The Lymphatic System

Lymphatic drainage

The Lymphatic System: Part 1

There’s a lot of buzz about ‘lymphatic drainage’ at the moment, but does everyone know what it means? A lot of people will mumble something about ‘puffiness’ and ‘toxins’ but most of us don’t really have an understanding of the specific workings of this fascinating body system.

We all learnt about the circulatory and respiratory systems in biology but for some reason, the wonderful world of lymphatic drainage is largely skipped. So we wanted to remedy this and give you a general outline on the topic. Then, in Part 2, we’ll describe how we integrate this knowledge into our treatments at Skin Philosophy.

Notepad and Pens at the Ready? Let’s Go…

The heart pumps blood quickly and powerfully through our arteries down the left side of the body (anyone else’s left boob bigger than their right?!). When it reaches the capillaries, which link up to the veins on the right side of the body, it is forced to slow down. Capillaries only allow the red blood cells through, as that’s all their tiny size will allow…So what happens to the rest of the liquid?

Lots of this liquid gets squashed out (not the most scientific of language, but you get the picture) and immediately soaked right back up by our veins and back to the heart, but some of this fluid is left over (still with us?). This is picked up by lymph glands, thus becoming lymph, and travels through our lymph nodes, which are dotted around our body…And this is where it gets super interesting…

Lymph Nodes

Imagine lymph nodes as a sort of ‘airport security’ for our bodies. They perform a sort of ‘spot check’ on the lymph, detecting antigens, bacteria and so on. If they do find anything that is not to their liking, they have various courses of action.

There are lymphocytes, which attack unwanted microorganisms. Imagine this as very immediate: unwanted microorganism that could cause infection or illness floats on through, and the lymphocyte gobbles it up.

The other option is to activate your immune system. You will often know when this is happening because the areas that house these nodes can feel sore. You know when you’re run down, or just know that you’re coming down with something, and the areas around your armpit or jaw feel swollen and sore? That’s your overwhelmed lymph nodes swelling up.

The lymphatic system also plays a key part in filtering and removing toxins and other impurities from the body, so the more we consider it, the better it is for our overall health – and our skin.

Is my Lymphatic System Sluggish?

Lifestyle, age and diet factors can play a part in sluggish lymphatic system. You’ll know you have it if you’re prone to puffiness (face, ankles) around your period or when you fly. It’s important to support the lymphatic system wherever we can, because the more smoothly it’s running, the more it is carrying toxins away

and maintaining a balanced and healthy body (with streamlined ankles and bag-less eyes).

How to Encourage a Healthy Lymphatic System

Drink lots of water

This supports our body’s waste disposal systems, and the more hydrated we are, the more of a ‘well-oiled machine’ we can be.

Exercise

The circulatory and lymphatic systems are intertwined, and both benefit from a healthier heart and blood vessels.

Yoga

There are yoga classes out there specifically aimed at supporting the lymphatic system. We particularly love this class from the Youtube channel Yoga With Kassandra: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gOnXwp41NA

A healthy, balanced diet

A diet rich in vitamins and minerals will help support our immune system

Massage

More on this tomorrow, of course, but massage helps stimulate the blood and lymph vessels, moving the liquid along. We see dramatic differences in our clients from facial massage alone: grey skin gets a glow, eyes suddenly pop and jawlines appear tighter.

But of course, we always seek to offer the most and the best, which is why we offer plenty of treatments, supported by the best technology out there, that are specifically aimed at helping your lymphatic system along. A healthy lymphatic system will always enhance the treatments we give, carrying away toxins and helping deliver nutrients to the skin, meaning that we get to see you, our client, skip out of our door lighter and brighter!