How Massage Therapy Can Keep Your Cells Healthy Part 2 of 4John Stamoulos
How Massage Therapy Can Keep Your Cells Healthy
Part 2 of 4
Increased Lymphatic Drainage
“Cells are the basic building blocks of all living things. The human body is composed of trillions of cells. They provide structure for the body, take in nutrients from food, convert those nutrients into energy, and carry out specialized functions.” ~ ghr.nlm.nih.gov
Last month, we discussed the healing benefits that massage therapy can bring to damaged cells by encouraging the exchange of nutrients and clearing of toxins. This month, we get a little deeper into one aspect of that waste clearing from your cells as we discuss how massage therapy can increase lymphatic drainage.
What is the Lymphatic system?
In a nutshell, the lymphatic system is the body conduit that is a vital component of the immune system. It carries lymph, a clear fluid derived from blood plasma that travels through thin-walled lymphatic vessels and collection ducting throughout the body to lymph nodes (glands located throughout the body but predominantly in the neck, armpit, collarbone and groin) which are the collectors for the lymph. The purpose of lymph is to protect the body from disease, maintain body fluid levels, absorb digestive tract fats and remove cellular waste from the body. In its journey from the cells, it carries nourishment for the tissues and removes damaged cells, foreign bacteria and viruses that may have invaded the body.
Increased Lymphatic Drainage and Massage
“Lymphatic drainage is the process in which the lymphatic system is stimulated and the lymph flow is increased. Lymphatic drainage aids in the removal of waste products from tissues back into the blood flow and out of a person’s body. When lymphatic drainage is increased, the rate at which waste products are removed within the lymph fluid is also increased. A sports massage aims to use a variety of techniques to increase lymphatic drainage. The direction of the techniques used is towards various nodes and glands located within the body as this is where the waste products are removed from. Increasing lymphatic drainage through massage can help treat a variety of conditions including lymphedema and delayed onset muscle soreness.” ~ www.physio.co.uk
Benefits of lymphatic drainage:
- Reduces swelling
- Increases recovery
- Decreases pain
- Healthier and stronger muscles with greater endurance
- Improved blood flow and circulation throughout the body
A blocked and inefficient lymphatic system can result in a build-up of waste products and toxins within the muscles causing soreness, swelling, muscle fatigue and weakness as well as pain. Increasing lymph flow through massage can restore the body’s healthy immune responses and keep you operating at peak performance.