What is the Lymphatic system? And why is it so important?
We all have heard of the Lymphatic system or lymphatic drainage massage right? But what’s so important about the Lymphatic system and why massage modalities such as dry brushing and Fasciablasting is so important?
So let’s look at the Lymphatic system first and what it does.
The lymphatic system plays a very important role in our immune system. The lymphatic system transports fluids throughout the body through thin-walled lymphatic vessels, lymph nodes, and collecting ducts.
Lymph contains proteins, nutrients which provide nourishment to the tissues as well as damaged cells, cancer cells and foreign particles (bacteria and viruses) that may have entered our tissue fluids.
Lymph is drained through lymphatic vessels from tissues throughout the body. These vessels have valves like those found in our veins to keep the lymph flowing in one direction toward the heart. Lymph nodes are the collection sites for lymph. Lymph passes through our lymph nodes where damaged cells, cancer cells and foreign particles are filtered out. Lymphocytes (macrophages) are specialized white blood cells which engulf and destroy damaged cells, cancer cells, infectious organisms and foreign particles.
Lymph is then drained into collecting ducts which flows into the two subclavian veins which are located under our collarbone. These veins then become the superior vena cava which is a large vein that drains blood from the upper body into the heart then into the bloodstream (the cycle begins all over again).
How can I maintain my lymphatic system working efficiently and effectively? Let’s begin with staying hydrated.
H2O: Drinking plenty of water not only helps your lymphatic system but also the surrounding tissues (soft tissues and fascia).
Nutrition: A diet rich in alkaline foods provide a full range of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. I absolutely love Bulletproof's line of vitamins and minerals focused on strengthening the immune system.
Include healthy fats: Healthy fats are a primary source of energy and does your immune system good (Gut bacteria which goes hand in hand with your immune system . The gut is where bacteria and the immune system meet. Which is so important to keep the gut flora healthy and balanced. My favorite sources of healthy fats is Brain Octane oil, avocados (organic) and ghee (Clarified butter).
Exercise daily including aerobic (brisk walking, swimming, cycling, heavy cleaning and running) and anaerobic physical activity (sprints, weightlifting, Isometrics, interval training).
Infrared Sauna Therapy: These provide a gentle and effective mechanism for detoxification. The infrared waves penetrate deep into the human body, elevating the body‘s core temperature, sweating and excretion of toxins from the lymph and blood through the skin.
Dry Brushing: Dry brushing regularly helps stimulate the normal lymph flow within the body and helps the body detoxify itself naturally. (Follow the direction of the arrows in the diagram below)