It’s Your Rock Star System.

Your lymphatic system is the body’s own personalized garbage man. I have been fascinated with it since the 80’s when I first learned manual lymphatic drainage from the Vodder Institute out of Austria. Dr. Vodder developed this method of massage to reduce pain and to enhance the immune system; and in today’s world we need the strongest immune system possible. I used this method manually and with a special machine in my skin care clinics. This method was especially beneficial for the treatment of acne, aging, and especially beneficial for pre and post op surgery to reduce swelling and speed up recovery.    

So what exactly is the lymphatic system?

This system is vital to our body’s ability to detoxify, nourish and regenerate tissue, to filter our metabolic waste, and to keep up a healthy immune system.

You are probably very familiar with your lymph nodes. Those lumps in your throat and groin that can swell when you get sick. This swelling is very common in young children when their bodies are building up a resistance to disease. These nodes are part of the lymphatic system.

The whole system actually comprises of an entire network of organs, vessels, ducts and capillaries that run all over your body. It’s your secondary circulation system and runs along your body’s network of veins and arteries, except it doesn’t carry blood. It carries a clear liquid called lymph fluid. There is more lymphatic fluid in the human body than blood.

The lymphatic system is the body’s drainage system. This rock star system plays a large role in the health of our immune system. It is a one way system that carries cells and fluid back to the circulatory system.

How it works is very simple. The lymphatic fluid gathers fluid from the tissues and enters the lymphatic ducts. These ducts have valves which makes sure the lymph flows in the right direction. On its way back to the blood stream the fluid passes glands called lymph nodes, concentrated in areas like the neck, armpits, and groin. There are more lymph glands in areas such as the back and behind the knees, but in a smaller concentration.

What makes the lymphatic system so bodacious is that as it moves through the tissues it picks up cellular metabolic toxins, such as bacteria and other microbes, then traps it in a lymph node where the white blood cells purify the fluids, then the lymph fluid empties into the bloodstream.

There is no built in pump for this system like there is for the circulatory system. This means it depends on the movement of your muscles and the movement of your diaphragm in order to circulate.  If it doesn’t move, the system backs up like a clogged sewer line. Some of the issues caused by this backup include acne, Hodgkin’s disease, edema (swelling), tonsillitis and cellulite.

Ways to move the lymphatic system

+ Brisk walking

+ Swimming

+ Rebounding; jumping on a mini trampoline

+ My personal favorite is a workout that I have been doing for years, almost every move is lymphatic and in turn is anti inflammatory and anti aging.

+Dry skin brushing; a technique of using a special brush, and brushing the skin in the direction of lymphatic flow. This not only moves lymph but has a tightening effect on the skin.

+ Lymphatic Massage

+ Deep breathing, don’t forget to breath or take mini breaks throughout your day and do some deep breathing techniques such as breath in for five counts, hold for five counts and release for five. Repeat as many times as your little heart desires.

A few more suggestions: eating an organic, whole foods, plant based diet with plenty of filtered water, will always help on your road to a healthy lifestyle.