Your Lymphatic System Matters!
The Lymphatic System Detox Pathways Lymphatic Enhancement Technology by Mira Devi (guest author and clinician)
We are thrilled to introduce Mira Devi, who will be offering LET therapies for added services at BIH in order to offer you more tools for for optimal health and healing! Mira will be working at BIH on Fridays starting October 22nd. All appointments and transactions can be booked directly with Mira and her contact info is below.
Your Lymphatic System matters! The lymphatic system, though often overlooked, is one of the most amazing organ systems of the body! Closely connected to the immune and circulatory systems, the lymphatic system is comprised of lymph fluid, plus a large network of vessels, nodes and organs, such as the thymus and spleen. Functions of the lymphatic system The lymphatic system has several important functions. It returns protein rich fluid from the tissues back into the blood, moving approximately two to four liters of fluid per day. It absorbs protein and fat (micro-chyle) from the intestinal wall and delivers these nutrients to the tissues. Finally, it is our primary defense against pathogens, recognizing and mobilizing against harmful microbes such as viruses and bacteria. In fact, up to ten times as many viruses can reside in the lymph system as in the blood. You can think of the lymphatic system as an elaborate network of rivers and streams, with check points and filtration sites called nodes. The human body contains between 600 and 900 lymph nodes that range in size from two to thirty millimeters long, and sometimes become palpably large in the presence of infection. Lymph nodes are concentrated in the neck, axilla, groin, and especially the abdomen, and also lace the internal organs. Lymphocytes, or white blood cells, are manufactured in the lymph nodes. When a pathogen is recognized, specialized immune cells called macrophages encapsulate and basically digest the invader. Lymph is a watery fluid containing proteins, minerals, fats, damaged cells, and foreign invaders. Lymph fluid is formed when blood plasma leaks out of the blood capillaries into the interstitial space. Some of the fluid passes right back into the blood capillaries, but a portion of it is then taken up into the lymph capillaries. Lymph capillaries are larger than blood capillaries and are structurally able to absorb large molecules, specifically proteins, from the interstitial space of the tissues. Once inside the lymph system, the fluid then passes through larger and larger lymph channels along with multiple nodes, and ultimately returns to the blood at the subclavian veins.
Detoxification and Immunity The lymphatic system is a major player in detoxification, but it is not the only player. The lungs, liver, skin and kidneys are all organs that are vital in maintaining health. Keeping our detox pathways clear is one of the most important things we can do for our well-being. While healthy detox happens every day, and the body has evolved to cope with a daily load of inner and outer wastes, most of us are dealing with more than our systems can handle. There are environmental factors like indoor and outdoor air pollution, tap water contaminants, pesticides, chemical laden cleaning supplies, cosmetics, heavy metals, mold, lyme, and viruses (to mention a few), that can negatively impact our detox pathway. Inner wastes can also add up: undigested or improperly digested food, dead cells, spent proteins, microbial endotoxins, inflammatory compounds. We can't forget about the emotion and mental toxins as well, such as stress and trauma, as these are also important in our detoxification process.
What happens when it fails to work properly? The lymphatic system does its work constantly, quietly. When it fails, that’s when we may notice swelling in the hand or lower leg. This can often happen when lymph nodes are removed, or when the lymphatic load is temporarily elevated, as is often the case after surgery. But sometimes, due to system overload, the lymphatic system is functioning albeit at a sub par level. When this happens we may experience things like achy heavy joints, brain fog, bloating, constipation, depression, headaches, insomnia, itchy skin and more. How to get your Lymphatic system moving Fortunately there are some simple ways to keep our lymph flowing happily.
Exercise is one of the best so move, move move your body! Ideas are brink walking, running, cycling, dancing, yoga etc. Basically do anything to get the body moving!
Rebounding is of course a great option. You can buy a mini trampoline and have fun in the process
Breathing! As stated earlier the majority of lymph nodes are in the abdomen, so deep diaphragmatic breathing helps to move the lymph up the trunk, which is vital since the lymph is working against gravity and does not have a pump.
Dry skin brushing with a natural bristle brush is another way to gently stimulate the lymphatics that lay just under the skin. Doing light repetitive strokes to follow the flow of fluid through the watersheds up towards the areas of the groin, axilla, and collarbones is all it takes.
Manual lymph drainage by a trained therapist
Manual Lymph Drainage This is a bodywork technique developed in Europe as a way to move the superficial fascia, stimulate the lymph nodes, and guide the lymph fluid through the vessels. It is helpful for lymphedema, edema, swelling from injuries or surgery, inflammation, and also for detoxification support. Whether you are dealing with swelling, undergoing a personal or group guided cleanse, or just wanting to support your detox channels, you can try this gentle form of bodywork to support your lymph, as well as your nervous system since this technique is very relaxing.
Photo by Conscious Design on Unsplash ‘Lymphstar’ (Lymphatic Enhancement Therapy "LET") and why it's so amazing! There is now another option for powerfully supporting your lymphatic system, the 'Lymphstar" machine. It is a technology developed by three physicists several decades ago. This technology harnesses the energy of sound and plasma fields to enhance lymphatic flow. Two glass bulb wands deliver electrostatic energy and acoustic micro-pulsations into the skin creating a gentle pulsating massage. It was specifically engineered to replicate the type of motion used in manual lymph drainage but with an extremely rapid sequence of pulses that cannot be done by hand. Think of it like a sonic or electric toothbrush as opposed to a traditional one. Flooding the skin with electrons helps to break down stubborn protein wastes, making them easier to transport. Basically the lymph technology makes the lymph fluid less viscous. The use of two therapy wands also creates a larger field of action, which basically affects the entire area between them through what is called electro-pressure. The electrostatic energy field engages the autonomic nervous system, dilating micro-channels which further encourages lymph flow. Who can benefit from LET therapy? Most everyone! Here are some of the conditions that LET can help:
Digestive issues (constipation, bloating, inflammation)
Joint pain, heaviness or stiffness in joints
Asthma and lung congestion
Inflammation both locally and systemically
Breast pain and fibrocystic breast disease
Chronic viral infections
Lyme disease (especially from Herx reactions)
Heavy metal toxicity / burden
Appearance of cellulite
Swollen lymph nodes
Pre and Post Surgery
The Lymphstar also has the added benefit of being deeply relaxing the nervous system. Many clients return to enjoy the relaxation response, as well as the support to their lymphatic system.
The lymph machine, called the ‘Lymphstar’, developed by a Colorado based company called Artcurus, is said to be seven to ten times more effective than Manual Lymph Drainage alone. As someone who has worked with this technology for the past two years as well as completed a certification in manual lymph drainage, I, and many of my clients, can agree. While I do use manual techniques in a session, the lymph machine does most of the work and does so more effectively. I often use the glass bulb wands as extensions of my hands, incorporating techniques from manual lymph drainage but letting the wands gently stretch and release the skin, sometimes letting them rest over nodes and congested areas for periods of time. It is like a gentle sound and energy massage for the lymph and nervous systems.
What you can expect during treatment and how often should come
Sessions are sixty to ninety minutes and take place on a warmed massage table lined with the amethyst filled TAO MAT, which adds the benefits of infrared heat and gentle magnetic current.
Clients with lymph congestion issues may benefit from a series of weekly sessions.
The plan is individualized, but generally six to ten sessions can really move things along.
One can feel a bit fatigued after the first few treatments but generally there is a feeling of lightness and well-being afterwards.
Hydration the day of treatment is vital.
Self-care and lifestyle support is offered as well.
Chronic Venous Insufficiency
Blood clots or Deep Vein Thrombosis
Congestive Heart Failure
Those with pacemakers or implanted medical devices
Active skin infections
Mira Devi is a licensed massage therapist, certified yoga teacher, Ayurvedic lifestyle guide, kirtan musician, and certified Manual Lymph Drainage therapist. She has been supporting clients through integrative energy-based bodywork for over twenty years. For more information visit her website www.miradevi.com or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org