The Lymphatic System
What is the Lymphatic System and its primary role?
Your lymphatic system is your body’s second circulatory system—second to your cardiovascular system. It contains miles of its own capillaries and vascular system that are separate from the blood system, though runs parallel to it. Unlike the Blood System, your lymphatic system does not have a pump as the heart is to the blood. The Lymphatic system solely works effectively on wether we lead a healthy lifestyle of eating properly, physical fitness, and remaining hydrated.
While your blood feeds the cells with oxygen and nutrients, the lymphatic system cleans the cells by draining fluid (lymph) out of the tissues and back into the bloodstream. In the process, it filters harmful bacteria, fungus, viruses and toxins of all kinds. For this reason, its primary function is immunity--enabling your body to defend against sickness.
In general, the blood would be considered the "kitchen" of your body and the lymph would be considered your "bathroom." For this reason, your lymphatic system is a crucial player in your body’s ability to ward off disease and heal from injury. Think of a river: a healthy river runs clean and clear. An unhealthy 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 lymphatic system.
In today’s world, we are surrounded by environmental stressors like drugs, chemical additives in our food and personal care products and pollutants in our air and water.
These toxins must be processed and removed. With a poorly functioning lymphatic system our lymph stream can easily become stagnant and congested causing dangerous illness and diseases within the body.
Classic effects of lymphatic congestion can also be seen in our gut like constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas and food sensitivities. These are specifically due to the irritated intestinal “villi” (tiny, finger-like projections that enable the small intestine to absorb nutrients from food). As the majority of the lymph in your body surrounds the gut (Gut Associated Lymphatic Tissues--GALT), the quality of the villi are critical for proper lymph flow, detoxification, assimilation and immunity. Naturally then, one of the immediate effects of improved lymph flow is also improved digestion.
What are the signs that my Lymphatic System is congested?
Poor lymph health underlies a host of conditions, from cellulite to cancer. Here are common symptoms you may be experiencing likely caused by a stagnant lymphatic system:
What can I do to ensure my lymph system stays healthy?
Unlike your blood system, your lymphatic system doesn’t have a heart. Instead it has hundreds of small lymph nodes located throughout your body which act as conduits allowing lymph fluid, and any toxins contained within, to move freely and be released by the body.
Because the lymphatic system doesn’t have a pump, it relies on a healthy, nontoxic lifestyle to work properly:
What benefits can I expect from a clean and healthy lymphatic system?