The Best At-Home Lymphatic Drainage Practices To Prevent Puffiness

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Ever wake up the day after partying and think you look bloated and puffy? You're not alone. Medical physicians at K Health say toxic build-up leads to the puffiness we experience the morning after a late night out. The inflammation can be caused by eating spicy foods and carbs, and by drinking alcohol. Even stress and anxiety can make your adrenal glands work overtime, producing excess cortisol that can lead to swelling. 

Did you eat a lot of salty snacks with your cocktails? Foods high in sodium are also responsible for unwanted puffiness as salt contents like to hold onto water, making for not-so-nice morning bloat (via The Singapore Women's Weekly). 

While the swollen look does fade over time, there are quicker ways to nurture the lymph nodes at home to help keep the body flushed, detoxed, and puffiness-free. Practice these tips for easy lymphatic drainage to reduce and prevent facial swelling.

Detox with body brushing

The body's detoxification process can be hurried along at home with some simple practices. Body brushing, in particular, is an easy and relaxing way to get the blood flowing to enhance toxic elimination. This ancient practice of dry brushing the skin goes back thousands of years and is proven to encourage lymphatic drainage, proper digestion, and cellular turnover (via Province Apothecary). Simply brush on dry skin gently towards the heart center to promote blood circulation. Next, apply mild pressure around the neck, chest, and ears to rouse and drain lymph nodes. No more than ten minutes daily is needed to see results.

Use gua sha to increase blood flow

Invented in ancient China as a form of natural healing, gua sha tools massage the skin to increase circulation and blood flow (via Healthline). These stunningly carved gemstones stroke the skin's surface breaking up stuffy energy that, in turn, reduces inflammation. Though this trend has been picked up recently in the facial beauty industry, jumbo-sized gua sha tools are also available for full-body use. Unlike the smaller devices used for the face, these large-sized massage tools are usually made from wood and curved to fit every angle of the body to help with lymphatic drainage. Not sure if you want to invest in the jumbo gua sha? The smaller tools can still detox the lymph nodes on the face and around the neck and ear area with gentle kneading and smoothing.

Increase circulation with lymphatic exercises

Getting the body moving can be an instant detox. Think of the lymphatic system as the body's sewage system. It's constantly working to push fluids out and keep the body free of toxins. According to physicians at Lipdema, active movement and stretches open up the lymphatic capillaries, allowing for better fluid flow and drainage. Simple stretches like shoulder lifts and neck rotations can stimulate flow and prevent blockages when done often. Exercises that get your legs and feet moving, like squats, leg raises, or jumping exercises, are also immune-boosting and toxin-clearing.

Red light therapy stimulates cell production

Red light therapy is a non-invasive treatment that harnesses the power of wavelengths for healing. Experts at PlatinumLED Therapy Lights report that different red and infrared light wavelengths are absorbed into the body and stimulate cells' energy production. Sitting under infrared lights encourages the body's cells to regenerate, flow better, and even promote collagen production. You could be giving your body some much-needed lymph node healing by going to your local gym or medspa and sitting under the cherry lights for 30 minutes to an hour. You can even set up your red light therapy at home with medical-grade infrared equipment available on Amazon.

Eat clean and avoid salty foods

As if the saturated fats weren't reason enough to put down the potato chips, research also shows that salty foods can cause puffiness and bloating despite different diet types (via The American Journal of Gastroenterology). Though sodium bloat is pure water weight and can be shed easily, it can lead to swelling in the face, excess stomach weight, and even high blood pressure, according to Medical News Today. To prevent unpleasant swelling, some processed foods to avoid include chips, jerky, microwavable meals, canned soups, frozen pre-made meats, and seafood.