By Olivia Westbrook
What is the lymphatic system and how can manual lymphatic drainage help me?
The lymphatic system consists of tiny nodes and vessels intertwined with the veins of the body. Fresh healthy blood cells are used in your circulatory system as you move, breathe and fight infection or bacteria. After these cells have done their job in the body, they become deoxidated or damaged cells, traveling back around the body within the veins. The body picks up on these cells and as they are now ‘defective’, the body will decide if they need to be secreted out of the blood as they may be too unfit to return to the heart.
The lymphatic system will collect this extracted fluid and start the process of reusing or removing the cells from the body. This ‘fluid’ called lymph is made up of small amounts of muscle bi-pass and lactic acid, but the majority is blood plasma, water, iron, nutrients, molecules and respiratory gases, which we can call toxins.
The function of the lymphatic system is to remove these excess toxins from the blood and tissues. It also produces immune and anti-body cells that destroy bacteria. Improved lymphatic circulation means that stagnant fluid is cleared, which relieves congestion around the muscles and organs.
Unlike blood the lymphatic system doesn’t have a heart to pump it, instead it relies on the movement of muscles, wholesome eating habits and breathing to help toxins filter correctly within the system.
Lymphatic drainage massage is one of the most relaxing massages, as the target tissues are only just under the skin so the pressure is very light. Gentle pumping and effleurage will encourage lymph flow, while a relaxed state of mind with deep breathing encourages an effective treatment, as the diaphragm one of the biggest pumps of the lymphatic system.
Manual lymphatic drainage can benefit a wide variety of conditions; fluid retention, lymphoedema, sinusitis, IBS, fibromyalgia, post sporting, golfers and tennis elbow, bruising, oedema, pregnancy and more.
Within manual lymphatic drainage treatments, the direction of fluid is encouraged via the therapist towards working nodes and vessels, to help excess toxins to be filtered back into the system. Allowing the body to reuse or rid the defective cells.
By helping to manually restore natural function back to the lymphatic system, the body can refocus on extracting wasteful products, regenerating cells, cleansing toxins and building stronger immune systems.
If you’d like to book a lymphatic drainage massage with Olivia, please use the book now button on our homepage, or call 02 5613 6965.