A collection of health and wellness book covers focusing on sleep, stress, detoxification, energy, maintaining health, and calming inflammation.

Identify Your Health Priority

Take Our FREE Assessment Today!

Season 3, Episode 26: This Is The Best Way To Support Your Body with Dr. Perry Nickelston

By Jodi Cohen

Your lymphatic system is one of the most important parts of your body. Not only does it drain excess fluid from tissues throughout the body, it also allows immune cells to travel where they are needed most. This helps keep the body healthy and functioning as it should – but with a world full of toxins and stress, sometimes our body needs help getting things moving.

Perry Nickelston is a chiropractic physician with a primary focus on treating chronic pain and inflammation by means of the lymphatic and vascular systems. In this episode, Perry and Jodi discuss the lymphatic system and the best way to support your body for proper lymph drainage.

Tune in to learn more about:

  • [02:09] – Discovery through suffering
  • [08:29] – How to keep lymph moving
  • [16:37] – Perry’s analogy: The body aquarium
  • [21:03] – The physics of how fluid moves in the body
  • [28:28] – Opening lymph from 1-6 (with demonstrations)
  • [52:32] – Remember: Stay hydrated!

About Dr. Perry Nickelston

Perry Nickelston, DC aka ‘The Lymph Doc’ is a Chiropractic Physician with primary focus on treating chronic pain and inflammation via the lymphatic and vascular systems. Owner of Stop Chasing Pain, LLC. International speaker and educator of the self care MOJO series. Lymphatic Mojo, Blood Flow Mojo, Tongue Mojo, Glymphatic Mojo, Visceral Mojo, Vagus Nerve Mojo, Primal Movement Mojo.

Author of the upcoming book Stop Chasing Pain: A vital guide to healing your body, moving well, and gaining control of your life.

He is a 1997 graduate from Palmer Chiropractic University and a master fitness trainer with over 25 years experience in the health industry.

Learn more about Dr. Perry Nickelston here!

If you’re enjoying the Essential Alchemy podcast, please leave Jodi a review on iTunes.

Jodi: I’m so excited to be talking to Perry Nickerson, the lymph doc. He is a chiropractic physician with a primary focus on treating chronic pain and inflammation via the lymphatic and vascular systems and the vagus nerve. He is the owner of Stop Chasing Pain, which has a fabulous Instagram page that you should all follow.

A speaker, an international educator of self care, and the Mojo sequence, which I recently took the lymphatic mojo, the vagas nerve mojo. There are many of them. I have a feeling after listening to him, you’re going to want to hear more. He is the author of the upcoming book, Stop Chasing Pain, a vital guide to healing your body, moving well, and gaining control of your life. And is a 1997 graduate from Palmer Chiropractic University and a master fitness trainer with over 25 years of experience in the health industry and the best person to articulate lymph fascia and the biggest nerve that I’ve ever met.

Perry:  Oh, thank you so very much. I’m really honored and excited to be here. I love talking about lymph and blood flow.

I love, you know, talking about lymph and blood flow. That’s my thing. I love it. 

Jodi: And you, like me, kind of went through your own journey to discover it. Do you want to share how you started really learning about this and helping others? 

Perry: I think you discover things through suffering, honestly. Because if you’re comfortable, why do you want to change anything? Because everything’s awesome, but it’s only when you hit a certain form of rock bottom where you have to make a choice. So you’re going to give up, you’re going to fight back, and not so much fight back, but what I like to tell people is think differently.

Because you’re in a certain situation an you can’t get out need to change the way that you’re thinking, but that’s what I had to do. Because I had an auto immune disease many, many years ago. People always ask me which one and I didn’t get a name for it. Honestly, it felt like I had every one of them you could think of, but it was one of those mystery things of we don’t know why you got it. And your tests show everything should be normal. And I’m like, yeah, but I can’t get out of bed and I can’t use my brain and I can’t see patients and I can’t function. So I had to heal myself. And through that, I began to just go back to fundamental basics of saying, what does a body ultimately need to heal itself? And I started there.

I came across the lymphatic system, which I honestly did not pay attention to through most of my career in chiropractic school. And even fitness, it just wasn’t on the radar, and it isn’t for a lot of people, because the only time you typically hear lymphatics are when you have the C-word, which is cancer. And then when you have what’s called lymphedema, where it does something with the system and the valves in there, which we’ll get into later, become dysfunctional. And then you can’t get rid of the fluid. And one part of your body swells up much more than another and then that’s called lymphedema, but I didn’t have any that so why would I look at it?

And unbeknown to me, that’s exactly what I needed to be looking and once I came across it and I began to work with that system, I kid you not I started to do some work on that system on purpose and with intention and I felt different in three days when I hadn’t felt that good in three months and I said, this is it. This is it. And I never looked back and I dedicated my entire life at the moment with what I do and what I teach to share that with other people.

I realized I’m in this profession and I do this for a living and I didn’t focus on it. How in the world is anybody else out there? I’m not going to find out about it. So it’s up to me to tell them because you don’t know what you don’t know, and you can’t control something until you become aware of it. And that’s one of my favorite phrases. Most people said, I had no idea when you do it. Everybody says the same thing. That made a big difference.

Jodi: Let’s explain what the lymphatic system does in the body and why it can impact inflammation, pain, everything.

Perry: That’s a great one. I can talk about this for a week and a half, but the basics is that it’s to me, it’s the most important system in the body that people don’t know about and are not working with on purpose. The reason it’s so powerful is because, one, if that system becomes dysfunctional and doesn’t work at all, you’d be dead in one day

Jodi: It helps drain the garbage and also carry the nutrients and the oxygen.

Perry: It’s primary job is to be the waste management system of your body. It takes stuff that’s inside of you that is no longer supposed to be in there, but it helps kill stuff that’s inside of you that’s not supposed to be there either. So it’s actually the primary point and in my opinion, the most important part of your lymphatic system. So when stuff comes in and it’s trying to kill you, your immune system will scan those things through the lymph nodes that trap whatever gets inside. And they’re like, Lenny, these lymph nodes are mini toilets, basically, and you’ve got about 600 of them in your body.

And then they read these toxins, whatever you want to name, you want to give to them a barcode on a scanner when you buy different things at the grocery store. So I know whether I’m buying an apple or an orange. And then that tells your immune system, this is here, this is what you need to do with it, let’s kill it, and every single lymph node kills it a little bit more, so it’s supposed to remove things, right? But it’s also, which many people forget this, or don’t even know it, it’s a primary part of your vascular system, which is your blood system, and the blood system is the fluid flow of life. If you don’t have that, you’re dead quick, fast, and in a hurry. And if it doesn’t work well, you’re going to feel pretty horrific.

Because the lymphatics, what they’ll do is that they’ll ultimately dump their end product into the veins of the body at the collarbone. I’m going to start this podcast off with a big one. The number one place that you should always look, assess, and take care of is the collarbone region on both sides below and above first and a lot and always, because that’s the drain point for waste and the primary place where blood flow gets restricted. And if it gets blocked there, you’re in big trouble everywhere.

Jodi: You recently put on Stop Chasing Pain, seriously sign up for it. Best pearls of knowledge, the presence of oxygen is the absence of disease, poor lymph and blood flow equal low oxygen. Like that says it all. But then getting back to, this is what I really love about you is that, people with lymph, they’re like, oh, just rebound. Oh, just dry brush. But it’s kind of like, it doesn’t really matter what order you do it in. And that’s not true. You have your big six and you have them in a very specific order. So let’s talk about what’s going on in the clavicle right side and left side. Let’s really delve into that. Like why this is step one.

Perry: Let’s lay some foundation for some of those great points that you made. It’s important to know that lymph fluid is always moving. But no matter what you do, it’s moving or it’s trying to move. But many people don’t even know that. And it’s important to know, okay, well, what moves the lymph? Well, movement. If you move more of your body more often more ways, more environments, and you’re not sedentary a lot. Well, then the lymph should move. That’s why walking is great. And yes, rebounding can be great. So check one, move more of yourself.

Number 2 is doing more breathing, particularly diaphragmatic breathing. That’s a muscle that sits at the bottom of the ribcage here that when it inflates it and contracts, it expands pressure in your abdomen, increase and decrease, increase and decrease. So breathing is like a pump because breathing increases pressure, decreases pressure, increases pressure and decreases the pressure. And that moves fluids everywhere in the body. Problem is, people don’t breathe through the diaphragm muscle well. They breathe more from the shoulders moving a lot. The mouth is open. They breathe from the neck muscles and they breathe too much from the chest and the lungs, which we are supposed to use, but not the primary way.

People don’t move and they don’t breathe well, so the pump mechanism shuts down, right? Parts of the lymphatic system, you’ve got these little pumps in there, they’re called lymphangion’s. Big fancy word that means mini heart, small heart. Those have some smooth muscles and actually contract a little bit and they move the fluid from one lymphangion to the next one. So what they’re trying to do is push that fluid towards your collarbone. So you need all three.

The problem is when you become sympathetic dominant, fight or flight, those pumps don’t work well, and then fluid flow slows down.

Jodi: The parasympathetic nervous system controls the lymphatic pumps.

Perry:  Sympathetic controls it. But if you’re too sympathetic dominant… You need sympathetic and parasympathetic, but if your parasympathetic system doesn’t work well, then the sympathetic works too much. And then that goes up. So if you think about it, the answer to your question is yes in a way because sympathetic and parasympathetic always work together.

Jodi:  It’s a teeter-totter, but so what you’re saying is when you’re stuck in fight or flight, what’s happening to your ability to drain your lymph?

Perry: You totally shut it down. The sympathetic dominance will cause vasoconstriction. You’ll constrict blood vessels and you’ll constrict lymphatic vessels, and so blood flow slows down, and then that leads to waste not being able to get out. So when you’re stuck in fight or flight all the time, your toilets get packed up all the time. That’s why you can’t just work the lymphatic system and think everything’s great because you’re flushing your toilet, but what happens if you didn’t take care of the reason why it keeps getting clogged up all the time, you follow and that’s the sympathetic nervous system is a big piece of that.

You want to work the lymphatic system for sure, but you also want to work all the other different systems of the body that will work with the lymphatic system. What I find is that people just don’t breathe through the diaphragm. They have a huge amount of stress and they’re not doing a lot of movement.

The lymph is 90-95% water and your blood is mostly water, too. Most humans when I find them are dehydrated. So you already have sludge for lymph fluid and sludge for blood. It’s called thick blood or dirty blood, and then that slows the transport down. So let’s talk about the oxygen part, right? You need oxygen so you breathe that in. Once it goes in, and then I ask people this question, how does the oxygen get to its target cell? It gets carried in the fluid and that fluid is blood, so it’s gotta get there to the target. So if your blood is already constricted… it’s thick or viscous or dirty. Then already decreases your ability to transport oxygen.

So let’s say it actually gets to that region right now. It’s got to go into the fluid-filled environment that the cells sit in to get to the cell. What controls the health of the fluid filled environment that the oxygen needs to get through your lymphatic? So what if that fluid is full of muck and it’s thick and it’s nasty? Then the oxygen can’t get to its target.

Jodi:  I loved your analogy of the aquarium. I thought that was really like vivid.

Perry:  That’s a big one. I’m going to reference that in a second because it’s really helpful for people to understand this because now I’m kind of going a little bit into some basics, but then the fish tank will bring it home for you. The oxygen is here and it’s got to go through the blood to get there and then it’s got to go through the liquid to get to the cell. And then let’s say it does get to the cell, the cell will use the oxygen because that gives you energy. That’s how you make ATP which is the energy of life through your mitochondria and you need oxygen to do it. That’s the primary way. So what happens when you create energy? You make waste. So where does the waste go?

It goes into the same fluid that the cells sit in. So it’s cell, I call it cell poop. Your cell’s pooping in the environment around it. And it better get out because if it doesn’t, your cells are sitting in their own poop and you know what that’s called? Pain and disease. And here’s my question, what’s the primary way that poop gets out of that fluid? That’s when you say veins. So that’s the other blood flow route, but I’m going to take it back to the breathing as well. If people don’t breathe through the diaphragm and they’re stressed and they over breathe, they expel too much carbon dioxide. They don’t have enough carbon dioxide in their body. And carbon dioxide is necessary to offload oxygen that’s there. So if you don’t have that as well, then oxygen, even though it’s there, can’t even offload to make its journey to the cell.

So what I’m trying to tell you is there’s a lot of different processes going in through here, but the easiest way to visualize that is I learned a long time ago when I was trying to be a better communicator with my patients so they can learn these things. It’s to give an analogy of something that they’re already really familiar with to say, oh, I get it. That makes sense. Number 1 is this, the lymph nodes on your lymph system is like a toilet and a house and you have 3 toilets in your house. And those have to go to a bigger pipe at the street. So when you flush the toilet, it’s supposed to go out. If the toilet is clogged, it can’t get out. Well, your house is going to be pretty nasty, and then I tell people, well, how do you open up the toilet? Usually, you use a plunger, and a plunger is like what? More pressure, less pressure. So your diaphragm’s like a plunger, then you flush your toilet. That’s option number one. Option number two, we call it the body aquarium. I want you to think of a fish tank. It’s my favorite analogy. Now, I want you to envision that you’re a walking fish tank. You’re mostly water. And so that’s what a fish tank is. Now, inside that fish tank, you have fish.

Inside your fish tank, you have cells. So you have several trillion fish floating around in there. So, when you have that fish tank, you put food in the tank. That’s food going into your mouth. The cells will use the food. And the fish will use the food. And the fish poop in the same water like your cells do now, what do you have that’s part of that fish tank that keeps it clean? It’s a filter system. Do you see the filter system? Usually don’t it’s stuck up underneath, right? It’s hidden in the cap or you have this small little one and up in the corner

If that fish tank filter system became dysfunctional, you’re not going to notice it right away. You’re only going to notice it after a couple of days or weeks. How do you notice a fish tank filter has an issue? The water starts to look funky. It looks green. And what happens is that’s because you’re changing the oxygen content in the water and the pH content in the water. And then when you decrease oxygen in the body, bad stuff shows up, bacteria, fungus, toxins, diseaseBecause the water is not moving. Just like water in nature, you see a stagnant pool somewhere. You better not drink from it or you’re going to die. That’s what happens is that your body becomes that fish tank. 

And then imagine if you kept giving food. No matter, I’m gonna eat the best food in the world. I’m going to give it to the fish and this fish is still going to keep pooping in the same water. So I tell people that’s like this. Oh, I’m going to change my diet and I’m not going to eat crappy food anymore. I’m going to eat really good food. That’s a good start, but guess what? It’s not going to do you much good if you didn’t clean out your filter system first. So what you have to do is you need to clean out the filter system and clean the tank, so then when you go back to the process of feeding and pooping with your cells again, stuff can get out.

But that’s not what we do and in medicine, what we do in medicine is that we take all the water out of the tank and then we put new water in. We put new fish in, but we still go back to the same habits and we didn’t clean the tank up underneath. And that’s why I start and people say, I don’t understand why stuff keeps coming back. I’m going to tell you exactly why it keeps coming back because you got toilets that are still stuck. And you got fluid flow routes that are stuck because I tell people all of this all the time. If fluids don’t move, you don’t heal.

Jodi: It’s a vicious cycle because then it causes you to stay in sympathetic dominant and you can never kind of get out of the hamster wheel. It will actually teach us how to get our fluids moving and get out of the hamster wheel.

Perry:  The first one that I told you is getting movement is good, getting your breathing under control and then trying to decrease stress in your life. And this is when people say, doc, I’m already doing those things. I’m like a master at those things. I’ve been doing those for a while, but I still don’t feel that great. And I said, well, those are supposed to be enough, but if your toilets are so clogged, toilets can’t unblock themselves. You have to manually go in there and plunge them or snake them and release them. 

And you’re going to do that, your plunger are going to be your two hands. But you have to do lymphatics in a very specific order to get the results that you’re looking for. And that’s based on one thing, and that’s the physics of how fluids move in the body. This is like a really important thing to understand, fluids will move from high pressure towards low pressure. You see that in the world. If you see a man-made dam, you have all the water on one side.

That’s high pressure and there’s low pressure on the other side. If you open the doors of the dam, where does the water just naturally go all on its own? Go up to the low side. That’s where it’s supposed to go. That’s energy. Now that you know that, I’m going to give you the secret to understanding how fluids move in the body. The lowest pressure in your body for vein flow and fluid flow, which are the toilet systems of your body. This is the drain at the street, I’m telling you, is the columbium. So everything in your body wants to head to that area, right there.

If that’s the lowest pressure, let’s think logically, where would the highest pressure be? The furthest distance away from the drain, and that’s why your feet get really puffy and swollen so easily. But what about the other direction your head? Your brain wants to drain its waste to the same place, the collarbone, and it gets there through lymph nodes. Let’s think logically, what happens if I block the collarbone not 100%, but let’s say 10%. And that’s from stress. It’s like stress, tension, tightness, poor neck position, poor breathing, poor tongue position, you name it. Like a traffic jam. You’re not going to notice it right away, but what if you have that 5 years, 10 years? I’m going to tell you that that’s the reason why, Hey doc, yesterday I felt awesome and today I can’t get out of bed, and today my pain showed up and then I’m going to ask you, well, why did it show up now? Why not five years ago?

Jodi:  It’s delayed maintenance. It’s the idea that you can fill the cup until it overflows and it can take it until it overflows.

Perry: Everybody’s doing the triage of the cup overflowing, and I’m like, you have to go all the way back to everything you’ve been adding into your cup.

That’s why your history matters. Now that we know this, this is where I see a lot of emphatic work go off the rails, is that most people start from the higher end of the feet and the hands, trying to drive it towards the collarbone, and I’m like, that’s good, I like the way you’re thinking, but you have to do it the opposite, you actually have to clear from the collarbone out in very specific places, then you go from out in. So you have to do inward, outward, and then outwards in, and that’s gonna make a drastic difference in how things move. Because you just did it based on how fluids naturally want to move.

Jodi:  I always use the analogy, you would never yell fire in the crowded movie theater without opening the exit doors. These are the exit doors.

Perry:  When I teach the big six, this is where it gets really, really cool. I told you that a couple of things move left, right? Well, your body is designed miraculously. You’ve got these lymph nodes that are in a lot of places. You got about 600 or 700, they gather in clusters like little communities. So those gathering of lymph nodes are in around the joints of the body that are supposed to move the most. And when you sit, you close every single one of them down. So the big six are actually located at your primary joints of movement. Here’s the coolest part beyond that. Lymph always works with blood and nerves together as a unit.

The big fantasy term is neuro-lympho vascular bundle. That means nerve, lymph, arteries and veins all travel together as a pair. And guess where the biggest pipes of blood flow and the thicker part of nerves live? Right on the neck, the same fixed places. You need to think of yourself as a piping system where big pipes become small pipes.

You can change the names of the pipes, but I want you to understand that it’s the same pipe. They’re just smaller and bigger. It’s the same with nerves and veins. They work the same way. Big ones become small ones, but every single one talks to each other. So if I have a blocked pipe in one place, do you think that’s going to affect the pipes everywhere else? There is no option in there. That’s when we isolate treatments when we get lost because the body doesn’t work like that, the body’s not parts, it’s one functional piece. Because you listen, your body doesn’t even know what in the world a lymph and an artery and a vein are. We named those things. It’s saying, I don’t care what you call me, man. I’m just all working as one piece. And why don’t you start treating me that way? 

So what we do with the big lymph is we always open one towards six. And here’s how you do it. You always start at the collarbone and you’ll always do both sides, above and below the collarbone.

Jodi: Can you demonstrate how to do that? Like do you start below?

Perry:  This is really important for people to understand too, because people always ask me, Hey, what’s the magical technique for rubbing the lymph node and which direction and how much pressure and how many reps and my answer is yes, just don’t cause pain because there is no magical one. 

If anybody tells you that, they’re full of it. You need to move the tissue and many, many different directions and not be scared to work it. What I teach people is just lightly rubbing with your hand, I like circles a lot, clockwise, and counterclockwise, but you can also go just in any direction.

I’ll do about 10 of them and people say, why did you choose 10? I’m like, cause I didn’t want to give you 11. That’s why and then you do 10 light taps like tapping. I just don’t want you to cause any pain. Now, if you don’t want to rub, you could actually dry brush that. You can use little vibration balls because I have vibration balls that I sell. You can use that there. The point is, I just want you to focus on spot number one first, how you do it. That’s what you feel comfortable with. So you do the one side, then we go to the other side and you’ll rub the same place above and below the collarbone about ten times in circles. Remember what I said before is that as long as you open up space and you decrease tension, you don’t have to teach the blood where to go and the limp where to go. It already knows where it needs to go. I just need you to open up the route. It’s not going to forget which way to go.

Jodi:  Is it okay to do both sides at once? Or do you recommend one?

Perry:  You can, but that’s usually more difficult because think about it. When you try to get both sides on this one, you create a lot of tension by reaching across the body or pulling your shoulders up and back and you contract your pectorals muscles, your chest muscles. The number one I like to do one side at a time because it’s just easier for you. Now that’s the first place that I start to work on no matter what you walk in with. Doc, I need to see you. My big toe hurts and nobody can fix it. Okay. Lie on here. I’m going to work your collarbone first. And I’m not kidding because I know what I know all the swelling and inflammation and edema and pain and stuff that you have in your toe has got to go where to the collarbone. 

Spot 2 is the largest lymph node in the neck.

It sits at the top of the neck on the sides called the lateral sides, up at the top behind the angle of the lobe of the ear and what’s known as cervical 1, cervical 2. That right there is one that really gets swollen in a lot of people and they don’t know it. And that’s a really important area because that’s where the vagus nerve drops from your head and goes down your neck. And it’s also where blood flow from your carotid arteries goes up into your brain and the waste comes out of your brain from the veins. So what I’m trying to tell you is this – If you block spot number two, you’re always going to struggle with brain issues. And you’re always going to struggle with vagus nerve issues

And one and two always go together. So let’s think about this. What happens if you’re blocked at drain point number one, where’s everything going to drain? Where does everything stuck in number two go? It can’t go anywhere, right?

Jodi: Cause it’s like traffic. It’s backed up behind the accident.

Perry: And then you get neuroinflammation, you get poor blood flow to the brain, you get more waste in the brain, brain fog is the number one sign of a poorly functioning lymphatic system and vascular system. If you have brain fog, I know right then and there, your lymph system and your vascular system’s a hot mess and you have low oxygen everywhere. And so that’s really big to understand. So if you open up number one and two, that can change your life. That’s why those are areas that I use. And you sent me some of your oils. Essential oils rubbed in spot number one and number two all the time.

Jodi: You can use all brands, but why do you think oils work that way?

Is it because of the transdermal, because they help move fluid? What’s your opinion of why oils are helpful? 

Perry:  If you look at oils, they’re highly energetic, right? And then what you’re going to end up finding is that most people, when they have poor vascular system, lymph system and stagnations, their pH levels change in their body. And that has to do more with not with more energy levels in the body and it opens up pathways quite nicely.

Jodi:  What I want people to do is use the oils, use your techniques, maybe use your lymph ball. I feel like the more system options we give them, the more likely they’ll pick one and do it.

Perry:  So work in spot number one and number two.

Jodi:  Will you demonstrate how you do number two for people?

Perry:  So this one you can do both at the same time if you like, but you’re more than welcome to do one at a time. I usually take about two fingers at a time and I’ll put it right behind the angle of the jaw. I’m going to change my camera just a little bit so I can see myself a little bit bigger. And I just want you to rub right there, like up and down and circles work great, right? And I’m going to give you another pattern that works really well there. Do you know the infinity loop? The figure eight loop? Do an infinity loop up in that region and notice how that feels.

Jodi:  That feels amazing. You shared in your vagus nerve mojo class, something that I thought was amazing.

The vagus nerve is in this area as well. I try to teach people to stimulate that. And they’re always like, which side you showed that if you look at yourI don’t know what it’s called, the thing in the back of your mouth and go, ah, ah, ah.

Perry: Your uvula.

Jodi: Would you be willing to share that? I thought that was brilliant to see which side needs the greater strengthening of the vagus nerve.

Perry: That’s a really cool thing to just know for yourself. And if you show other people how to check it. It’s like really fun to do.

Jodi:  I credit you all the time with sharing that. So I’d love to have you explain it.

Perry:  It’s actually something that they use in the world of neurology quite a lot. So if you go to see someone when you have neurological issues or throat issues, they look for this as a sign that you may have some things going on with the vagus nerve and a few other nerves that surround it. But if you’ve opened up your mouth and you look in the back of your mouth and you go, ah, you see this little piece of tissue hanging down in between up there, it’s kind of freaky looking, right? It’s called the uvula and that’s important because it’s innervated by some nerves that come off of your brain stem here.

It basically tells a healthier brain when you go, ah. Those muscles in the back of your throat, they lift up a little bit, they contract and your right side and your left side should contract the same.

And if it does, that uvula that’s hanging down should raise straight up like that because you’re balanced on either side, but if you have an issue with the biggest nerve or what’s called the glossopharyngeal nerve, that’s number 9. So 9 and 10 rolled together. Then there’s poor nerve input into that muscle. It’s kind of like nerve input into a bicep or a tricep, for instance. And now when you go, ah, that muscle doesn’t raise up as much because there’s an issue with the nerve.

So the other side, your left side, that’s working good. Then what you’ll find is that one side lifts up and the other one doesn’t. So when you go, ah, that uvula hanging in the background now swings towards the side that works. So it’ll swing towards the good side and away from the side, I hate to use good and bad, but the side that’s not working at optimum. And in this case, if I did, ah, ah, ah, if a right side vagus and glossopharyngeal nerve have an issue and I go, ah, that hanging uvula will swing up to the left. That means that I would go in and work the right side. And if I work the right side

Sometimes it can be one, you may notice it right away, sometimes it’ll take a few and you go, ah, again, well then now that uvula drops back down and everything raises straight up in the center. Now you can have an issue with both sides, which means that you hardly see the uvula move up at all. The right and left, both don’t work. It’s like having two weak biceps. I don’t have the strength to do it. So the uvula comes up just a little bit or you hardly see it move. And others you’ll see, boom, it just goes straight up. 

Now, that’s a person who will usually have more issues on that side with the vagus nerve and the glossopharyngeal nerve that’s not working well. And they’ll say, Hey, most of my stuff I feel on one side that that was golden. That was amazing. Thank you. 

You also have to remember that the vagus nerve… it’s a parasympathetic nervous system, but you also have a sympathetic nervous system, right? If the vagus nerve doesn’t work that well, then the sympathetics go up higher. Because you don’t have enough parasympathetic so sympathetic can just play and have a field day because they got no balance. And when the stay with me, this is important. When sympathetic increase, what do we say that already does? 

It messes up. It vasoconstricts. It decreases blood flow in and out and waste in and out. And that activates the, the sensory fibers that sit in those areas. It can give you pain. And that’s one of the reasons why you have pain in a particular side of your body. The body’s very interesting. It’s designed to compensate and adapt and try to fix things for you without you asking it to. So if you have a little twist in your right ankle. Well, which side do you walk on more? Well, the left side, because your body’s like, I need to move away from that because one, it hurts. And then two, I don’t want it to hurt anymore. And so the body actually has a very unique way of fixing things or trying to fix things. 

That’s. Normal. It zigzags. It goes from one side of the body to the other side of the body to the other side of the body, and it’s like Zorro. And that’s normal. But if you don’t have a zig, and you got all zags, that means that everything’s on one side. That’s more if everything’s one sided, that’s more of a brain issue than anything else. That’s more of the body’s just got one side that’s getting some signals and the other one that doesn’t.

So that’s why when you do spot one and two up here, people say, doc. I don’t know if this is all in my head, but this is the craziest thing. I mean, I did that and then my knee feels better. My ankle feels better. My hamstring, all these things I’ve been suffering with for years feel better. And I didn’t do anything to where the pain was. Well, that’s exactly what stop chasing pain means. You don’t just treat where it hurts. That’s a good start, but I want you to ultimately ask yourself, why does it keep hurting? That’s the question I want you to ask.

Jodi:  And just one plug, I think we’re around the same age. I’m 54, but I started noticing that like turkey gobble, that old woman thing. And I’m like, this has got to be lymph when I started doing this, like my face changed and I’ve seen your picture of kind of when you were at your low. And now like, I really do think it makes you look younger.

Perry:  First of all, thank you very much. Because you’re going to start to get rid of puffiness, swelling, edema, inflammation, waste, and toxicity. So you’re not going to look as puffy. You’re going to look more lean. Plus when you hold on to that inflammation and toxins, you’re going to age faster.

Jodi:  And that’s just the way it works. If you think about it, if the toxins stay in your brain, they turn on your immune system, they cause inflammation. If you can open up, I really think this is the bottleneck, like these two points are critical to just helping to open up drainage. And then if you can go through the other big six, just make sure that the garbage leaves.

Perry:  It’s part number two. Now we go to number three, that’s the shoulder joint because we’re supposed to move the shoulders a lot.

And nobody does that because one, we sit, and then when we have poor posture, our shoulders roll forward, or we’re holding a phone with two hands all day long, contracting these up. And we never reached overhead. Most people never reach overhead for anything. So the shoulder joint, right where your pectoral muscle is, and even underneath a little bit into what’s called your axilla or your armpit. So all I want you to do is just rub over that pec/shoulder, kind of go into the armpit a little bit under the collarbone, right in that region, cover a big amount of space and you can do circles. 

And then now spread out your whole hand and tap on the pec. And then underneath a little bit near that armpit, and then do the same thing on the other side. Whenever you open up spot one, you automatically begin to open up number two and number three, but now you’re getting in there with your plunger and you always do both sides. And that’s the important area because that’s where the blood flow and the nerves go down into your arm. So if you have carpal tunnel syndrome, anything with any it is you name the itis. Inflammation, and whenever you hear the word inflammation, I want you to think lymph flow and blood flow from now on. If you’re blocked here and here, I’m going to tell you, you’re always going to struggle with whatever is down in your arm. 

Now, number four is where most of the lymph in the body lives, which is the abdomen. Why? Well, because they know that 70 to 80 percent of your immune system resides in your gut. And that just makes a whole heap of common sense to me that if the lymphatics are the primary part of your system, let me stick it in my gut. Here’s what I want people to understand if you have a left problem, you have a gut problem. If you have a gut problem, you have a left problem.

They always go together, zero discussion.

Jodi: No, but the peyer’s patches, you’re totally right. Your whole immune system is in your gut.

Perry:  And then what do they call this gut-brain-access? Gut brain. And let me ask you a question. Do you think spots one and two would be really important to work to help your gut as well? Cause I’m going to drain my brain because many people have gut issues because they have chronic inflammation in the brain because they have blocked up drains in the neck. So in my world, you’re right. It’s a bottleneck. You never work your gut until you check your neck first. So what do you do in the abdomen? Same thing you did everywhere else. I tell people we’re going to use two hands here. I want you to place one hand flat over your belly button with your hands running across your body

And then I want you to take your other hand and stack it above the other hand. Not on top, not here, but above. And I want you to now rub your abdomen in circles. You can go left. You can go right. And then try this. Go like this. So you’d make like a scissor effect here. You can even go up and down. You can draw hieroglyphics. I don’t care what you do. Now what do you do? Take your hands and slap your belly 10 times. Now I can work up to do that one up to 50 times. I’ll do 50 slaps on the belly easy. And that’s really good for stimulating your vagus nerve too, when you hit your belly. Do you recommend standing for that one? People ask me about positions and I say they can make a difference in a couple different ways. It depends on what’s very comfortable for you, right? Now you can do it standing, but I want you to think about it. When you stand up, you have to fight gravity, so all of your support muscles fire so you don’t fall.

So you actually have a lot of tension when you stand and you don’t even realize it because stuff has to keep contracting so you don’t fall on your face. And standing and walking are a controlled fall. And I don’t want you to sit because they’re always sitting. If you lie on your back and you do these, that’s very nice because when you lie on your back, everything relaxes because I don’t have to fight gravity. 

So my first choice would be lying down. My second choice would be standing up and my third choice would be seated. But you find the one that you like. And so that’s number four. Now number five is the crease of your groin, where your pants crease when you sit. And that’s called your inguinal region. You have your inguinal lymph nodes that gather there. And you also have the primary blood flow route to everything in your leg. And most people are blocked and that as well. So now put your hands over the crease of your groin on either side and do the same thing. Rub up and down, kind of go side to side, and do circles in different ways. And then I want you to lightly tap the crease of the groin. Just be careful with your taps here. It can be a sensitive area. 

And then spot number six is behind the knee. That’s the one to get blocks a lot, because we sit a ton. And one of the reasons why the legs swell up on a plane and rub the back of your knees. Same thing. And then lightly tap 10 times. So now what happened is you opened up the big clogged drains closer to the street. So now everything in your legs and your arms and your head are going to start to flow better. And if you want to, this is a nice time to dry brush from the feet up and from the hands up, but only after you do the big six first.

Jodi:  You also recommend kind of bouncing on your toes or laying and pushing.

Perry: Rebounding, cause you mentioned rebounding before and people say, Hey doc, is rebounding good for lymph? It’s awesome for lymph. And you have ones that are built into you called calves. And they’re supposed to pump the vein fluid particularly, but the lymph from the lower part of the body because the veins in the lower part of the body have valves and they have that so you don’t backflow and get varicose veins, but once you get above the waist, they don’t have valves. 

In Eastern medicine they call your calf muscle complex your second heart. So you jump up and down a little bit for like 30 seconds to a minute. And you’re going to feel like an absolute hashtag beast mode monster. I’ll tell you that right now.

Jodi: I’m amazed, I’ve been doing this. I’m a big fan and I want to be respectful of your time. So I want to make sure, is there anything I didn’t ask you that you’d like to share?

Perry: Let’s go back to the big six on this one. That looks really simple and it actually looks to some people silly, but it is simple. But it’s one of the most powerful things we’re ever going to do to your body. And it’s not silly. Once you understand that the physiology of what you’re doing is powerful. And because it’s so powerful, many people are surprised at how much better they feel from such a simple thing that you can do every single day of the rest of your life, because the body, the world never stops trying to crush you with toxins and stress. That being said, one of the things that I want to make sure that people do is make sure that you’re well hydrated and need a lot of water in your system before and after the big six, because we’re going to start to stir your toilet up.

It’s been blocked for a while, and that waste has to get out. How does it get out? Primarily through your urine by hitting your kidneys, but it’s also going to go out through your skin through sweat, through breathing, and through pooping because there’s so much muck and waste that’s been trapped in people for many years that they didn’t realize it was there, not just because you’re really sick. 

I have people that don’t have symptoms and they think they’re healthy, but they’re full of muck. They just don’t know it yet because they haven’t gotten sick yet. You can get a detoxification reaction from this, which means that a few things will happen. You’ll feel worse before you get better. And symptoms may temporarily increase. You may have a headache, tiredness, fatigue, lethargy, a slight fever. Some people break out into sweats. Other people will have big breakouts on the skin. And I want you to know that those are all normal reactions because your body’s trying to get rid of the muck, the crap that’s inside of you. It’s better out than in. 

So that’s why I want you hydrated, but I also want to make sure that you’re not constipated. Because if you’re constipated, you’ve closed down the exit route for waste, which is poop. And it’s going to stay in there and you’re going to feel really not so good. But the cool thing about the Big 6 is that can also stimulate you to have a bowel movement. I want you to try to make sure that you’re well-hydrated and you’re not constipated before you do the big 6 the first time. And many people are constipated because they’re dehydrated.

Jodi:  Or they’re sympathetic, but yes.

Perry: Because when you’re sympathetic dominant, pooping’s the last thing on your brain’s mind, not dying is the main goal. But I want you to note that if you do the big six and you feel great, you feel good within one to two days after that, then you can repeat it again. And you can do it on a daily basis. Once is often enough. But you can do it more than once, as long as you don’t get a detox. So if I did it once and I felt great, but I did it twice and I didn’t feel great, what did the body tell you? 

Don’t do it twice is what it just told you. Only do it once. But let’s say you did a big six and you get the detoxification reaction. I don’t want you to repeat the six until you start to feel a little bit better from this, because I don’t want to overload the system again when it was struggling to even deal with what we did first. I mean, that’s just because you slam your body harder where the detox doesn’t mean that you’re going to get better faster. It’s actually the exact opposite. Nothing requires more energy in the body than detoxification. It’s the highest metabolic process that you have, even above using your brain

Jodi:  I think that’s true for emotional detox too, which is why grief and big feelings can be so exhausting.

Perry:  Many people get emotional reactions from doing the big six because you hold the emotion and trauma and shock and tissues and that’s tension. And when you change the blood flow, you change the relaxation of the body and it’s almost like this form of vulnerability might show up a little bit because you’re letting go of some tension that you’re holding on to for self-protection. And I have people message me all the time that they had a really good cry from doing the big 6.

It just felt like the armor came off, if you will. When you change how fluids move in the body, you change healing. So I have a couple of phrases that I’d like to say. One is that no system in the body ever works alone. It never gets injured alone. It never heals alone. There’s no such thing as an isolated injury in the body. There’s no such thing as isolated healing. Or nothing until lights out and unfortunately, we don’t treat the body that way or try to heal the body that way we go after like one area or one system and the lymph is fantastic, but it’s not the only system that you got. 

That’s why I told you before that you need to work with the blood flow. You need to work with the sympathetic and the parasympathetic. I have a really simple approach to my work. I don’t care what you walk in with. You can name the diagnosis off of your list. I don’t care what it is. It doesn’t change my approach. The first thing that I have to do is calm your body down. So I have to take you out of hyper-vigilant, fight or flight, hyperarousal, don’t die mode that I know you’re stuck in if you’re walking in to see me, or you’re at the opposite end of that where your survival strategy is shutting down. 

If I don’t do that, I’m just going to be in quicksand. The more I do, the faster I sink, so I’m going to calm the body down. Vagus nerve work is fabulous for that. And so is breathing, changing how you breathe, just changing how you breathe also changes your vagus nerve. Then I move the fluids and then people say, which one? Lymph and blood flow. Then healing can take place. So here’s the coolest part. If I call the body and I decrease tension, space increases in the body because I decrease tension. And when you increase space, what naturally moves better? Fluid.

Jodi: And I want to say emotions too. No one wants to feel our feelings, so we just stuff them. But when you give space, I think it’s safe to release anger, grief, fear, anxiety, all these things.

Perry: I want you to notice something here is that most of those big six that we did were in the front of the body. That’s because the front of the body is where all the pipes sit. People say, how come you don’t show any lymph stuff on the back? Because if I work the back, but I haven’t cleared the front first, it’s not going to work. So the back will take care of itself if you clear the front. But if you don’t clear the front, you can play around with your back for the rest of your life. It ain’t going to get better. The blood flow to your back comes from the front and the blood flow away from your back comes from the front and so does the lymphatics. 

That’s where you hold most of your tension in the body. Everything curls forward. What’s the ultimate safety position that people get into that’s reflexive? Nobody taught you that. You get into that because one, maybe you want to curl away from whatever is stressing you this way. But it’s also really important that your body says you should put your hands up because I need you to protect your throat, and your heart, and your eyes and everything here, because if I take you out there, you’re done. I have to protect this front region. 

You innately flex forward and that causes constriction tension and that tension it ends up shutting things down. But listen, I mean, your body doesn’t care if you feel good, it only cares that you’re not dead because it’s hard to feel good when you’re dead.

 I already know the areas of your body that are the most important ones for survival. When it protects the front, what does it leave open and where’s everybody get pain? In the back, because your body can tolerate the pain back there. It sucks to have mid-back pain, but if I gave you pain in your sternum, you’re done. Because the first thing you’re going to think is having a heart attack.

Jodi: I think everyone listening is going to want to know how they can work more with you and find out more about you.

Perry: You can just type in stop chasing pain on any search engine and I’ll show up. My website will probably show up first. That’s the central hub that will take you to everything that we have to offer from memberships to workshops to consultations. I do still see patients every week and I do that to keep my hand sharp and my mind sharp and help people. We do it in person and we do it via Zoom

There’s a lot of stuff out there that you can get busy. When you want to look at the rabbit hole of stop chasing pain, because I’ve been doing this stuff for a long time, you just see what one resonates with you, whether it’s a course, whether it’s a self help video that you can stream on your own. I started to look at the lymphatics out there. And I’ve studied many different disciplines. People say, what technique do you use? I made my own by studying many different disciplines and taking those, putting them in a blender and saying, okay, that’s what they did. I’m going to take a piece of this. I’m gonna take a piece of that. I’m going to move it around and I’m going to give you a brand new recipe. But the fundamental principles never changed. That’s high pressure to low pressure. And then I realized now more people are talking about lymph than ever before.

But about eight years ago it was a vast wasteland.

Jodi:  I was screaming vagus nerve into the wind 12 years ago. I’m grateful everyone’s caught on.

Perry:  But I can’t find anything out there. And then the ones that I find were so overcomplicated and they weren’t teaching you how to do things to yourself. And that’s when I said, I’m just going to do it my damn self. So I created the body aquarium lymphatic self-help mojo video that’s been out about five years ago. And that thing has just exploded.

Jodi:  It’s so good. And you have your new vibration ball, which I’m excited to try. I like the oils too, I think as long as you do something, even if you just do the big two of the big six, I just want people to feel better and think more clearly. So thank you so much. I hope people will follow up and learn more. You have so much to offer and this is so helpful.

Perry:  I had a lot of fun. I hope that they can take away a few of these things that we talked about. I will tell you that big six can be one of the most powerful, life changing self care things you’re ever going to do for yourself and your children. I have people that do it to their babies. They just rub slower and easier and you move your finger and you don’t have to tap. The one thing that’s non negotiable is one, two, three, four, five, six, in order. Don’t, don’t jumble it up and do six, five, four, three, two, one. That’s a no.

Jodi:  Thank you again for your time.

About The Author

Jodi Cohen

Jodi Sternoff Cohen is the founder of Vibrant Blue Oils. An author, speaker, nutritional therapist, and a leading international authority on essential oils, Jodi has helped over 50,000 individuals support their health with essential oils.