Limphatic drainage

How it works Types Limphatic drainage Procedure

Lymphatic system work is to rinse all your toxins away, and keep you healthy. Without it your
body would swell up like balloon, swamping your cells with stagnant fluid. Lymphatic system:

  • contains white blood cells called lymphocytes, which fight infection
  • gets rid of waste products produced by cells.
  • acts as a one-way drainage system transporting fluid from body tissues into the blood circulation

On this page we will present what happens and how lymphatic drainage massage can help,
as well as contraindications to lymphatic massage.

Lymph vessels

Lymph vessels make a network that covers every inch of your skin, and surrounds each organ in great detail. The lymph vessels start very small in what are called the initial lymphatic. Over 70% of the initial lymphatics are in and just under the skin. The initial lymphatic is a very delicate structure, one cell thick. Those cells are supported within the connective tissue by collagen and elastin fibres that help to anchor them in place. When the pressure within the interstitial space increases due to a buildup of fluid, or when the skin is slightly stretched, the filaments deform the wall of the initial lymphatic, opening it up. Then the interstitial fluid flows in and starts to move along the channel. At this point we start calling it lymph. Although only 2-3 liters of lymph is filtered through the lymph system per day, it is vital because it helps to remove proteins that are too large to get back through the capillary wall. (Guyton and Hall, Human Physiology and Mechanisms of Disease, 6th edition, W.B aunders Company, Philadelphia, 1997, page 139) The spaces that open in the initial lymphatic are 4 to 6 times bigger than the spaces in the capillaries. Removal of protein is essential because they draw water to themselves, so excess protein in the interstitial spaces causes swelling or edema. The lymph vessels also collect dead cells, waste products, bacteria, viruses, inorganic substances, water and fats.

Lymph node

Eventually, all lymph vessels lead to lymph nodes. Lymph nodes can be as small as the head of a pin, or as big as an olive. There are 400-700 lymph nodes in the body, half of which are located in the abdomen, and many are in the neck. The primary function of lymph nodes is to filter and purify the lymph. The lymph nodes produce various types of lymphocytes. Lymphocytes destroy harmful substances within the body, and are a big part of the immune system. The lymph nodes reabsorb about 40% of the liquid content of the lymph. This makes the lymph much thicker. Because of this thickening and the filtering process, the lymph nodes offer the greatest resistance to the flow of lymph. In fact the lymph nodes offer about 15 times more resistance than the vessels themselves. Lymphatic drainage can help overcome this resistance and get the lymph flowing. The lymph system is part of your body's immune system; lymph helps fight infection and acts as a toxin filter. There are around twice as many lymph vessels as blood vessels in your body. However, unlike blood, which is pumped around your body by your heart, the lymph system has no pump. Lymph relies on the pressure from your blood vessels and movement from your muscles to carry white blood cells and antibodies around the lymph system. Lymph itself is a clear, slightly yellow fluid which flows easily through your body. It transports nutrients and oxygen to cells, collecting toxins on the way and then leach out the toxins out through the lymph nodes. Drinking alcohol, eating too much sugar, drinking too much tea and coffee, living stressed lives in polluted cities -- there are many reasons these days why our bodies are full of toxins.

Lymphatic drainage massage can improve :

  • Reducing swelling
  • Puffiness and blotches
  • Giving you clean
  • Healthy pores
  • Improve the appearance of stretchmarks
  • Detox your body
  • Lose inches
  • Lose weight
  • Reduce cellulite
  • Skin state improvement
  • Blood circulation improvement
  • Reduce water retention
  • Muscle tone improvement

What is lymphatic drainage good for?

Lymphatic drainage massage can have a beneficial effect on your general health. Because lymph is key to keep your immune system working properly, improving the flow and drainage of lymph around the body is good for you in lots of ways. It can:

  • reduce the chance of you suffering from minor colds and viruses; it helps your body fight off infection and speeds up healing and recovery process.
  • help reduce water retention; for instance, because the lymph system has no pump, if you sit for a long time without moving, the lymph can't flow easily -- this is why you may experience swollen feet or fingers
  • boost weight loss, as improving the lymphatic system will improve your metabolic rate, which helps you burn calories more efficiently

Roll Shaper lymphatic massage is also used in the treatment of lymph-oedema.

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