Yes. Sun, heat and holidays are here and let’s face it, who doesn’t want to enjoy it as much as possible?!
But the warm weather and travel can play havoc with our bodies, from dry skin and frizzy hair to puffy ankles and eyes. And how about that puffiness we can all experience on long haul flights, not to mention the sluggish lymphatic system generally from sitting for so long! Now whilst I can’t pretend to have the answer for frizzy hair I can help with the rest!
So what does the lymphatic system do?
Our lymphatic system supports your circulatory system and is responsible for removing excess fluid from the body’s tissues, filtering it in the lymph nodes then returning the “clean” fluid back to the circulatory system. In this way it helps to maintain blood volume, blood pressure and prevent oedema (that puffiness we are talking about). This lymph contains dead cells, waste products, bacteria and viruses which would otherwise be harmful to our bodies if not filtered.
How does the lymph flow?
The lymphatic system doesn’t have a big heart (sorry!) to pump the lymph around the body like the circulatory system has for the blood. Due to this lack of a pump lymph flow is assisted by the pressure exerted by the compression of skeletal muscles. This is why movement and exercise are so important to keep the lymphatic system working well.
Respiration is also important as it creates pressure changes in the thorax and a suction effect, enabling more lymph to drain back into the circulatory system. This is why movement, exercise and breathing are often encouraged alongside Manual Lymphatic Drainage.
Where is this amazing lymphatic system?!
It is everywhere in our body, a fantastic network of tiny vessels in the tissue spaces of our body! But the initial lymph vessels, also called collecting vessels, are to be found in our skin.
These initial lymph vessels (which have valves that prevent backflow) get progressively larger until they become what we call the lymph collectors. These collectors have lymph nodes all along them that filter the lymph to remove or trap any micro-organisms, cell debris or harmful substances that can cause infection or disease, before returning the lymph to the blood stream via two main collecting ducts, the thoracic duct and the right lymphatic duct.
So where does Manual Lymphatic Drainage come into this?
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) exerts external pressure on the lymph vessels thereby encouraging and maintaining lymph flow. It keeps the lymph flowing where it might be pooling and prevents the system from becoming toxic. The lymphatic system is our body’s natural way of detoxing as it collects dead cells, waste products, bacteria and viruses and either destroys them or neutralises them.
If you would like to kick start your lymphatic system, reduce puffiness, boost your skin and help your body fight infection, please give me a call or email me.
T: 07786 323818
And enjoy our British summer!
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