The Importance of the Lymphatic System
This year, 2021, three of my oldest and dear friends were diagnosed with breast cancer. It has taken me back by reminding me of my time working in a lymphedema clinic from 2011 to 2016. I was certified in Complete Decongestive Therapy in 2006 as a Physical Therapist Assistant and Massage Therapist. Complete Decongestive Therapy includes manual lymphatic drainage with a directional applied technique, specific short-stretch bandaging to support the reduction of built-up lymphatic fluids, protein-rich fluids in the tissues, and continued education to support managing any swelling of lymphatic fluids.
The lymphatic system functions alongside the cardiovascular system, and without it, we would not be alive. Simplified, this system consumes large proteins, fats, pathogenic substances, and metabolic waste too large for the cardiovascular system to break down. Behaving as a purification center, the lymphatic system breaks down and destroys those particles eventually; they are either flushed out of the body through the elimination system or return to the heart via venous circulation.
This one-way system has minimal self-motricity; therefore, it needs physical or manual manipulation to support pumping the lymph through the body for return to the heart or kidneys for elimination. Thus, movement is imperative to its function. A decrease in physical activity, a sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy diet, and poor sleeping habits or patterns can lead to diminished lymphatic flow, less effective toxin elimination, dysfunction, and/or disease in the body.
Gentle nudges from the universe have helped my decision to create a few in-person and virtual group classes focusing on self manual lymphatic drainage, tuning in to your craniosacral system, and energy clearings. Periodically check our website for class offerings in 2022.