Interesting article about the lymph system, digestion& elimination, cellulite & surgery and the benefits of lymph drainage on these issues

Home » Healing » Interesting article about the lymph system, digestion& elimination, cellulite & surgery and the benefits of lymph drainage on these issues
Blocke Lymphatic System

Negative effects of chronic lymph blockages

All things in nature have a natural progression; when this motion is inhibited or jammed, concerns arise — and when it occurs in your lymph system, you feel it quickly.
Think again of a river: a healthy river runs clean and clear. A brackish river chugs along, thick with soot and silt that gets snagged, pocketing pollution in small pools along the way. Eventually, the sluggish river can become a breeding ground for bacteria and disease. The same is true for your lymph.

Because lymph cleanses nearly every cell in your body, symptoms of chronic lymph blockage are diverse but can include worsened allergies and food sensitivities, frequent cold and flu infections, joint pain, headaches and migraines, menstrual cramps, arthritis, fibrocystic breasts, breast tenderness, sinusitis, loss of appetite and GI issues, muscle cramping, tissue swelling, fatigue, mental fuzziness, mood irregularities, depression, parasites, skin breakouts, acne, and cellulite. In general, you may feel tired and toxic, with a heaviness in your abdomen. In Chinese medicine, practitioners call this “excessive damp” that undermines your whole health.

Stagnant lymph can also interfere with the system’s ability to cleanse more potentially hazardous concerns, such as bacteria and cancerous or diseased cells from organ tissue. Viral infections, bacteria, and cancerous or mutagenic cells move through the lymph fluid, where they are targeted and destroyed in the lymph nodes — when the system is adequate to the task.

The lymphatic system, digestion and elimination

As you read above, so much of the lymph tissue is associated with the gut that it has its own acronym: GALT (gut-associated lymphoid tissue). Lymphatic tissue is where much of our immunity originates, and because the digestive tract is a main path of entry for offensive substances (bacteria, allergens, heavy metals, moulds, fungi, chemicals, trans fats), many lines of defense permeate the gut.
The agents involved in digestion — enzymes, acids, and intestinal flora — do away with many of the pathogens that try to invade our systems. Those that make it through are taken up and acted upon by the GALT.

The GALT itself is a kind of tasting room for pathogens. The ones that survive the initial pass of digestion get sampled by receptors in the GALT, which coordinate an immune response (including mucus production). Anyone who lacks the enzymes to digest dairy is familiar with a GALT-dictated immune response.

So, the GALT receives information from the microenvironment of the intestines in the form of which pathogenic agents get through. It then decides which of these deserve an allergic response, calling upon the immune and endocrine systems to facilitate. In this way, the GALT tissue becomes its own command center, which is one reason many practitioners call the gut the “second brain.” For more on this topic, read The Second Brain, by Michael Gershon.

Healthy GALT function generally inhibits allergic responses and decreases food sensitivity — but this is complicated and often relies on the status of the intestinal flora and other factors. Suffice it to say that the healthier your gut-associated lymph tissue, the less sensitive you are likely to be to food-borne bacteria and chemicals.
The mucosal tissue of the intestines (the villi and lacteals) are also classified as GALT tissue, playing an important role in the transportation of digested dietary fats (or chyle) into the blood (those LDL’s and HDL’s we hear so much about) via the cisterna chyli and the thoracic duct.
Constipation, diarrhea, and other GI issues compromise the lymphatic system’s ability to do its job. If the digestive tract is suboptimal due to food sensitivities, parasites or stress, the flow of lymph and chyle will also be diminished. This can cause nausea and toxicity, exacerbating the original GI concerns. It may also play a part in the appearance of cellulite.

The lymphatic system and cellulite

Cellulite and “saddle bags” along the thighs are partially the result of impaired lymph flow to certain areas, causing immobilized pockets of fat and trapping toxins. Over 90% of women have some form of cellulite resulting from weight gain, a genetic predisposition, or inactivity.

Cellulite begins when numerous fat cells collect in one area (generally the buttocks, thighs and upper arms in women), causing the skin to bulge. The dimpling effect occurs when the connective fibers in the skin pull down in areas where body fat is pushing up. Toxins and lymph fluid accumulate in the pockets of fat. Improving the circulation of lymph in areas prone to cellulite and reducing toxic burden are two successful ways to diminish cellulite from the inside out.

Liposuction, creams, and wraps on the other hand, may reduce the appearance of cellulite but do not keep it from coming back. Invasive procedures tend to increase inflammation in the area and strain the connective tissue, which can make the situation worse over time.

Lymphatic massage
Because lymph fluid moves slowly without aid of its own pump, inactivity can seriously restrict its flow. Muscular contraction through exercise and deep breathing is the primary means by which our lymph circulates, but lymphatic massage and drainage provide another helpful option.

In Europe, patients often receive a special massage called lymph therapy or lymph drainage before undergoing surgery. This method of treatment was popularized in the US by the Danish doctor, Dr. Emil Vodder, as an effective treatment for lymphedema. Practitioners believe that it significantly improves healing by readying the system for recovery. For more information, visit Dr. Vodder’s educational website.
On an everyday basis, regular lymph massage (particularly around the abdomen, axillary nodes, and breast) can be great preventive health maintenance. There are many ways to practice lymph massage, and I recommend that you visit a certified massage therapist to learn more.
Rejuvenating your lymphatic system

As you can see, the lymphatic system works steadily to keep you clean and well. The nutritional and lifestyle guidelines we offer at Women to Women will go a long way toward reducing the overall “body sludge” your lymph system must sweep away.

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