Most of us have heard about the skeletal system and the muscular system, very few of us will have heard about the lymphatic system, even though if the lymphatic system were to stop functioning completely, we would die within hours.
The lymphatic system is the secondary circulation system found in the body and has a very complex set of tasks. The major tasks are cleaning and nourishing the cells.
Lymph is a clear fluid containing nutrients and oxygen, and we have twice as much lymph fluid in our bodies as blood! Lymph fluid is deposited around the cells to keep them nourished. The cells are able to discard waste and toxic materials into this fluid which then transports it, via the lymph nodes which filter it, back into the general circulation. It’s a one-way transportation system, so lymph should only ever flow in one direction – away from the cells and towards the heart.
There are a number of reasons why our Lymphatic System can be put under strain:
- Poor lifestyle choices (this is one of the most common reasons with overindulgence topping the list)
- Lack of exercise – lymphatic fluid needs muscle power to push it round the body
- Poor diet – may increase congestion and produce more waste for the lymph to pick up and dispose of
- Pollutants – environmental and dietary
- Surgery and trauma
Benefits of Lymphatic Drainage
Lymphatic function supports every other system in the body, including the immune, digestive, detoxification and nervous systems.
It’s important in immunity, inflammation and healing in general, so an efficient lymphatic system is going to help in many areas. Lymphatic drainage is a way to achieve that efficiency.
- Skin care: Lymph drainage is great for puffiness around the eyes and for reducing fine lines. It can improve complexion and help clear up acne.
- Detox: This is one of the most popular reasons for lymph drainage. It helps to cleanse the system after periods of high stress or overindulgence.
- Headaches: Because lymphatic drainage improves blood flow and helps to unblock fluid build up. It can be effective in the treatment of headaches, particularly, pain caused by sinusitus.
- Promote healing: After surgery or injury lymphatic drainage activates the lymphocytes, involved in reconstructing the tissue. It can help with reducing inflammation and improving the healing process.
- Pregnancy: Pregnancy often leads to fluid retention, causing discomfort in the legs and feet. Lymphatic drainage can be started at the end of the first trimester and continued throughout the pregnancy.
- Relaxation: The cleansing and rejuvenating effects of lymphatic drainage relive stress and lead to a greater feeling of relaxation. Improved Immune System
- Strengthening the Immune System: As the flow of lymphatic materials slows, the immune system weakens. Lymphatic drainage can improve the function of the immune system thereby increasing the production of antibodies that fight off infections.
The International Alliance of Healthcare Educators states that the rhythm, pressure and motion of lymph drainage massages work together to reduce pain and stress and to promote general vitality and well-being.
Most people will notice improvements in their level of wellbeing after a treatment because lymphatic drainage has so many benefits. Keep yourself looking and feeling in tip-top condition with a regular session.
Staying well hydrated, getting regular exercise, eating nutritious food, receiving lymphatic drainage massage, and employing suitable stress management techniques can all help support the health of the lymphatic system, and are wonderful ways to look after the whole body.