Proper function of the lymphatic system is crucial to the body’s ability to drain fluids, detoxify, regenerate tissues, filter out toxins and foreign substances and maintain a healthy immune system. It’s a complex system comprised primarily of lymph vessels and nodes working in cooperation to accomplish these tasks.
Unlike the circulatory system, which uses the pumping of the heart to circulate its blood flow, lymph vessels rely upon hundreds of tiny muscular units (lymphangions) contracting throughout the body to propel the lymph. These contractions enable the lymph vessels to transport numerous substances (i.e., proteins, toxins, hormones, fatty acids, immune cells) to the lymph nodes, which can then process them. The action of these muscular units can be hindered or stopped, however, due to fatigue, stress, lack of physical activity, emotional shock, cold temperatures, infections, substantial swelling, age, chemicals or food additives.
When the lymph circulation stagnates, fluids, proteins, cells and toxins accumulate and cellular functioning is significantly compromised. This paves the road to many physical ailments and accelerate the aging process.
Detoxification is an ongoing process in our body. Common symptoms of a body overburdened with toxins include skin and hair problems, along with general deterioration of health. Our bodies are constantly exposed to environmental toxins from pollution, pesticides, inorganic fertilizers, cleaning solutions, chemicals, and even water and food.
The lymphatic system plays a major role in removing waste products, beginning at a cellular level. Toxic build-up is inevitable if the lymphatic system is not working properly and so therefore stimulating the lymphatic system through massage activates the natural detoxifying functions as well as encourages fluid circulation and cell regeneration.
Lymphatic massage is a delicate and light favouring the lymph flow. It is based on light, rhythmic and constant movements, only touching the skin, with an almost non-perceptible pressure.
REASONS FOR POOR LYMPHATIC FLOW
Poor lifestyle choices is most common cause of an inefficient lymphatic system.
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
Skin care: For a clearer complexion and to lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in facial tissue, as well as reducing puffiness around the eyes. Old scar tissue can be reduced while the appearance of new scars can be minimized. Commonly used before and after cosmetic surgery.
Detox: At the end of winter, or after a period of high stress, the body will really benefit from lymphatic drainage, to reduce the sluggishness brought on by too many starchy, high fat foods and too little exercise.
Immune System: the immune system is tied to the lymphatic system. If the flow of the lymphatic materials slows, the immune system weakens. Lymph drainage massages can improve the function of the immune system and increase the production of antibodies that fight off infections. Lymph drainage massages can also reduce inflammation in the body that causes diseases such as arthritis.
Cellulite: Cellulite appears when fat deposits compress the lymph vessels, hindering lymph flow. If the intervention is not rapid, the tissue fills with liquids and toxins and the fat deposits tend to turn harder, producing the "orange skin". When cellulite is on its incipient stages, it is easy to activate the flow of the accumulated wastes and solve definitively the issue.
Headaches: Most headaches including sinusitis have a component of congestion that responds well to lymphatic drainage. Once tissue is decongested, blocked fluid and blood flow improve, reducing pain and discomfort.
Post surgical healing: After surgery or injury, the tissue may be swollen and sore. Lymphatic drainage is a gentle treatment that will help drain the tissue, reduce inflammation and improve healing.
Pregnancy and PMS syndrome: The hormonal changes during pregnancy determine liquid retention and a decrease in the tonus of the vein and lymph vessels. Lymphatic drainage can be performed from the beginning of the third month of gestation through to delivery. It is also effective against the swelling experienced by many women a few days before the menstruation. In this case, the massage should be done immediately after the end of the cycle for a week, daily.
Breastfeeding: some women experience complications while breastfeeding that are usually due to improperly latching. These complications can include plugged ducts, sore nipples and engorgement, and they can be painful and discouraging. While the effects can get better and completely resolve in time, some women choose to quit breastfeeding because of them. Lymph drainage massage can help reduce swelling of engorgement and ameliorate plugged ducts, thus reducing tenderness in the breasts and nipples, ultimately leading to better breastfeeding.
Swelling: After long periods of immobility such as air travel or lessened mobility, fluid tends to stagnate in the tissue making it puffy and tender. Conditions such as arthritis often result in congested with fluid joints. All of these respond well when fluid is reduced with lymphatic drainage.
Relaxation: as it is such a gentle treatment, it is one of the most relaxing. And the relaxation is enhanced as the cleansing and rejuvenating effects relieve stress.
Should you wish to learn more about these or other health promoting techniques we invite you to book a Health Consultation with The Health Coach academy team or to join our Health Coaching Program.
Results may individually vary. Information and statements made in articles of The Health Coach academy Blog are for education purposes only and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. The Health Coach academy does not provide medical advice, prescribe medication and treatment plans, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by The Health Coach academy are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. Should you have a medical condition or health concern, consult your physician.