veins which are located on either sides of the neck near the collarbones.
are like holding stations that filter the lymph fluid and capture microbes for B and T cells to deal with. Their main functions are to filter the lymph and to remove harmful micro-organisms, damaged or dead tissue cells, large protein molecules and toxic substances
They are located in your armpits, groin, neck and around the blood vessels of your chest and abdomen. Actually there are 200 to 700 lymph nodes in the body, half of which are located in the abdomen.
There is also a high concentration of lymph nodes (150 to 200) in the neck. Which is the area rich in lymph nodes, the lymph flow in the neck determines the condition of the lymphatic flow throughout the entire body.
This filtering action prevents dead cells from reaching the bloodstream.
Lymph nodes do not deal with major toxicity, which is primarily dealt with by the liver and kidneys.
The lymph fluid inside the lymph nodes contains lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, which continuously recirculates through the lymph nodes and the bloodstream.
Now let’s talk about one of my favorite subjects YOGA.
Yoga encourages breath and muscle activity. Think about it?? Was not this what I just mentioned above regards actions required to boost the lymp flow in order to improve our immune system?
Well lymph drainage is the magic solution as outcome?
Here is the logic;
The lymphatic system has no pump, its nourishing, water balancing and eliminative functions are dependent upon muscle contractions, diaphragmatic breathing and body movements.
Below yoga postures such as stretching, twisting and bending will help you stimulate the flow of lymph, hence to boost your inmune system.
Connecting with an intention and your victorious breath (Ujjayi) touching the roof of your mouth with the tip of your tongue, keeping the mouth closed while inhale and exhale through your nose.
1. Legs up the wall (Viparita Karani)
Use a long pillow on the floor as support. Lie down on the floor near the wall and slowly put your legs up the wall. Sit with your hips against the wall and roll onto your back, taking your legs up the wall. Your position should be pressing as close to the wall as you can. Spend 5 to 10 minutes there.
2. Downward Facing Dog (Adho mukha svanasana):
Encourages full-body blood circulation. This asana stretches the shoulders, legs, spine and whole body; builds strength throughout the body, particularly the arms, legs, and feet; relieves fatigue and rejuvenates the body; improves the immune system. The body forming an inverted V-shape.
3. Cobra pose ( Bhujangasana) :
This pose stimulates the thymus gland. Cobra pose strengthen the spine, stretch the chest, shoulders, and abdomen, firm the buttocks, and relieve stress and fatigue.
4. Bow pose ( Dhanurasana ):
This pose strengthen your abdominal organs. This pose stimulates the thymus gland by opening up the chest. This pose adds greater flexibility to the back and a good stress and fatigue buster.
5. Bridge pose ( Setu bhandasana) :
This pose stimulates the thymus gland and improves blood circulation. The bridge pose curl up your body and feel your tired back relax instantly. It stimulates the endocrine and nervous systems.
6. Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana)
Stand up straight, and place your feet slightly more than shoulder width apart. Turn right toes out and left toes inward at a 45-degree angle. Keep both legs straight as your hinge at your hips toward the right leg. Stretch your right arm up, then bend to your left, sliding your left hand down your thigh. Do not twist your body. Hold for 30 seconds, working up to 2 minutes with practice. Inhale as you straighten up again. Repeat the pose on the other side.
7. Cat-Cow Pose ( Bitilasana )
Cat-Cow is a gentle sequence of two poses that stretches the spine and prepares the body for activity. Start on your hands and knees in a “tabletop” position. Make sure your knees are set directly below your hips and your wrists, elbows and shoulders are in line and perpendicular to the floor.
8. Camel Pose (Ustrasana )
It is performed on the knees and is often used as preparation for deeper back-bends. Camel pose helps to stretch abdominal organs, the throat and thyroid and parathyroid glands.
9. Rabbit Pose ( Sasangasana )
This pose rejuvenates the thyroid and parathyroid glands through compression. It stretches the spine as you bend forward and bring all the weight to the crown of the head. It improves thyroid function.
10. Sun Salutation Dynamic Yoga Poses
Dynamic yoga poses, such as the Suryanamaskar, or “Sun Salutation,” keep the body moving. This is vital to improve the lymphatic fluid flow throughout the body. The sun salutation is actually a series of 12 postures, one flowing into the next, while moving with the breath. It begins with mountain pose and prayer position, then inhaling and reaching up overhead with the palms together, and exhaling into a standing forward bend.
11. Fish pose (Matsyasana): This pose improves your respiratory systems and nurtures the thymus gland. By lifting your chest, tucking your arms underneath your body and bending the neck backward, you will improve postural defects such as rounded shoulders and the cervical region of your spine, thus releasing pressure on your nerves.
Always keep your shoulders blades together when practicing poses 2,3 and 4. It will keep your neck away from your ears, preventing a future spasm.
When practicing poses such as ustrasana or camel, a safe back bend is performed keeping the knees close (protects the sacral area) same happens with dhanurasana or bow pose, make sure to back bend during ustrasana slowly while exhaling and having both hands placed on the low back area and based on the level of flexibility slowly grab one heel at a time. But you can keep the hands on the lower back and receive the pose benefits as well.
Remember Safety and breathing First.
Last but not least;
“Put your future in good hands…your own.” -Semperlee Yoga
Glenda Lee Santos; Humble Military and Yoga Warrior; RYT-200 hrs; Criminal Justice, BA; Holistic Practicioner with Foundation in Yoga and Ayurveda.
Courtesy of Semperlee Yoga Corp.
Yoga Anatomy/ Leslie Karminoff , Amy Mathews (2nd ed.)2012.
Journey Into Power/ Baron Baptiste ( Fireside ed. )2003.
Smithonian Human, The Definitive Visual Guide/Robert Winston, Dr. Don E Wilson