In this featured blog, we are focusing on natural lymphatic treatments. We went to The American Center for Biological Medicine resident expert–Massage Therapist Daniel Birdsall. Dan’s expertise in massage therapy translates into a vast knowledge base of the lymphatic system, which is a part of the immune system.
We want to dive a little deeper into the functions of the lymphatic system and just how important treating a congested lymphatic system is to holistic approaches in naturopathic medicine. We asked Dan the deep-dive questions and Dan gave us the comprehensive answers.
What is the primary function of the lymphatic system?
Dan says, “Although the lymphatic system is one system, I always think of it as having major functions.” One is to remove toxins–both metabolic waste from the cells and unhealthy toxins from the environment. The second function is the development of the immune system through the generation and maturation of white blood cells needed for response to foreign bacteria and viruses. The immune system and the network of vessels in the lymphatic system form a network for cellular waste management and immunity.
What are some signs of a congested lymphatic system?
Dan says that the consequences of a congested lymphatic system vary mildly by each individual’s unique constitution.
- Some people will notice lymphatic health challenges when they observe excessive swelling or bloating in their tissues.
- Skin irritation and sinus congestion are also signs that the lymphatic system may be challenged.
- Digestive system health issues can also be looked at when considering lymphatic system health.
- Sinus congestion, dry itchy skin, sore throat, fatigue, excessive weight gain or loss, constipation, sticky or clammy skin, and swelling are a few items that could indicate lymphatic congestion.
- Eventually, long term neglect for lymphatic health will lead to a variety of chronic illnesses.
Once the lymphatic system becomes overwhelmed, the symptoms of illness can persist beyond the occasional cold. Staying in touch with your own lymphatic health by looking for these signs will help you maximize your body’s natural health defenses.
How can you improve the flow of lymph fluid through your body?
The lymphatic system is a network of nodes and vessels that flow up the body toward the upper chest through a series of one-way valves. This makes movement and exercise extremely important for lymphatic health as any persistent stagnation is likely to cause resistance and adhesions in the tissues. Staying active and including simple movements throughout the day will improve lymph flow.
Drinking plenty of water also lowers the viscosity of the lymphatic fluid the body has to push when contracting muscles to move. When the lymph fluid is not thick it can flow more easily through the vessels improving the detoxification process.
Dan says that if you are looking to do even more for your lymphatic system at home, you can find a protocol for lymphatic brushing and learn self-massage techniques to move tough areas of congestion.
What are some natural treatments you would recommend?
Dan recommends lymphatic drainage technologies like the Lymphstar Pro as well as medical lymphatic massage, which both provide dramatic improvement for lymphatic health.
The Lymphstar Pro has excellent advantages for moving lymphatic congestion in the deep tissues of the body by using a restorative current to affect the lymphatic flow. The machine is able to impact areas that would not be possible with manual massage techniques.
For the abdomen and areas of active muscular tension restricting lymphatic flow, focused hands-on massage techniques may be necessary for adding movement to restricted tissues.
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About Daniel Birdsall
Daniel provides compelling and effective massage therapy supported by a degree in holistic healthcare and specialized medical massage certificates. His expertise ensures a massage experience that is guided by the client’s individual needs and specifically addresses the fulfillment of his or her therapeutic goals. Daniel’s passion is driven by the belief that everyone deserves a healthy, stress-free body. He is confident that massage plays a critical role for anyone seeking to improve their overall wellness. Whether the goal is to reduce stress, improve injury, or lessen symptoms, Daniel is dedicated to ensuring the very best results for his clients.