Lymph - The Importance of Lymph in the Clearance of Infection
As my husband has been experiencing some stagnant lymph issues, I have been researching the subject and wanted to introduce the idea of Good Lymph Health to the group.
Curiously, most US doctors receive little training and possess little clinical experience in treating stagnant lymph disorders (exception of course doctors specializing in lymphedema). Seems European doctors are more savvy on this issue and especially the Germans - just my opinion.
I personally have come to the conclusion that CAP'ers may need to keep an eye on the health of their lymph systems while undergoing CAP treatment. It's a key cog in the healing machine.
Here is some simple information about your lymph system. It's by no means complete but just a knowledge jumping off point. This post is all based on my personal research and understanding so please don't take anything as hard facts or advice. Here goes:
- Every cell in your body that I am aware of is bathed in lymph. (If you cut yourself and some clear or whitish watery stuff leaks/oozes out - that's lymph). You have approximately twice as much lymph fluid in your body as you do blood.
- You have an entire lymph vessel system in your body that is just as complex and necessary as your venous (blood) system. It's thought that you have just as many lymph vessels and capillaries as you have blood vessels and capillaries. Lymph vessels are larger than capillaries. Most are smaller than the smallest veins and are located throughout your entire body.
- A good deal of your cellular functions work via osmosis and the lymph system. Capillaries flow past cells but don't have a "hard"connection. They just leak things (glucose, proteins, O2, WBC's, minerals, cell salts, etc...) via osmosis back and forth. In essence all your cells receive their life (Oxygen and nutrition) from your lymph.
- Lymph moves through the body via a series of unidirectional valves, pumped via muscle motion.
- Your lymph nodes (around 100 or so in your body) act as filters of your lymph fluid much as your kidneys and liver also act as filters. Lymph nodes are key because they contain large volumes of WBC's which of course are key to dealing with infection.
- Lymph system collects and transports bacteria and viruses, damaged cells (apoptosis, necrosis, etc...), cancer cells etc... to the lymph nodes for filtering and processing and elimination of the bad guys.
- Your adenoids, tonsils, thymus and spleen are also part of the lymph system.
-Ultimately the lymph system drains into the subclavian veins located under the collarbones for further processing via the venous system.
Subclavian veins was the location by the way of my husband's 1st wierd puffy pillows. Now he has one on his left temple/ear area as well as on around the side of his neck. It is supple, pillowy, plump and is easily pliable. He clearly has hyperactive lymph in these areas.
- The largest concentration of lymph tissue in the body surrounds your intestines and is known as GALT - gut-associated lymphatic tissue. Your GALT protects the largest gateway through your body's defenses (intestines). It works to sort the good from the bad and mounts a defense when needed. The bad being ingested bacteria, toxins, heavy metals, molds, allergens, etc...)
- Via healthy intestinal flora (generously pop those probiotics) and other, your healthy GALT generally holds allergic responses and food sensitivities way down. As a rule- the healthier your GALT the less sensitive you are to chemicals and food borne bacteria.
- If you have GI issues such as diarrhea, constipation, irregular or infrequent natural elimination, low fiber intake, dysbiosis, etc... your lymph system is probably overtaxed and operating suboptimally. This can cause further GI distress including nausea and feelings of toxicity, and other.
- Sluggish GALT and lymph may also play a part in the appearance of cellulite. The bain of most women, cellulite is generally found to be associated with trapped pockets of fat and toxins - things an optimal lymph system would be removing.
- If via infection, injury, toxic overload, etc... the lymph system gets over taxed or blocked lymph fluid backs up. In short - your lymph can become toxic and hard for the body to handle.
- As a result of stagnant lymph you can experience nausea, fatigue, swelling, joint pain, muscle cramping, arthritis flares, headaches, sinusitis, migraines, increase in allergies, more frequent colds, breast tenderness, GI distress, skin breakouts, acne, cellulite, mood disorders including brain fog and depression.
As an analogy - think of your lymph system like a beautiful clear fountain to which you can see clear to the bottom. If the pump or filter on the fountain malfunction- then the water becomes cloudy, murky, sludge filled, bacteria and mold riddled, smells and in general becomes toxic sludge.
Your lymph system is like this fountain- you need it clear and happy to keep the bacterial and viral villians processing and clearing fast and easy.
- As stated above it's your own muscles and movement that keep lymph moving. If you are sedentary lymph movement slows.
So - what to do to keep your lymph system healthy?
- Deep breathing - really filling your diaphragm moves lymph well. Good idea for all but particularily good for the sedentary or those unable to yet exercise.
- Exercise - Moving muscles - particularly bouncing motion - if you are able - think trampoline, mini rebounder - a little goes a long way here apparently.
- Dry brushing of skin - make sure you understand the techniques to do this - I have been doing this and find it very pleasant, relaxing and my skin is developing a lovely glow.
- Very lightly rubbing your abdomen on a daily basis as well as any puffy areas. The key to moving lymph is a very light touch.
- Lymphatic massage - Highly trained therapist (Vodder folks) manually move the lymph through the system. I tried it - very relaxing, after first treatment I felt a little toxic, next day felt really good. My husband is now under going several treatments and his stagnant lymph pools are markedly decreased. His eyes appear clearer and he seems less foggy (although that could be a number of things)
- Avoid processed foods and eat organic as much as feasible, drink lots of water
- Lymphatic herbs and homeopathic preparations as well as thymic stimulating proteins - I am still researching and don't want to report until I have some hard science under my belt.
- If you are healthy enough - undergo some doctor approved cleanses/fasts.
- Really load the probiotics - 200billion to 300billion per day is not too much.
- FIR Sauna - This really benefits your lymph system and keeps it clean and clear.
- Accupunture is well known in eastern cultures to stimulate stagnant lymph system
Just wanted to throw this out there for discussion. Seems to me staying on top of healthy lymph might make CAP treatment a little more tolerable and smoother.
Cheers to a healthy lymph system and a healthy body!