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A lot of people are not aware of the importance of the lymphatics system and that if it is not taken care of may cause a multitude of different symptoms. Many times,  these symptoms have not been recognized as an ongoing problem in the lymphatic system, even by practitioners.

The lymphatics are important as they clear the entire body of toxins and without this you can get congestion of the system and symptoms such as:-

  • Tiredness and muscle, joint stiffness and pain, circulation problems with cold hands and feet.

  • An imbalance in the water system where the body is not flowing as well as it should causing water retention, bloating, swelling in the ankles, cellulitis, weight gain.

  • Toxins can build up  leading to headaches, brain fog, swollen glands, this can also cause skin issues, and open the body up to catching more things such as infections, colds and viruses.


Every day, humans encounter potentially harmful disease-causing organisms or pathogens like viruses and bacteria, yet we are normally able to function properly and remain healthy. As humans we have a multilayer immune system to keep us running smoothly. Some of the main causes of Blockage are:-


1-     Dehydration  - the lymphatic system is reliant on water to Keep flushing  the systems, maintaining the balance of the body fluids, help move lymph up the body and removes waste from the body. So, it is crucial to drink enough water & to know how to keep the lymphatics working well. As like a stream if you reduce the water it clogs up and stops flowing.


2-     Lack of movement - The movements we make during everyday activities involves the contraction and expansion of various muscles in the body. These muscle movements in turn serve to massage and squeeze the tissues around them, forcing excess fluid out of the tissues and into the lymph vessels.


3-     A major player in the body's immune system, it is the primary site for immune system cells that react to antigens (toxin or foreign substance) presented or found by the cells. When an antigen is recognized, an immunological cascade begins, involving the activation and recruitment of more and more cells, the production of antibodies and the recruitment of other immunological cells such as macrophages. It is important to make sure it is flowing properly and that toxins are not getting blocked up in the lymph nodes.


4-     Chronic stress is a common cause of many chronic health problems. It can lead to blockage  of  the lymphatic system. When we are under stress, our bodies create stress-fighting hormones which result in free radical waste products that can lead to a variety of health problems, and so managing your stress levels would be very helpful.


What can I do to improve my Lymphatic Drainage?

 1/ Lymphatic Massage is really good as it can help unblock the lymph nodes and move the toxins out of the body and improve the flow of the fluid round the body.

2/Exercising -so important so moving regularly, whether its bouncing on the spot or running, walking anything that gets the blood pumping, I like using my rebound trampoline as this really shakes my organs up and down and gets my lymphatics flowing well.

3/ Epson salt in your bath - are recognized as a great way to relax while eliminating toxins from the body, cleansing the skin, stimulating the lymphatic system, and boosting the immune system. 

4/ Dry skin brushing that can boost circulation, lymphatic flow, detoxification and helps to remove dead skin cells and toxic waste, improve immunity, prevent cellulite. Use a brush with soft, natural bristles. Avoid synthetic/ hard bristles. Use light, gentle brushing strokes always moving toward your heart.  Can do before a shower or bath which will help to wash away dead skin cells and further improve lymphatic flow.

5/ Deep breathing, as the upper chest is very important for drainage of toxins. Deep breathing can promote intrathoracic pressure to improve the oxygen supply to the cells. The rib cage is a major lymphatic pump that is necessary for healthy lymphatic flow.

Deep diaphragmatic breathing, breathe deeply in through the nose, hold it for the count of four then exhale for the count of seven through the mouth. Gradually increase as you feel ready to around 10 counts. This should be practised three times a day.


 Now you know Lymphatic Drainage is so important to our total health, we need to be aware of the causes and able to help support our bodies in clearage. When the Lymphatics get blocked the body has problems clearing the toxins leading up the whole body becoming toxic which affects the bodies defence abilities and immune system.



  • For Further Reading and Research go to Lymphatic Education & Research Network

  • Cueni, LN, Detmar, M. The lymphatic system in health and disease. Lymphat Res Biol.; 6(3-4): 109–122. PMID: 19093783. 2008.

  • Ekici, G, Bakar, Y, Akbayrak, T, Yuksel, I. Comparison of manual lymph drainage therapy and connective tissue massage in women with fibromyalgia: J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 32(2):127-33. PMID: 19243724. Feb 2009.

  • Vairo, GL, et al. Systematic Review of Efficacy for Manual Lymphatic Drainage Techniques in Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation: J Man Manip Ther.; 17(3): e80-e89. PMCID: 2755111. 2009.

  • Hannuksela ML, Ellahham S. Benefits, and risks of sauna bathing. Am J Med.;110(2):118-26. PMID: 11165553. 1 Feb 2001.

  • Oosterveld FG, Rasker JJ, Floors M, Landkroon R, van Rennes B, Zwijnenberg J, van de Laar MA, Koel GJ. Infrared sauna in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Clin Rheumatol.;28(1):29-34. PMID: 18685882. Jan 2009.

  • Bleakley C, McDonough S, Gardner E, Baxter GD, Hopkins JT, Davison GW. Cold-water immersion (cryotherapy) for preventing and treating muscle soreness after exercise. Cochrane Database Syst Rev.;2:CD008262. PMID: 22336838. 15 Feb 2012.


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