Get the lymph flow!

Keep the flow of lymph alive! What can I do to increase the lymph flow?

Lymph flow and Fascia are highly interwoven! The lymph vessels path their way in the loose Fascial layers and the lymph capillaries absorb the lymph from the ground substance of the Fascia, the interstitial flow of fluid between the fiber proteins in the extracellular matrix.

If the Fascia becomes thickened, due to injury, disease, inflammation, overstrain and so on, the flexibility and range of motion are reduced and thereby predispose for further injury.

A thickened Fascia also stops the flow and gives a higher pressure which will impede the lymph. So, keeping the Fascia in good shape is very important for the lymph flow and thus your immune system!

8 tips for getting the lymph flow going

  • Breathe deeply, inhale deeply, hold your breath for two to three seconds and then exhale slowly and properly. This stretches out the lungs and gives a suck in the larger lymphatic vessels.
  • Raise the arms simultaneously with inhalation and lower them to the sides when exhaling.
  • Light pump massage of lymph nodes.
  • Special massage technique with slow pumping pushes in axillary, fossa jugularis and groin.
  • Special lymph pump technique around diaphragm.
  • Light vibration with SFV, at the same places as manual techniques.
  • Keep the flow in the fascia by daily motion, but too high strain increases the plasma output from the blood as blood pressure increases, then the capacity of the lymphatic system must also increase. Moderately is the best so yoga is good enough.
  • Eat a healthy diet, sugar will make the fascia densified and thereby impede the flow and your immune system. (Suger is also an antagonist to vitamin C.)

Inflammation causes the Fascia to thicken as the extracellular matrix changes constitution and becomes denser and more viscous, which reduces range of motion and flexibility and then impede the lymph flow.

There is plenty of research which show that an improved lymph flow results in an improved immune system by significantly increasing the amount of white blood cells circulating in the lymph. There is also plenty of research showing that various manual techniques increase lymph flow and thus indirectly strengthen the immune system.

Research about lymph treament

  • Hodge L.M., King H.H., Williams A.G., Reders S.J., Belavadi T.J., Simecka J.W., Stoll S.T. and Downey H.F. Abdominal lymphatic pump treatment increases leukocyte count and flux in thoracic duct lymph. Lymphat Res Biol. 2007, 5:127-132.
  • Hodge L.M., Bearden M.K., Schander A., Huff J.B., Williams A.Jr., King H.H. and Downey H.F. Abdominal lymphatic pump treatment mobilizes leukocytes from the gastrointestinal associated lymphoid tissue into lymph. Lymphat Res Biol. 2010, 8:103-11
  • Hodge L.M. and Downey H.F. Lymphatic pump treatment enhances the lymphatic and immune systems. Exp Biol Med. 2011, 236:1109-1115.
  • Hodge L.M. Osteopathic lymphatic pump techniques to enhance immunity and treat pneumonia. Int J Osteopath Med. 2012, 15:13-21.
  • Huff J.B., Schander A., Downey H.F. and Hodge L.M. Lymphatic pump treatment augments lymphatic flux of lymphocytes in rats. Lymphat Res Biol. 2010, 8:183-187.
  • Knott E.M., Tune J.D., Stoll S.T. and Downey H.F. Increased lymphatic flow in the thoracic duct during manipulative intervention. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2005, 105:447-456.
  • Prajapti P., Shah P., King H.H., Williams A.Jr., Desai P. and Downey H.F. Lymphatic pump treatment increases thoracic duct lymph flow in conscious dogs with edema due to constriction of the inferior vena cava. Lymphat Res Biol. 2010, 8:149-154.