Improve Your Immune System

Dr. Giselle Lefebvre, ND

The largest organ of detoxification is your skin. Throughout an average day, you touch, inhale and consume many elements that are not useful to your body. Slathering it with scented creams and soap products, preventing sweating by using antiperspirants and exposure to heavy metal toxicity from Aluminum, Mercury, and Lead are some of the ways the immune system gets clogged.

By understanding how your immune system works, you increase your chances of keeping it strong and healthy this winter. The lymphatic and glymphatic systems make it easier for your immune system to sort out what your body needs and eliminate what it doesn’t need.

The lymphatic system is a network of vessels and lymph nodes primarily in the neck, around the chest, in the armpits and groin, as well as scattered throughout the body. It controls the volume of blood and functions as a waste removal system which helps protect us from infection.

New information has been uncovered that identifies a new understanding of how our brain removes waste. The glymphatic system is highly active during sleep and is responsible for clearing away the toxins that can build up in our brain. Ideally, when we sleep, our brain cells actually reduce in size to allow waste to be removed more efficiently.

This is a revelation in the scientific world and creates a better understanding for the biological purpose of sleep. According to Maiken Nedergaar, MD DM.SC, co-director of the University of Rochester Medical Center, Center for Translational Neuromedicine. “The restorative nature of sleep appears to be the result of the active clearance of the byproducts of neural activity that accumulate during wakefulness.”


So how can you improve and support your immune system?

  1. Using a dry, natural bristle brush can help detoxify your skin. Before a shower, stimulate your skin by making short, light strokes towards your heart.
  2. Exercising regularly helps the lymphatic system move waste and tissue from cell to cell, ensuring your body keeps what it needs and eliminates the rest.
  3. Decreasing your toxic load by ensuring your key pathways of elimination are functioning optimally;
    • Breathing – through the lungs
    • Urination – through the kidneys
    • Bowel Movements – through the large intestine
    • Filter toxins and convert nutrients into usable elements – through the liver
    • Sweating – through the skin
  4. Getting a good night’s sleep

If you are someone who is susceptible to colds and flus, have trouble sleeping or are concerned about your immune system this upcoming cold wet winter, contact your Naturopath to work on your personal winter wellness plan.


Washington, Elizabeth A, Mahakapuge, Thilini AN, Scheerlinck, Jean‐Pierre Y, and Kimpton, Wayne G(May 2015) Lymphatic System. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0000523.pub3]

Xie, Lulu et al. “Sleep Drives Metabolite Clearance from the Adult Brain.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 342.6156 (2013): 10.1126/science.1241224. PMC. Web. 19 Oct. 2017.

Rezk, Sherif A, and Weiss, Lawrence M(Sep 2015) Lymph Nodes. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0000525.pub3]