by Barbara Meza
Our bodies depend on two circulatory systems. Most people know about the one that carries blood and oxygen throughout the body. The second and equally vital system, however, is a mystery to most.
The second system is called the lymphatic and it is comprised primarily of lymph vessels, nodes and a milky fluid, rich in white blood cells that collect interstitial fluids from the spaces between the cells. This system removes cell wastes, proteins, excess fluid, viruses and bacteria. After the collected fluid has been cleaned and filtered, it is returned to the cardiovascular system for circulation.
When the lymph system is functioning well, the body has a strong defense against illness. Improving lymph circulation encourages the removal of toxins from the body tissues, reduces fluid retention, supports immune function, promotes cell renewal and reduces signs of aging. It also fosters a calm mind and reduces stress, promotes wellness and can aid in recovery from many illnesses and surgery. When the lymphatic system is sluggish or congested, a person may experience swelling, feel tired and be more susceptible to colds and infections. With cold weather setting in for a long stay and the boisterous and bustling holiday season about to kick in, many people may be stressing out their lymphatic systems by cutting corners with sleep and diet.
For those feeling stressed and run down, a lymphatic drainage treatment may be a smart consideration.
Lymphatic drainage therapy uses light, non-invasive, rhythmic touch to improve lymph circulation and detoxification. Most lymphatic vessels are located directly beneath the skin and are best addressed by using pressure the approximate weight of a nickel. A typical lymph session is done with very slow, gentle strokes, stimulating the lymph vessels to respond. The rhythmic strokes, moving the skin in the direction of the lymphatic flow, encourage drainage of waste and fluid.
The subtlety of the strokes, the gentleness used to engage the skin and the delicate vessels beneath, may feel like nothing is happening. This is particularly true for those accustomed to deeper modalities of bodywork. But it is this subtle, non-invasive quality that makes lymphatic drainage work. The results can be nothing short of amazing.
Post session, it is important to drink plenty of water to maintain hydration and to support the flushing of waste. Most people experience a sense of deep relaxation or report feeling lighter. Many feel calm and energized. Depending on how toxic the body is, one may feel some flu-like symptoms. The best solution is to drink plenty of water and move, supporting the process of detoxification.
Whether looking for an immune system boost in preparation for the oncoming cold and flu season, or to give a jump-start to post-holiday detoxification, consider a lymphatic drainage treatment. Experience feeling “lighter” and back “in the flow.”
Barbara Meza is the owner of Conscius Vita, in Yardley. She is a NJ and PA Licensed Massage Therapist, Lymphatic Drainage Therapist, ICTA Certified Cupping Therapist and Holistic Health Practitioner integrating the benefits of bodywork and complementary healing arts. Connect with her at 201-978-7335 or ConsciusVita.com. December 2014.