Lymphatic system (massage therapy South Korea)
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What is "lymph"?
In real short, lymph is “sewage”. I’m always surprised how many people don’t know this but I guess knowledge of health and nature diminish by daily propaganda and flood of fake information (that is basically sewage too, the lymph of these days). Anyways, let’s not get political but learn where lymph comes from and what the lymphatic system has to do with health and massage therapy.
Where does lymph come from?
The blood in our blood vessels needs constant pressure to actually flow. This pressure is needed that nutrients for cells, fluids and some cells (such as oxygen and defence etc) can move into the body’s various tissues.
Now that’s great but afterwards those things that leaked out into the tissues are called lymph and lymph needs to re-enter the blood stream. Also bacteria enter our skin and these too are removed by the lymphatic system.
I think it’s getting clear now, that we will face health problems if this re-entering/cleansing system doesn’t work successfully. The the lymphatic system needs to drain fluids from the tissues properly or the body tissues will swell, will appear puffy, develop oedemas (which stretch out the skin causing stretch mark scars) and after 3 months: lymphoedemas. Not only will you experience discomfort and fatigue but also will look overall unhealthy.
What is the "lymphatic system" and what does it do?
The lymphatic system can be described as a network of tubes throughout the entire body, with delicate nodes in certain sensitive parts of the body.
The fluid these tubes and nodes drain is called lymph. As mentioned earlier, lymph is what leaks from the blood vessels into the tissues and then back into the bloodstream via the lymph nodes.
So what does the lymphatic system do? Mainly:
- manages the fluid levels in the body
- reacts to bacteria
- deals with cancer cells
- deals with cell products that otherwise would result in disease or disorders
- absorbs some of the fats in our diet from the intestine
Beside the lymphatic vessels and nodes, there are other lymphatic structures in a human body: for example, the spleen and thymus hold special white blood cells called lymphocytes. Lymphocytes can respond to bacteria, viruses, and many other stimuli from dead/dying cells and abnormally behaving cells (such as cancer cells) by rapidly multiplying and releasing antibodies.
And besides of lymphatic vessels, nodes, spleen and thymus there is even more: also most of the digestive and respiratory system is lined with lymphatic tissue. The external environment (air, foods) affect the digestive and respiratory systems so these have to be prepared to defend themselves. The most important (and commonly well-known) lymphatic tissues of respiratory system are the tonsils in the throat and that of the digestive system is the appendix to be found in the intestine area (called Peyer’s patches).
Most common lymphatic-system-related problems
What can massage therapy do for the lymphatic system?
Such a long blog entry about the lymphatic system and I still haven’t mention, why massage therapy is necessary at all in support of the lymph fluid. Doesn’t it all happen “automatically”? Why do we have to talk about lymph at all?
I hear you; we usually assume that from simply living and existing, everything will be fine. Yet the opposite seems to be true and there’s reason in it. I will make a simple comparison, I hope you will get the logic behind it and not feel offended.
Think of a car or any machine (our bodies are machines, steered by our minds’ will): in the beginning it’s new and shiny, but it will need careful handling and maintenance to go a long way. Obviously it’s not a perfect comparison, since a human body can be tuned and improved wayyy further then any car.
Regardless, the point is: a healthy, active lymphatic system can drain 90% of the leakage from the tissues, using both the force of the heart during diastolic pressure and the natural movements of smooth muscle tissue. Physical activity such as walking and stronger muscles can support the lymphatic system additionally.
But still: even a healthy person is not able to get back into the blood stream the full 100% of the leakage. Now imagine to be further affected by surgery, medical conditions, or other damages that will cause fluids to build up in your lymph system and your lymph nodes, and finally leading to a condition known as lymphedema. You could be even affected by absolutely “normal” conditions: for example flights are such circumstances, where the changed gravity and limited physical activity leads in most people to oedemas.
The "secret" is out...
Billiards/trilliards are made by removing massage therapy from the healing methods (massage therapy was the medicine of the poor, for people who couldn’t afford a doctor!). Since the human body is unable to reclaim 100% of the leakage into the tissues, everyone needs massage therapy to avoid various health issues (most common listed above in a table). By degrading massage therapists and removing ancient knowledge from the common folk, most people get sooner or later sick since the lymphatic system is a big part of our body’s natural defence. Take better care, better take care of your lymphatic system!