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“A flower blossoms thanks to the nutrient-rich environment in which it’s born. We relish its smell and its beauty even when the real glory belongs to its network of roots.

Within each of us there exists a similar invisible system that is continually working beneath the surface and is connected to every inch of our body-tidying up and sending vitality and support to ensure that we are the most radiant and healthiest version of ourselves.

This is the lymphatic system.” – LisaLevitt Gainsley (The Book of Lymph). 

The lymphatic system consists of lymph, lymphatic vessels, lymphatic tissues and red bone marrow. It is often considered the ‘second’ circulatory system and plays a number of critical roles in the body including:

  • Drains excess intestinal fluid: Lymphatic vessels drain excess intestinal fluid from tissue spaces and return it to the blood.
  • Transports dietary lipids: Lymphatic vessels transport lipids and lipid-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Carries out immune responses: Lymphatic tissue initiates highly specific responses to potential threats to health and wellbeing.

Lymph flows in one direction – towards your heart. It has no central pump but rather its flow and function rely on pulsing nearby arteries, skeletal muscle contractions and breathing (specifically the pressure changes that during inhalation). In addition to these processes, you can actively take steps to optimise your lymphatic health.

Ways to care for your lymphatic system include; staying hydrated with clean filtered water, moving your body with exercise you enjoy, taking up a breath-work practise, ditching restrictive clothing and underwear (goodbye underwire bra!) and learning a lymphatic brush or massage sequence (this practice generally takes 2-5 mins daily and can be hugely impactful!).

As with all system that are interconnected and improvements in the lymphatic system can consequently have beneficial effects in every other organ and system including digestive health, selected hormonal signs and symptoms and overall feelings of vitality!