Studio 154 Pilates


Your Lymphatic System - What Swollen Glands Tell You

Mainstream medicine virtually ignores the lymph system, but its vitality is crucial to the health of the immune system. Your lymphatic system can be compared to a freeway. When congested, nothing moves. The same thing can happen in your body. Your lymphatic system affects every organ and cell in your body. When your lymphatic systemís drainage becomes clogged and blocked you cannot eliminate toxic material properly. When the lymph system fails to function properly, the lymph fluid becomes sluggish or even stagnant. The normally thin, nearly clear lymph fluid becomes cloudy and thick, changing from a condition like water or non-fat milk to yogurt of cottage cheese. Thickened, gel-like stagnant lymph overloaded with toxic waste is the ideal environment for the onset of illness and disease, including cancer, heart disease and arthritis.

Your lymphatic system includes a vast network of valves and capillaries that transport the lymph, to six to seven hundred lymph nodes spread throughout the body (concentrated in the neck, armpits and groin) to collect and filter the lymph; and four lymphatic organs, the tonsils, thymus, spleen and appendix, which produce white blood cells (lymphocytes), vital to the immune system.

The space between the cells occupies about 18% of the body. Fluid containing plasma proteins, foreign particles, and bacteria accumulates in these spaces and is called lymph. The primary purpose of the lymphatic system is to collect this lymph, filter the the waste products and return the clean lymph to the bloodstream. More specifically, the lymphatic system collects cellular waste products and debris from the tissues to eliminate toxins from the body.

The lymph flows upward through the body toward the heart at the rate of three quarts per twenty-four hour day. It empties into the bloodstream through two large ducts. Lymph a;so flows down from the head and neck into these same drainage sites. Unlike the blood supply, the lymphatic system does not have a pump (heart) to move it along. Rather, its movement depends on muscle contraction and respiration, so inactivity can lead to increased illness even for a normally healthy individual. The lymph flow is one-way, it only returns fluid to the bloodstream.

When any part of the lymphatic system becomes clogged or blocked, it creates a bottle; lymph starts backing up in the system creating a toxic, oxygen deprived environment conducive to degeneration and disease. Toxic lymph can be stored for a long time. This is not a healthy condition. Moving stagnant lymph is key to rejuvenation. Once you restore lymph flow, which is an integral part of the immune system, you enhance the bodyís natural healing ability.

There are many inter-linked conditions that may be improved by lymphatic drainage therapy. These include, but are not limited to: edema and water retention, acne, allergies, menstrual cramps, arthritis, prostate disorders, ulcers, breast lumps, uterine fibroids, parasites, cancer, respiratory disorders, eczema, tinnitus, local infections, inflammation, cellulite, emphysema,sinus headaches and congestion, intestinal blockage, tension, stress, mental confusion, and emotional disorder. Most physical and emotional challenges can be aggravated by the blockage of the lymph flow. Lymphatic drainage therapy , originally used to treat edema has been expanded and the indication list extended, a step at a time. Those physical and emotional challenges aggravated by lymph blockage are many times relieved by restoring the flow.

Factors that can contribute to lymphatic blockage include chronic constipation, stress, improper diet, lack of exercise, inflammation, and unexpressed emotions. Outside influences also contribute to blockage of the lymphatic flow, such as restrictive clothing (tight jeans & underwire bras are primary examples), air conditioning, antiperspirants (which block the flow of perspiration and lymph) and environmental factors such as mold, smog, etc.

A healthy lymphatic system can absorb and discharge unwanted body fat, carry away excess fluids and toxins, and aid in healing challenges associated with all of the bodies systems. The lymphatic system affects every organ and cell in your body. a clogged lymph system can benefit from manual manipulation. A professional lymphatic therapist can manually stimulate lymph flow. Everybody can benefit from lymphatic therapy as it is both restorative and preventive.

Detoxification by reestablishing the free flow of lymph throughout your entire body is a vital part of any healing process. Lymphatic drainage therapy is a whole body approach. After the drain sites are opened, the natural flow of lymph is stimulated throughout the entire body by clearing the pathways. When the lymph is moving freely again it eliminates pain and congestion, restoring the balanced state of good health and vitality.

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