What is the Lymphatic System? Most people only relate to this as something to do with Lymphoma, breast cancer, or having some kind of tumor. However the lymphatic system is one of the most vital systems in our bodies and plays an essential role for good health. It filters out organisms that cause disease, produces white blood cells, and generates antibodies. It manages our day to day fluids that are dispersed throughout our body as well as causes swelling and reduces swelling in musculoskeletal injuries. It filters out our body from toxins and germs and acts as a barrier to infection.
This system is very complex. It is made up of 107 lymph nodes throughout the body.The major organs or lymph nodes are tonsils, adenoids, spleen, the thymus, among many other lymph nodes, and lymph ducts. These create a milky liquid called Lymph that contains a type of white blood cells called lymphocytes, proteins and fats. This Lymph will seep outside of the blood vessels into the bloodstream, in and out of the arteries, through the veins, lymph nodes and into the lymph.
Now if our Lymphatic system is not doing its job and functioning properly we are more susceptible to disease or sickness. Plus when we do get an injury we are likely to have more swelling. The other thing is that thy Lymphatic system cannot do its job properly and help get rid of the excess fluid in the area, which could then create added scar tissue. For example you roll your ankle and it swells up, to help reduce the swelling you would need your Lymphatic system to take charge and flush out the excess fluid.
There is a manual technique called Manual Lymph Drainage. This is a massage that a licensed massage therapist can tell you if you are a candidate for as well as perform if you are, even right after the injury happened. Actually it would be best to have this done right away. There are some other things you can try as well such as 100% pure grade essential oils that will stimulate the function of the Lymphatic system and that would be Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Sage, and Juniper. Besides aiding in the function of the Lymphatic system there are other great health benefits to all of these.
For the longest time I among many other health and fitness professionals have been taught to R.I.C.E. Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate. In fact it is still taught today from many, some teach (M) Move instead of Rest. However if we really understand the role of the Lymphatic system and its ability to decrease swelling, and flush away toxins in our bodies then we would not Ice anymore. We would want to help aid in the promotion of getting this system to function the way that it is supposed to. I am going to leave you with this one video that I find intriguing! It is an interview from an industry guru who does not ice to reduce swelling and really understands how to maximize the lymphatic system to the fullest potential after sports related injuries. He has had years and years of experience working with one sports team after another, with great success. You decide, Ice or Heat? Here is Gary Reinl…watch this video…He knows his stuff!