The Lymphatic System


What it is

The circulatory system is comprised of two interconnected subsystems: the cardiovascular system which transports blood, and the lymphatic system which transports lymphatic fluid or ‘lymph’. As part of normal circulatory and metabolic functions, our bodies circulate nutrient-rich fluid throughout our tissues. This fluid (called ‘interstitial fluid’) arrives at the tissues via the blood stream, and must eventually return to the heart. Normally, 80% of all tissue fluids that return to the heart travel in the blood stream, while the other 20% returns via the lymphatic system.

How does it work?

Manual lymph drainage (MLD) is a gentle technique that uses both pressure and rhythmic movements to encourage lymph drainage towards the lymphs, which carry waste products away from the tissues and back towards the heart.(initially developed by Dr. Emil Vodder, a Denmark PhD ).This practice soothes the muscles and allows the lymphs to drain. It can stimulate the lymphatic system to improve lymphatic fluid flow, and re-direct the fluid to alternate (unaffected) lymphatic pathways, thereby reducing swelling.

The main sign of lymphatic dysfunction is lymphedema. Lymphedema causes swelling in your arms or legs. Your fingers or toes may retain fluid and swell. The tissues of the head and neck may be affected, too.

Lymphatic drainage also improves circulation, relaxes the body and combats localized fat. Many clients report a slimmer waist and loss of excess water weight after their massage. After your massage your circulatory system can quickly remove any extra fluids and toxic build-ups