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Lymphatic Cleansing

By Greg Samples


Originally published in Everything Knoxville in October, 2015

The lymphatic system is an under appreciated part of the circulatory system that is essential for healthy living. Its major functions are to return volume to the blood stream after delivering nutrients to the cells, and to sustain the immune system. Without it, your body would quickly become a toxic waste dump unable to function. The organs and tissues that make up the lymphatic system include the spleen, the tonsils, lymph nodes, and lymphatic vessels.

Lymph is the fluid that circulates through the lymphatic system, and its composition constantly changes as the makeup of the intercellular fluid, from which it derives, is altered. Lymph transports bacteria to the lymph nodes, where they are destroyed. Cancer cells and other toxic substances may also be transported by the lymphatic system to be acted upon by the immune system. The immune system works to keep the body clean by the removal of toxins, therefore, an unhealthy lymphatic system plays a part in every human disease. Disorders of the immune system include Hodgkin’s Disease, lymphoma, and tonsillitis.

Unlike the blood vessels, the lymphatic system does not have a central pump. Instead, lymph is moved throughout the body via several methods, including muscle contraction, the movement of the lungs and diaphragm during respiration, combined with a network of valves. The spleen acts as a reservoir for lymph and also filters and cleanses it from bacteria and depleted red blood cells. It acts as a storage organ for minerals and produces antibodies. Lymph nodes are distributed throughout the body and are small organs that deal with immune function and filtering. Various types of bacteria and other toxic excesses are localized in the tonsils, where they are buffered by minerals for discharge, or neutralized by additional white blood cells. Without the tonsils, the rest of the immune system has to work harder.

Support for the lymphatic system is accomplished in two ways. First, movement of the body causes the lymph to flow more easily. Walking, jogging, swimming, dancing, gardening, or virtually any type of movement will increase flow in the lymphatic system. Of particular benefit is the up and down movement of a trampoline. The second way is to avoid overloading the lymphatic system with toxins. The over consumption of fats, simple sugars, chemicals, and additives just makes more work for the system. Providing the system with foods rich in alkaline minerals will give it the tools to best perform its function of buffering acids. Root and leafy vegetables, along with sea vegetables, provide the most efficient supply of these minerals.

Unless you are experiencing swollen glands or chronic infections, you may not pay much attention to your lymphatic system. But giving it the consideration it needs may have lifelong benefits.

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