Adult Health

6 Ways to Help Neck Lymph Nodes Drain More Efficiently

Written by andy
Neck lymph nodes may hold the key to getting over colds and illnesses quickly. Here’s how to drain them:

Your lymph nodes are partially responsible for keeping everything circulating. It’s your body’s defense against disease and infection, as the lymph nodes produce the immune cells that fight invading pathogens, germs, and microbes. If you are noticing swelling in your neck lymph nodes, it’s often the result of a strong infection your body is trying to eliminate. Your body has no way to reduce the swelling in those nodes, as there is no heart to “pump” the blood. Instead, it’s up to you to drain your neck lymph nodes (imagine that?)!

Here are a few ways to help neck lymph nodes drain more efficiently:

  • Exercise – The more exercise you do, the more blood and lymph fluid your body can move. It will encourage the drainage of the lymph nodes, leading to better overall lymph function. The best type of exercise to drain your lymph nodes is cardiovascular exercise, including running, jumping, jogging, cycling, and rebounding (jumping on a trampoline). Do 10 to 30 minutes of this type of exercise for optimum results.
  • Massage – A simple neck massage can do wonders to help neck lymph nodes drain efficiently. Start by pressing your thumbs just beneath your jaw, on the outside of the two large neck muscles. You may feel a bit of swelling in the lymph node as you press down. Rub gently downward to pull the lymph fluid toward the heart. Next, move to the side of the neck. Start behind the ears and use your thumbs to pull downward toward your collarbones. With each pass, move slightly closer to your spine (the back of your neck). This will do wonders to encourage the draining of your neck lymph nodes.
  • Get Inverted – If you’ve got a pull-up bar at home, swing your legs over the bar and hang there for a few minutes. The inversion will decompress your joints and stimulate healthy circulation, including of the lymphatic system. Gravity will work with your heart and circulatory system to bring fresh blood to your head, draining your lymph nodes at the same time.

READ MORE: Lymphatic Massage: What You Need to Know

  • Yoga – Yoga involves a lot of twisting, turning poses that can encourage better function and drainage of the lymph nodes in your abdomen. However, it’s the inversion poses that will do wonders for your neck lymph nodes. Poses like Downward Dog and Crane pose will bring the blood to your neck and head, encouraging healthy lymph node drainage.
  • Lemon Water – Drinking lemon water can make a huge difference in your lymphatic system function. Lemon helps to alkalize your body (reducing acidity) and encourages the flow of lymphatic fluid. Have warm lemon water handy throughout the day to not only improve your body’s pH, but also to encourage better hydration.
  • Herbal Remedies – There are a surprising number of herbal remedies that can help neck lymph nodes drain more efficiently. For example, red clover is a wonderful detoxifying agent that can help to reduce swelling and encourage lymph flow. Cleavers—also known as goosegrass and clivers—can stimulate lymph fluid movement and drain your lymphatic system, not just in your neck but in your whole body. Rehmannia and bupleurum are two Traditional Chinese Medicine herbs that have been used to encourage better lymph flow, and Ayurvedic healers have used manjistha to de-stagnate the lymphatic fluid.

All of these simple things can do the trick to encourage better lymph flow. You’ll find that better flow of lymphatic fluid can make all the difference in your overall health, especially in your body’s resistance to disease.

About the author


Some people get lucky and are born with fit, toned bodies. Andy Peloquin is not one of those people... Fitness has come hard for him, and he's had to work for it. His trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, an NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise, diet and healthy living. He loves to exercise--he does so six days a week--and loves to share his passion for fitness and health with others.

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