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  • Thrive Massage Therapy

What is the lymphatic system and how can we help ourselves?

Updated: Sep 7, 2022

Your Lymph is literally the SUPERHERO of your immune system

As a Lymphatic Drainage Massage therapist, I am constantly reading and learning about the Lymphatic System and how much is underrated and how much people don't really know or understand about the Lymphatic system.

The Lymphatic system is continually working within us and is connected to every inch of our bodies. keeping us healthy and cleaning up anything that should not be there like bacteria, viruses, toxins, waste. It's AMAZING how are bodies help to heal themselves. I like to think of the Lymphatic system like a sink your Lymph nodes are the drain, and your lymphatic system are the pipes, one day the drain will get blocked and that's when our Lymphatic system does not work properly.

So how does it all work?

We all know what our circulatory system is and that it consists of the heart, blood vessels pumping oxygen and nutrients to cells.

Our Lymphatic system does not have a pump like the heart to move lymph fluid around as the lymph fluid is stimulated by a number of elements, including internal stimulation, arterial pulse, respiration, and body movement. So, say 100% of the blood plasma goes through the arteries and then 90% goes into the veins leaving the 10% to be drained by the lymph capillaries.

What can we do to help our Lymphatic flow better?

  • Exercise - Movement is key as lymph depends on it, it depends on muscle movement to move lymphatic fluid and toxins, so regular exercise is a natural lymph flush. the more you move your body the more muscle contractions will create a lymphatic response. Some exercises are:

  • Walking

  • Pilates

  • Dancing

  • Cycling

  • Rebounding/trampoline

  • Swimming

  • Yoga

  • Lymphatic Drainage Massage

Encouraging the natural drainage of the Lymph. A full body lymphatic massage can increase the volume of lymph flow up to 20 times making it easier for the body to remove toxins, bacteria and virus. Lymphatic Drainage Massage is a gentle, therapeutic massage which uses light pressure and gentle rhythmic strokes.

  • Hydration

Drink PLENTY Of Fluid Lymph is about 95% water, making water essential for its health. One of the most common causes of lymph congestion is dehydration. Without adequate water, lymphatic fluid cannot flow properly. Stay hydrated by drinking at least 2 litres a day. Fill up your water bottle in the morning and take it with you everywhere to keep sipping throughout the day.

  • Avoid tight fitting clothes

This will allow Lymph to travel smoothly as wearing tight fitting clothes like socks and underwire tight-fitting bras puts too much restriction on the Lymphatic vessels and prevents them working properly. it is so important to be aware and not wear anything restricting around the breasts, arms and chest, as it will constrict the flow, 40% to 60% of our lymphatic capillaries are just below the skins surface, and if we constrict these vessels, it will prevent the proper flow of lymph. I also recommend not to wear any underwear at bedtime.

  • Breathing

When we breathe deeply, we create a deeper contraction of the diaphragm. This acts as an external pressure on the largest Lymph vessel the thoracic duct which brings lymphatic fluid from the lower half of our bodies and limbs up towards the heart. It's as simple as that so expanding your stomach when inhale and relaxing your stomach when exhale.

What to do before an LDM treatment? Advice for a Client before treatment

Increase the amount of water intake before appointment. You need to be well hydrated during the session. But avoid drinking 1 hour before session for comfort while lying down.

Avoid lotion/oil, deodorant, perfume, makeup. For best results, a lymphatic massage has to have a skin stretch response. The stretch response enhances the lymphatic vessels to have the lymph fluids moving. The stretch response is achieved well on dry skin.

Avoid irritants like coffee, soda, sugar, alcohol, etc., the day of the appointment.

Try not to eat a heavy meal before treatment

The Lymphatic System is incredibly powerful in the ability to cleanse the body of toxins and waste and promote a healthier immune function,

how amazing are we.

Every EveryBODY deserves to THRIVE

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