Why You Should Take Care Of Your Lymphatic System

What is lymph?

From latin name of a Roman city, Lympha, lymph means deity of fresh water. Our lymphatic circulation helps our body-water-balance.

Seventy percent of the lymphatic system, and thus your immune response, is wrapped around the gastrointestinal tract. It also includes the spleen, thymus, lymph nodes and lymph channels, MALT or mucosal associated lymphoid tissue, as well as the tonsils and adenoids. Lymphocytes are one of the types of white blood cells in the lymph and the complete blood count (CBC) with white blood cell (WBC) differentiation is a way to quantify the lymphatic immune response.

Why is lymph important?

Our lymphatic system is made of fluid from the intestines and our immune fighting cells. It is like the drainage, filter and sewer pipe for the body because it provides immune cell circulation and collects cellular waste.

Signs of lymphatic back up
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation and sometimes diarrhea
  • Body aches
  • Puffy, swollen areas
  • Sore breasts at onset of period
  • Chronic ear/throat/tonsil issues
  • Cellulitis
  • Sinusitis
  • Cysts, fibroids and adhesions
  • Stiff muscles, frozen shoulder
  • Low back pain, especially early in the morning

creek, water flow

How to improve lymph flow

The lymphatic system doesn’t have a heart to pump it or synapses like the nerve to transact messages. Lymph relies on a healthy diet with lots of vegetables, gentle exercise like yoga, Pilates, walking or swimming. Also, light pressure massage or skin brushing is incredibly stimulating. Alternate hot cold showers will get the lymph pump going too. Always check with your medical advisories to ensure you are fit for hot cold therapy. It involves four minutes hot bath, tub or sauna, one minute cold shower or pool plunge. Repeat the sequence three times and always end on cold. Lastly, there are herbal creams and oils that are most beneficial to move lymph. 

Lymphatic assessment, treatment and teaching of at home techniques for patients to continue therapy in between sessions is available. People find relief from weight issues, swelling after surgery or injury, chronic sinus or ear infections, irritable bowel syndrome, lower leg edema and lower back pain.

Get relief from pain, swelling or fatigue

Naturopathic doctors are trained in whole body therapy. Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND has extended training in lymphatic drainage through herbs, lotions, oils, homeopathic and hands on therapies (yours and hers!). Need relief from swelling, pain or fatigue? Call 519 826.7973 or book your appointment online

Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND is a Naturopathic Doctor, a Certified Gluten Practitioner, a HeartMath Certified Practitioner and is a graduate of Adapt Level 1 at Kresser Institute of Functional Medicine. Essentially, Dr. Brown helps people better digest their food and the world around them.