In the last few months, many people have been contacting NBT regarding lymphatic drainage therapy and wondering if it might be right for them. If you’ve had the same questions, read on!
First, it helps to know a little bit more about the lymphatic system and what it does in your body. I like to think of the lymphatics as your body’s “vacuum cleaner”; a key piece of your immune system, the lymph vessels pick up cellular debris, metabolic wastes, and pathogens (viruses, bacteria, etc.) from the tissues and carry them to the lymph nodes, where the wastes are filtered out and the pathogens are neutralized. When we’re ill or recovering from surgery, the lymph is a key vehicle to bring nutrients to our tissues and to clear away the residues from the healing process.
For more information on how this works, read here.
Although the lymphatic system can get temporarily overloaded due to illness or after surgery, fascial restriction can also affect its ability to effectively clear wastes and pathogens. That’s why myofascial treatment can be an important part of successful lymphatic treatment: the fascia and the lymphatic fluid are the environments for one another, which is detailed here.
Chronic illness, especially inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome, can also benefit from lymphatic treatment. By reducing the inflammatory response, lymph drainage therapy can improve symptoms and help in managing the pain and dysfunction associated with these conditions. Because of the lymphatic system’s role in the immune response, lymph drainage is also very beneficial for those dealing the chronic Lyme disease, especially if they are going through different protocols. For more details on how lymph therapy can support the immune system and reduce discomfort for Lyme patients, read here.
The natural question, of course, is what can I do at home to help this key system work its very best? In addition to making healthy lifestyle choices (eating fruits and vegetables, maintaining adequate hydration, and getting moderate amounts of physical activity), there are stretches to open up the major lymphatic pathways and specific exercises that can stimulate the lymph flow in key areas of the body.
Check out our Facebook Live videos of the key Lymph Flow Exercise sequence:
* Part 1: Head Hang and Torso Stretch
* Part 2: V and C
* Part 3: Floor Angels (for a text description of this exercise, click here)
* Part 4: Leg Swing and Cross Country Arms (text version, click here)
Additionally, many people find dry brushing their skin to be helpful: not only does it support skin health through exfoliation, it also stimulates healthy blood and lymph circulation. A text version can be found here, or you can view our Facebook Live video demonstration.
A healthy, efficient lymphatic system is a key element of our overall health. A trained therapist can help your body clear excess residue that prevents your system from working its best, especially after illness or surgery or during the seasonal transitions that slow us down. A little extra self-care also goes a long way to keeping your lymphatics running smoothly, so that your personal vacuum cleaner doesn’t get clogged with the dust of everyday life.
If your “vacuum cleaner” is in need of a tune-up and you want to help your lymphatic system to work with maximum efficiency, give us a call at 262-746-7090 to schedule a lymphatic drainage therapy session with Kristin to keep things flowing.