Feeling the need to detox? You may have searched all the different methods to rid the body of toxins, but did you know that your body has its own system to eliminate toxins?
What is the Lymphatic System?
Your lymphatic system acts as a disposal system that works throughout your body to help flush toxins out of the body and keep blood and fluid levels in balance. The lymphatic system is a subsystem of the circulatory system, composed of lymphatic vessels, nodes, ducts, organs and tissues, responsible for ridding the body of toxins by transporting lymph throughout your body so the toxins don’t accumulate and cause disease. Lymph is a clear fluid highly concentrated with white blood cells, responsible for helping your body fight infection and disease. When lymph doesn't move, our cells, tissues and organs can’t effectively remove waste products.
Unlike the blood system, the lymph system has no pumping mechanism and relies on the intrinsic contractions of the smooth muscle cells in the walls of lymph vessels and the natural movement of skeletal muscles to propel lymph through the vessels to lymph nodes, to lymph ducts, which return lymph to the cardiovascular system. The lymphatic system needs to be stimulated daily through movement to prevent it from declining or becoming stagnant where the body might accumulate too much waste, where you may experience symptoms like persistent headaches, brain fog, lack of energy, sore throat, bloating, skin issues and much more. When the circulation of the lymph slows down the lymphatic system gets clogged up and the body starts accumulating too much waste, causing chronic inflammatory processes. The excess waste affects the normal functioning of other vital systems, including the immune system. If ignored, over time, tissue damage can result and may lead to the development of many pathological conditions, such as decreased immunity/autoimmune disease, poor blood circulation, allergies, chronic fascia or musculoskeletal disorders, asthma, lymphedema (swelling in the limbs) and even cancer.
Disruptive drainage of the lymphatic system can be triggered by trauma, cancer treatments, surgery/injury/trauma, infection, obesity, cardiac and vascular impairments, kidney disease, pregnancy, poor diet, alcohol, sedentary lifestyle/lack of exercise or movement, pollutants and hormonal shifts can all cause fluctuations in the lymphatic system. If you’ve been feeling sluggish, tired, and prone to respiratory infections, such as flu and colds, could mean your lymphatic system is not working efficiently. This is where Manual Lymphatic Drainage comes to the rescue.
What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)?
Manual lymphatic drainage is a non-invasive technique that stimulates natural lymph flow throughout your body, aimed at removing toxins, restoring your immune system’s functions, and ultimately preventing a variety of health conditions. Though lymph vessels are found throughout the body, about 70 percent of them are located just below the skin. These fragile vessels work to pick up fluids between cellular spaces when gentle pressure is applied to them from increased fluid buildup, muscle contractions, or pressure from a therapist’s hands. By using very light pressures in a rhythmic, circular motion, a therapist can stimulate the lymph system to work more efficiently and help it move the lymph fluids back to the heart.
The technique moves lymph from your tissues to working lymph vessels, which eases the swelling/inflammation. Lymphatic vessel activation limits acute inflammation via promotion of fluid drainage and reduction of edema formation. In addition to fluid, it can remove extravasated cells, such as macrophages and lymphocytes, and inflammatory factors such as histamine and prostaglandins from the site of inflammation to the lymph nodes. Science is uncovering increasingly strong evidence that points to acute and chronic inflammation as being a major constituent of disease. We also know lymphatic drainage is instrumental in limiting these detrimental inflammatory processes.
By freeing vessel pathways, MLD can help retrain the lymph system to work better for more long-term health benefits expediting the removal of biochemical wastes from body tissues and enhancing body fluid dynamics.
What are the benefits of Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)?
According to the Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy, it has been established that MDL/Lymphatic Drainage Massage aids blood circulation, improves bodily fluid balance, promotes stronger immune function, elimination of excess waste and toxins, reduction of body fat percentage and speeds up metabolism. Many people also use manual lymphatic drainage for tissue regeneration/healing post-surgery/injury, immune function stimulation, detoxification, cellulite/excess body fat accumulation and weight loss. It has also been reported to reduce bloating, improve elimination, increase energy, reduce swelling/inflammation and clear skin.
Over the years, this holistic procedure has been proven to be beneficial for relieving the symptoms of several conditions, such as lymphedema, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic venous insufficiency, lipedema and autoimmune disorders. Manual lymphatic drainage can benefit just about everyone. If you’re feeling tired and low on energy, or if you’ve been sick and feeling like your body is fighting to get back on track, MLD would likely serve you. In addition, athletes, surgical clients and chronic fatigue sufferers may want to consider MLD. After a sports injury or surgery, lymph vessels can become overwhelmed with the demand placed on them. MLD helps the body remove proteins and waste products from the affected area and reduce the swelling. This helps reduce pressure on cells and allows them to reproduce faster to heal the body.
We work with clients experiencing a range of lymphatic issues and work with them to create a manageable wellness plan they can follow. While offering Manual Lymphatic Drainage, your Decongestive Lymphatic Therapy may include various recommendations to implement, such as hydration, decreased toxin exposure, infrared sauna, rebounding, dry brushing, deep breathing, contrast hydrotherapy, movement and/or compression garments to promote lymphatic drainage. To get all the benefits associated with this form of non-invasive therapy, a series of sessions are suggested initially over a 6-week time period. It’s important to continually address how your body feels, its ability to fight off viruses and infections, paying attention to energy levels, digestion, and vitality, to assess and address what the body needs to reach optimum health.
When the lymph system works well, we feel healthy and have a strong defense against illness. When it’s sluggish or blocked, we can have swelling, feel tired and be more susceptible to colds, illness and infection.
There are certain conditions and circumstances where MLD/lymphatic massage is contraindicated. Schedule a FREE Discovery Call today to see if Decongestive Lymphatic Therapy is right for you.
Integrative Therapies and Wellness
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-----THIS INFORMATION IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR, NOR DOES IT REPLACE, PERSONALIZED MEDICAL ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS, OR TREATMENT. IF YOU HAVE ANY CONCERNS OR QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR HEALTH, YOU SHOULD ALWAYS CONSULT WITH A HEALTH-CARE PROFESSIONAL. THE USE OF ANY INFORMATION PROVIDED IS SOLELY AT YOUR OWN RISK. -----