JAMES PHILLIPS – OSTEOPATH
LYMPHATIC/VASCULAR DYNAMICS AND IMMUNITY- OSTEOPATHIC PERSPECTIVE
The lymphatic system which consists of organs, glands, fluid and tissue constitutes within bone marrow and the gastrointestinal tract, provides the core immunity through the spleen and thymus with fluid metabolism as a result of diffusion at the capillary beds through peripheral watersheds, nodes and central ducts.
The lymphatic system when removing lymphatic fluid which consists of waste and discarded matter from infection fighting, toxins and waste from autonomic function relies on pressure gradients to enable a suction type vacuum to remove fluid from space to maintain a homeostatic relationship between structure, function and visceral, respiratory mechanics and motility.
The dependent elements within the body for lymphatic and therefore vascular and immune integrity will conglomerate around an evenly balanced central structure format providing expansion through the cranial vault, thoracic cavity and pelvic housing where diaphragms can expand and pump by working in concert providing the rhythm and depth of breath to enable sufficient drainage without accumulation and therefore impaction.
The intermediate, binding element of the connective fascial tissue not only provides an endless web of reticulation that allows all structures to connect, contract, articulate and slide but translates fluid and associated pressure maintaining a homeostatic basis therefore regulating metabolism and immunology.
The key to integrity appears to be movement, maintained through space in the hallow organ and potential space for inherent motility of organs, articulation of joints and expansion of functional tissue on a multi-dimensional basis permitting the pumps of the system to move and remove elements of the body in a rhythmical manner.
The fine autonomic regulation of the system will therefore rely on structural balance, functional integrity and its line of action, inherent visceral motility consistent with unimpeded vascular dynamics leading to uncompromised metabolic and immunologic regulation.
OLIVIER LEJUS – TCM: ACUPUNCTURIST / HERBALIST
ACUPUNCTURE AND THE LYMPHATIC SYSTEM
The immune system works throughout our body to prevent and fight illnesses.
Our digestive tract, skin, and lymphatic system are three important parts of our protection against disease. The lymphatic system provides a physical network to drain local antigens from the surrounding tissue and presents these antigens to immune cells for elimination.
Many lifestyle contributors such as poor diet, stress, and poor self-care can have a huge impact in our immune system.
The goal of acupuncture is to find and treat the underlying imbalances that are affecting the flow of Qi in the body and weakening our resistance to pathogens.
Medical Research in Japan has shown that acupuncture, and a warming therapy called “moxibustion “, both increase the White Blood Cell count in the blood dramatically (as much has twice its normal count with repeated use). They also produce analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects and increase the body’s capacity to produce antibodies.
NICOLE TURRELL- REMEDIAL MASSAGE THERAPIST / REIKI MASTER
The lymphatic system is a vascular network of thin walled capillaries and larger lymphatic vessels. It drains lymph from the tissue spaces of most organs and returns it to the venous system for recirculation. It helps rid the body of toxins, waste and other unwanted materials. The primary function of the lymphatic system is to transport lymph, a fluid containing infection fighting white blood cells throughout the body. The tonsils, adenoids, spleen and thymus are all a part of the lymphatic system.
While the heart continuously pumps blood through the blood vessels, the lymphatic system relies on the movement of smooth muscles to transport fluid through the lymph vessels. The flow of the lymph fluid can be interrupted by health conditions which can cause a build-up in particular areas of the body. Manual lymphatic drainage is a gentle type of massage which helps to move excess lymph and fluid out of the tissues and back into the lymphatic vessels. Lymphatic massage can reduce swelling and improve circulation throughout the lymphatic system.
GIULIA MEZZAPICA – NATUROPATH
The lymphatic system has three functions:
1. The removal of excess fluids from body tissues. …
2. Absorption of fatty acids and subsequent transport of fats to the circulatory system.
3. Production of immune cells (such as lymphocytes, monocytes, and antibody producing cells called plasma cells).
• The lymphatic system is our body’s ‘sewerage system’.
• It maintains fluid levels in our body tissues by removing all fluids that leak out of our blood vessels.
• The lymphatic system is important for the optimal functioning of our general and specific immune responses.
• The lymph nodes monitor the lymph flowing into them and produce cells and antibodies which protect our body from infection and disease.
• The spleen and thymus are lymphatic organs that monitor the blood and detect and respond to pathogens and malignant cells.
• The lymphatic system plays an important role in the absorption of fats from the intestine.
• When the lymphatic system is not functioning properly, either from damage or lack of mobility, a swelling of a part of the body may occur (most commonly legs and arms).
Signs of a congested lymphatic system
Some of the signs that lymphatic fluid is not moving effectively and that toxins may be building up in your body are:
• Swollen glands/tonsils
• Puffiness in eyes or face
• Swelling in the fingers (tight rings) or ankles
• Bloating or holding on to water
• Sinus infections
• Skin issues, such as dry or itchy skin
• Soreness or stiffness upon waking
• Weight gain and extra belly fat
• Breast swelling or tenderness
• fogginess in the brain
• Worsened allergies
• Food sensitivities
• Increased colds or flu
The best activities to encourage lymph drainage are
• movement massage
• deep breathing
• massage and skin brushing
• supplements and foods
1. Movement – Lymph vessels are activated when you move your body. All exercise and any activity that moves the arms, legs, and torso will help to move lymph. This is why, with jobs that require sitting for most of the day, it’s important to get up and move at regular intervals. Prolonged sitting negatively impacts the lymphatic system as well as the heart, brain, and musculoskeletal system. If you sit most of the day for work, set a timer to get up every hour to take a short walk and move your lymph. Or if you’re flying do exercises and walk around the plane
2. Massage- Lymphatic drainage is a gentle, rhythmical massage treatment performed by a specially trained lymphatic massage therapist to stimulate the circulation of lymph fluid around the body. This helps to rapidly speed up the removal of wastes and toxins from a sluggish lymphatic system
3. Deep Breathing – Do you check on your breathing throughout the day? Are you a shallow or deep breather? Many patients I see are literally holding their breath a good part of the day, which affects their ability to calm the nervous system, get oxygen to their tissues, and move their lymphatic fluid. Deep breathing, or diaphragmatic breathing, can help to move lymph through the chest and around the liver area.
4. Rebounding – Rebounding, or bouncing on a trampoline, is an absolutely amazing way to improve lymphatic drainage and strengthen your immune system. It also boasts major benefits for many other functions of the body, such as improving bone mass (think preventing osteoporosis), digestion, cardiovascular status, balance, and strength. All you need is a mini-trampoline.
5. Supplements and herbs- Vitamins that support the lymphatic system include; vitamin A, C, E, and B-6. Common herbs that also help include golden seal, Echinacea, and poke root.
6. Foods that support the lymph system
This helps your lymphatic system efficiently transports fats and fluids through the body. Be sure to avoid sweetened or pasteurized processed cranberries. Opt instead for fresh cranberry juice and fruits.
Deep Leafy Green Veggies
These deep greens have intense cleansing properties that help the lymph fluid and blood make their way through the body. The secret is in the chlorophyll that greens create from the sunlight they process.
Turmeric, Ginger, Cinnamon and Black Pepper
These spices have powerful antioxidants that support the brain and help the digestive system function properly, all of which promotes lymph flow.
Seeds and Nuts
Almonds, pumpkin seeds, avocado oil, coconut oil, chia seeds, olive oil and more are great for your body. They improve your vascular tissue and help your body absorb vitamins and minerals. And you definitely want that if you want to detox your lymphatic system.
Lemons in your water for detoxing, to experience relief of many lymph blockage symptoms.
If you feel your lymphatic system is sluggish then give us a call and talk to Giulia the naturopath about a personalized detox plan.