The Lymphatic System - Housekeeping for your Organs

The lymphatic system is a network of delicate tubes winding throughout the body's tissues, intricately connected to surrounding tissue via a latticework of anchoring filaments. It drains fluid (called lymph) that has leaked from the blood vessels and capillaries into the tissues and empties it back into the bloodstream via the lymph nodes.


Lymphoid organs include the lymph nodes and lymphatic vessels, the thymus, spleen, tonsils, mucous membranes, and the bone marrow. The spleen filters and monitors the blood, producing and storing many white blood cells in wait of the first call to the body's defense if a biotoxin or antigen is present. In addition to removing microbes, the spleen also destroys old or damaged red blood cells, and can save a life by increasing blood volume quickly if a person loses a lot of blood. The thymus filters and monitors blood content, producing T-lymphocytes that circulate around the body and give a rapid signal reporting any immune challenge or infection. Bone marrow is also a primary lymphoid organ that generates lymphocytes. Most of our digestive and respiratory systems as well as our mucous membranes of our sinuses are lined with lymphatic tissue. This is important as these systems are exposed to the external environment. (1)


The blood vessels are under constant pressure to help push nutrients, water molecules, and white cells into the body's tissues. Every organ in the body generates a variety of byproducts that require elimination through the lymphatics to avoid toxic overload. The lymphatic vessels carry this lymphatic fluid to the vascular system where it is then carried to filtration organs to be eliminated through urine, bowel movements or sweat. (2)


Lymph nodes are the filters of the immune system and have many functions, but directly function to be the body's first defense. All lymph passes through at least one lymph node, where the potentially harmful foreign matter (i.e. bacteria or their byproducts) are mechanically sieved and neutralized by white blood cells (i.e. lymphocytes) of the body's immune system. Viruses and cancer cells can also be trapped and destroyed in healthy lymph nodes. (3) More lymphocytes are produced when you have an infection causing the lymph nodes to swell. There are between 600-700 lymph nodes in the human body, all working to maintain the and monitor the interstitial milieu.


At the tips of initial lymphatics, cells have overlapping flaps that allow for free ingression of protein, water, debris and cells while preventing intra-lymphatic fluid from escaping back into the tissue. (4) If the lymphatic system is unable to drain appropriately due to being overloaded by byproducts, chemical toxins or biotoxins, fluid can back up resulting in edema. (5)

The key functions of the lymphatics include the following:

  • Defend against foreign particles and microorganisms

  • Restore any excess protein molecules and interstitial fluid back to the systemic circulation

  • Absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and fatty substance from the gastrointestinal tract and transport them to the venous circulation

  • managing the fluid levels in the body

  • responding to cancer cells


Due to this complex network requiring adequate functioning of the lymphatic valves in the vessels, clean lymph nodes, proper exchange of lymphatic fluid and venous circulation, and healthy toxin filtration and removal from the body, we have created a series of therapy modalities that synergistically improve lymphatic function all included in "The Lymphatic Circuit". During a one hour intensive lymphatic activation and clearing session, a patient will have a combination of the following therapies to help activate each level of lymphatic detoxification and drainage:


  • vertical and horizontal whole body vibration therapy to help mobilize toxins from tissues and fascia (6)

  • oscillatory percussion massage to all lymph nodes and lymphatic vessels in the direction of proper valvular drainage (7)

  • activation of detoxification and filtration organs with far and mid infrared laser light therapy low-level sauna and infrared jade mat (8)

  • thermotherapy to lower extremities to help balance parasympathetic and sympathetic function (9) and increased output of immune cells (10)

  • binding and detoxification of toxins for better removal from body via oral tri-salts and binder herbal blends (11)

Optional add-ons

  • weight loss via ultrasound cavitation and cryotherapy (12)

  • skin tightening via multi-nodal radiofrequency therapy (13, 14, 15)

  • topical oxygen therapy for acne reduction, increased collagen production, and hair restoration (16)

  • reflexology massage to activate organ system meridians (17)

  • visceral abdominal manipulation, vagus nerve and enteric nervous system activation (18)


Some patients report relief in the following list of symptoms:

  • chronic fatigue

  • brain fog

  • insomnia

  • cognitive dysfunction

  • focus and concentration issues

  • memory

  • headaches and migraines

  • chronic pain

  • joint pain, stiffness and dysfunction

  • neuropathy

  • digestive issues

  • constipation and incomplete bowel movements

  • diarrhea and loose stools

  • slow digestion

  • bloating

  • acid reflux

  • tinnitus (ringing in the ears)

  • dizziness and vertigo

  • difficulty losing weight

  • inflammation

  • edema

  • irritability and mood swings

  • menstrual cramping

The benefits of having a healthy lymphatic system are far-reaching, and every system within the body is able to function better when it is working well. It is suggested that every person has at least one lymphatic detox per month to keep their lymphatic system working optimally. When on a detoxification regimen, the recommendation of frequency and add-ons may vary. Consult with your practitioner for more information.



Citations:

1. Null, Manda. “Anatomy, Lymphatic System.” StatPearls [Internet]., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 21 July 2020, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK513247/.


2. Functionally specialized junctions between endothelial cells of lymphatic vessels.

Baluk P, Fuxe J, Hashizume H, Romano T, Lashnits E, Butz S, Vestweber D, Corada M, Molendini C, Dejana E, McDonald DM, J Exp Med. 2007 Oct 1; 204(10):2349-62.


3. Interstitial fluid, plasma protein, colloid, and leukocyte uptake into initial lymphatics.

Ikomi F, Hunt J, Hanna G, Schmid-Schönbein GW

J Appl Physiol (1985). 1996 Nov; 81(5):2060-7.


4. Adair TH, Guyton AC. Modification of lymph by lymph nodes. II. Effect of increased lymph node venous blood pressure. American Journal of Physiology (Heart Circ Physiol ) 1983;245:H616–H22.


5. Aukland K, Reed RK. Interstitial-lymphatic mechanisms in the control of extracellular fluid volume. Physiological Reviews. 1993;73:1–78


6. Pastouret, Frederic et al. “Effects of Multidirectional Vibrations Delivered in a Horizontal Position (Andullation®) on Blood Microcirculation in Laboratory Animals: A Preliminary Study.” Medical science monitor basic research vol. 22 115-122. 14 Oct. 2016, doi:10.12659/msmbr.900654


7. Godoy JMP, Valente FM, Azoubel LM, MFG Godoy et al. “Evaluation of Lymph Drainage Using Bioelectrical Impedance of the Body.” Phlebology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21576705/.


8. Li K, Zhang Z, Liu NF, Feng SQ, Tong Y, Zhang JF, Constantinides J, Lazzeri D, Grassetti L, Nicoli F, Zhang YX. Efficacy and safety of far infrared radiation in lymphedema treatment: clinical evaluation and laboratory analysis. Lasers Med Sci. 2017 Apr;32(3):485-494. doi: 10.1007/s10103-016-2135-0. Epub 2017 Jan 26. PMID: 28127644.


9. Yamamoto;Aso Y;Nagata S;Kasugai K;Maeda S;, K. “Autonomic, Neuro-Immunological and Psychological Responses to Wrapped Warm Footbaths--a Pilot Study.” Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18640631/.


10. WL;, Engeset A;Sokolowski J;Olszewski. “Variation in Output of Leukocytes and Erythrocytes in Human Peripheral Lymph during Rest and Activity.” Lymphology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/609275/.

11. Merino, José Joaquín et al. “The Long-Term Algae Extract (Chlorella and Fucus sp) and Aminosulphurate Supplementation Modulate SOD-1 Activity and Decrease Heavy Metals (Hg++, Sn) Levels in Patients with Long-Term Dental Titanium Implants and Amalgam Fillings Restorations.” Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 8,4 101. 16 Apr. 2019, doi:10.3390/antiox8040101


12. Zhou, Bill et al. “The Effects of Low-Intensity Ultrasound on Fat Reduction of Rat Model.” BioMed research international vol. 2017 (2017): 4701481. doi:10.1155/2017/4701481


13. Dayan, E, et al. “Multimodal Radiofrequency Application for Lower Face and Neck Laxity.” Clin Plast Surg, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 12 May 2016, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32983756/.


14. Dayan E; Theodorou S; Rohrich RJ; Jay Burns A; “Aesthetic Applications of Radiofrequency: Lymphatic and Perfusion Assessment.” Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Global Open, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33173697/.


15. Sadick N; Rothaus KO; "Aesthetic Applications of Radiofrequency: Face and Neck Laxity." Clinics in Plastic Surgery: U.S. National Library of Medicine, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27363770/


16. Bennardo, Luigi et al. “Potential applications of topical oxygen therapy in dermatology.” Dermatology practical & conceptual vol. 8,4 272-276. 31 Oct. 2018, doi:10.5826/dpc.0804a04


17. Yaqi H, Nan J, Ying C, Xiaojun Z, Lijuan Z, Yulu W, Siqi W, Shixiang C, Yue Z. Foot reflexology in the management of functional constipation: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2020 Aug;40:101198. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2020.101198. Epub 2020 May 8. PMID: 32891277.


18. Silva, Andréia Cristina de Oliveira et al. “Effect of Osteopathic Visceral Manipulation on Pain, Cervical Range of Motion, and Upper Trapezius Muscle Activity in Patients with Chronic Nonspecific Neck Pain and Functional Dyspepsia: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Study.” Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM vol. 2018 4929271. 11 Nov. 2018, doi:10.1155/2018/4929271

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