Updated: Aug 11, 2022
Our lymphatic system is made up of thin capillaries that run through almost every tissue in the body. They are our main drainage system, taking away what we don’t need so that our bodies can maintain balance. The lymphatic system collects toxins from tissues and cells through a fluid called lymph, which pools in hundreds of lymph nodes found throughout the body - most notably in your neck, armpits, abdomen and groin. Your spleen, thymus, and bone marrow are all also major players in the lymphatic system. Not only is the lymphatic system responsible for waste drainage, but it’s also deeply connected to our immune system. The lymphatic system is responsible for producing white blood cells called lymphocytes, which become our T-Cells, our heaviest hitters when it comes to fighting infection. A healthy lymphatic system supports a healthy immune system, and an unhealthy lymphatic system can factor into an unhealthy immune system.
So, what causes lymphatic dysfunction, and how do you know when your lymphatic system isn’t working well? For starters, high toxin load and increased stress can create a heavy burden on your lymphatic system, thus creating a domino effect of dysfunction elsewhere in the body. This is particularly true with diet – foods high in salt and sugar which can disrupt lymphatic function. With summer vacations, fried foods, and sweet treats, our lymphatic systems can really take a hit! When we create a high toxin environment in the body, the lymphatic system can easily become overwhelmed. Imagine your lymphatic system is one little dump truck trying to clear away an entire landfill. Yikes! Similarly, a sedentary lifestyle can affect your lymphatic system. Unlike the circulatory system, your lymphatic system doesn’t have a pump to move lymph around your body. It relies on the movement of the body to keep the lymph flowing properly. When we remain sedentary, lymph pools in our extremities and can’t take away the toxins our cells are looking to get rid of which results in wide scale cellular dysfunction. This is one of the major causes of gout – uric acid builds up in the feet, and your lymphatic system doesn’t come to take it away. In severe cases, we see things like lymphedema, where the lymph hits a traffic jam and can’t flow properly, causing intense and painful swelling. Symptoms of lymphatic dysfunction can vary from fatigue, headaches, and itchy skin – all signs of toxin build up – to swelling and soreness caused by blocked lymph fluid. We all know that feeling of the sore glands in your neck when you get a cold or the flu – that’s a sign that your lymphatic system is working hard to fight infection. It’s important to support your lymphatic system to keep your immune system working, and to prevent pain from lymphatic “traffic jams”. Diet and exercise play a huge part in keeping your lymph flowing. Detoxing is also a major part of supporting your lymphatic system as well, making sure that it doesn’t get overwhelmed. The lymphatic system is one of the first things we work to support with Cold Laser Detox, as it plays a major role in your body’s natural detoxification process. If we lend our lymphatic a hand, we’ll see better whole-body health!