Understanding the Lymphatic System
When we burn ourselves and a blister appears, we may wonder about the clear liquid that collects so quickly under the skin. Where is this coming from? Is this water or something else? It’s not water; it’s the lymph fluid which is part of the Lymphatic System.
We know that the body is mainly water. Fewer people know that only 20% of this water is in the bloodstream. Would you be surprised to know that there is another bodily system that holds at least twice the water and has twice as many vessels as the bloodstream? This is the humble and almost unknown Lymphatic System, which is two times bigger than the circulatory system.
The Lymphatic System is the fundamental water reservoir which basically bathes all cells, tissues and organs of the body, cleansing and nourishing them. This neglected system can rightly be called the Cinderella System of the Body.
It humbly cleans the mess and trash of all other systems while it feeds them. It carefully filters and destroys bacteria, debris and toxins; deliberately carries cell wastes and trash away from the cells to the bloodstream; efficiently collects and returns water and protein to the heart. Finally the Lymphatic System feeds the cells of the body with nutrients such as minerals, vitamins and proteins. It is not only the septic system of the body, it is also the nourisher.
What is the main composition of the lymphatic system? Lymph, lymphatic vessels and lymphatic nodes. The lymph is a transparent or whitish protein-rich fluid that flows inside the lymphatic vessels. Some of these vessels are as thin as silk threads. The lymphatic vessels move the lymph through the body in one single direction: towards the heart. In its trajectory the lymph also passes through lymph nodes which are strung along the lymph vessels like pearls in a necklace. The nodes occur in groups and filter, clean and immunologically boost the lymph that passes through them. Because of their cleansing function, the lymph nodes become a crucial part of this system for the regeneration of tissues. For practical application it is important to know that the three main groups or clusters of the lymph nodes are located in the neck, armpits and groin.
Unlike the cardiovascular system which relies on the heart to pump the blood, the lymphatic system does not have a central pump to assist its flow. The lymph mainly moves because of muscle activity and deep breathing. The lymph also moves slowly when compared to the bloodstream.
The Lymphatic System is now being considered one of the most important vital systems of men and animals. When disease, infection, cold, flu, surgeries, accidents or simply stress occur, the lymph gets sluggish. Sluggish lymph cannot work efficiently and gradually becomes stagnant as it retains deposits of dead bacteria, metabolic toxins and dead cells. The lymphatic nodes become overloaded with the buildup of debris which further slows down the lymph. The lymph rich-protein content is unable to move, and it hardens, generating fibrotic tissues and over time calcification in the tissues around it.
Help! The body is in chaos! All trash normally filtered out and destroyed by the lymph are now thrown onto other organs. The jammed lymph reduces the ability of the brain and other organs to do their work. Cellular activity slows down and leads to cellular degeneration and aging. This bodily chaos and systematic degeneration of cells, tissues and functions can lead to serious, weird and virtually preventable conditions.
Some of the symptoms of chronic sluggish lymph can include worsened allergies and food sensitivities, frequent cold and flu infections, arthritis, headaches fibrocystic breasts, sinusitis, loss of appetite and gastrointestinal issues, muscle cramping, fluid retention, tissue swelling, fatigue, mental fuzziness, depression, acne and cellulite.
However, the good news is that if the reservoir of water — the ocean of lymph we are bathed in — is kept continually moving, cellular activity is enhanced or reestablished. Life returns to the tissues and regeneration, a vital transformation, flourishes. Indeed, the rejuvenation of cells, tissues and functions of the body depend mainly on healthy moving lymph.
To be continued….