“Muscle Movement Transports Lymph” by Professor Neil Piller

Muscle and Lymph Vessels

Muscle and Lymph Vessels

“One of the major issues in helping the lymphatics function optimally is to address the issue of balance between lymph load and transport. There are many ways in which lymph transport can be influenced, both positively and negatively.
In terms of loading the lymphatic system and improving the transport of fluids and their contents along it, an understanding of the structural and functional aspects of the lymphatic system is important. In terms of lymphoedemas, which are generally an epi fascial problem, the most important uptake vessels (called lymph capillaries or initial lymphatics) are located within the epifascial compartment, above the deep fascia which overlies the skeletal musculature.
Many of the larger collectors are located directly above this deep fascia, while the uptake capillaries are located through out it.
In order to facilitate entry of fluids and contents into the lymphatic system a variation in tissue pressure is necessary. At the cellular level this changes the tension on the filaments of the endothelial cells of the initial lymphatic capillaries, facilitating their opening and closing. Once the fluids and their contents are in the lymph capillaries the presence of functional valves ensure their movement along into the structural and functional unit of the lymphatic system – the lymphangion.
The two animations indicate the effect of the variation in tissue pressures brought about by vibration (as might occur through the use of a massage pad), manual lymphatic drainage techniques, efflourage and importantly what happens every time we move our muscles.
While we are not sure of the comparative benefits of all of these actions which vary tissue pressure, they all do so thus helping the loading of the lymphatic system and transport through it. The only difference between all of the above mentioned actions or techniques is the frequency of “vibration” , that is the change in the tissue pressures.
Observe the video and gain an understanding of how even something as simple as moving will help a lymphatic system.” ~ Professor Neil Piller – from The Journal of Lymphoedema