WHAT IS THE LYMPHATIC SYSTEM?
The lymphatic system is known as the “sewage system” of the body - maintaining fluid levels in the body by filtering fluids that leak out of the blood vessels . But, that's not all it does.
The main roles of the lymphatic system are to :
- Manage fluid levels in the body
- Act in tandem with the immune system to respond to invaders like bacteria
- Dispose of cancerous cells and other cell products that may lead to disease
- Absorb fats from our diet into the intestines
THE ANATOMY OF THE LYMPHATIC SYSTEM
The lymphatic system is an interconnected highway system of vessels, ducts and lymph nodes that filter the body. Each of us have approximately 500-600 lymph nodes that swell in response to immunological stresses such as infection or harmful exposures to debris or other organisms .
Lymph nodes: Lymph nodes are spaced out throughout the body in clusters - under the armpit or in the abdomen for example. The cluster of 40 or so lymph nodes under the armpit are also known as the axilla or lymph gland. In the lymph nodes are lymphocytes, which function in tandem with the immune system.
Lymphocytes: Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell for the immune system. The two types of lymphocytes come in two flavors: B and T lymphocytes . B lymphocytes make antibodies and T lymphocytes kill tumor cells and help control the immune response . Lymphocytes travel through the body by means of lymphatic vessels to perform their designated functions.
Lymphatic vessels: Lymphatic vessels run throughout our body and carry lymph fluid back to the lymph nodes for filtration . Lymphocytes can also travel through the vessels to fight infections. Lymphatic vessels are expertly designed to pulsate and prevent the backflow of lymph fluid.
LEVERAGING THE LYMPHATIC SYSTEM FOR OUR SKIN
Knowing the anatomy of your lymphatic system can help your skin - check out our article explaining how to leverage your lymphatic drainage for your benefit .
Utilizing your lymphatic system for skin health is known in the skin world as lymphatic drainage - this helps drain your skin from toxins and aids in the overall flow of lymph fluid through the system to be disposed of .
There is a specific type of facial massage calledfacial lymphatic drainage (FLD) which is a manual massage that can improve the quality of skin health. FLD is done by a soft pumping motion, moving lymph fluid from the face into the thoracic area in order to drain toxins. Let’s look at some benefits of facial lymphatic drainage.
Lymphatic drainage has been told to :
- Slim and tone by eliminating toxins
- Reduce acne and oily skin
- Improve blood flow circulation
- Strengthen facial muscles
- Reduce the appearance of dark circles and wrinkles
- Help even skin tone