Lymphatic System Information
Lymphatic Drainage Treatments
Supporting these Conditions
Preparation for Surgery
Recovery from Surgery
Cold and Flu Recovery
Are you aware of these lymphatic system facts?
Twice as much lymph as blood circulates in the body.
There are twice as many lymph vessels as blood vessels.
Yet, in reality, your blood gets way more attention compared to your lymphatic system. The importance of the circulatory system is well known; it delivers oxygen and nutrients to cells in the body.
The main components of the circulatory system are the heart (pumps the blood), arteries, veins, and capillaries that channel the blood to and fro throughout your body.
The Great Eliminator
Briefly, the lymphatic system rids the body of toxins, waste, and other unwanted materials. It transports infection-fighting white blood cells throughout the body. The lymphatic system is comprised of its vessels, nodes, tonsils, adenoids, spleen, and thymus.
Unlike the circulatory system, the lymphatic system does not have a built in pump to force circulation. Movement of the lymph in the lymphatic vessels is supported by skeletal muscle contraction.
Lack of skeletal muscle contraction, which occurs when a muscle has been injured or inactive, translates into decreased lymph movement. Decreased lymph movement can be a source of toxins and waste accumulating in the tissues.
Signs of a sluggish lymphatic system may include:
- Sinus congestion
- Joint pain
Manual Lymphatic Drainage
The body can be gently encouraged to naturally drain its lymph through a technique known as manual lymphatic drainage (MLD). There are several well-known schools vested in training physical therapists, massage therapists, and occupational therapists in this technique.
In addition to draining excess fluid in lymphedema patients (*), lymph drainage techniques support:
- Removal of toxins
- A decrease in pain
- A healthier immune system
- Healing of sprains and strains
- Decongesting sinuses
- Improving sleep
*Medically, the lymphatic system triggers a concern when patients develop lymphedema, which is the collection of high-protein fluid just beneath the skin. This condition typically develops when the lymph vessels are damaged or the lymph nodes are removed.