The Lymphatic System

 

As many patients know, cancer diagnosis often includes an evaluation based on what is found in the lymph nodes. In general, allopathic medicine views the presence of cancer in the nodes as evidence of metastasis. This opinion is often attended by recommendations for more radical surgical procedures and usually a worse prognosis. As all patients who have had lymph nodes removed know, circulation is generally worse after the loss of nodes: swelling, serious edema, and the need for medical procedures to remove fluids are all part of the aftermath of these procedures.

I am not in a position to evaluate the merits of the surgical measures. I merely sympathize with the suffering of the patients. They often have reddish swelling, intense itching, rashes, and loss of motion.

There are specialists in manual lymphatic drainage, a very delicate massage technique taught in Austria (called the Vodder method) who are trained to help reroute lymph flow so as to by-pass the normal channels, the ones that have been removed.

Though people who are specialists in this method are reluctant to state opinions, many have theorized that when malignancy is found in the lymph that the lymph nodes are doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing. In other words, it is not 100% clear to them that the cancer has metastasized, merely that it has accumulated in the lymph.

Given that we do not understand these fine points well enough to be certain, it would seem appropriate that patients who have not yet had surgery try to move as much lymph through the body as possible to see if the swelling subsides. For those who feel they are at risk for cancer, periodic lymphatic stimulation and/or drainage may be a healthy preventative measure. Once, however, the nodes are gone, it is more uphill. One very simple but probably only minimally helpful exercise is to hold the affected (swollen) area upwards to see if gravity will permit some of the lymph to descend into areas that still have adequate drainage.

What very few patients seem to realize is that the immune system does not fight cancer so long as there is infection in the body. Isn't this one of Nature's ironies? People are more afraid of cancer than infection, but the body tries to eliminate infection before turning its resources towards cancer control. The lymphatic system in many people is overwhelmed by infection, often stemming from dental problems, as well as toxic substances (mercury, aluminum, chemicals from antiperspirants, dry cleaning, and so forth.) Lending a hand to the lymphatic system will usually relieve some of the pressure on other parts of the body.

Lymphatic Cleansing & Stimulation

Lymphatic congestion is a big problem with most cancer patients. Undigested food, infectious material, dead cells, and other debris have to be carried off by the lymphatic system. Thickened and sluggish lymph results in swelling and discomfort.

Very few people understand the humble working of the lymphatic system. Many patients suffered from congestion or conditions such as mastitis before developing cancer. Dietary improvement and lymphatic stimulation combined with herbs that aid lymphatic purification enable the lymph to carry off debris.

As a general rule, there will be only minimal improvement in places such as the axilla or groin until the abdominal region is freed of stagnation.

Lymph Nodes

Fresh blood travels through the arteries to all parts of the body—including your breasts—bringing oxygen and other nutrients. Used blood leaves the breasts through the veins and is pumped back to the heart and lungs to be refreshed. Then the cycle starts over again.


Click image to enlarge

Lymph node areas adjacent to breast area

A pectoralis major muscle
B axillary lymph nodes: levels I
C axillary lymph nodes: levels II
D axillary lymph nodes: levels III
E supraclavicular lymph nodes
F internal mammary lymph nodes

 

Clear fluid called lymph also arrives via the arteries, but it leaves the blood to circulate through your tissues to cleanse the tissues and keep them firm. Lymph must also be "refreshed" and recycled. It drains back into the body's central drainage system through the lymphatic channels, like pipes.

doctor quote

"The arteries are like a two-lane highway bringing nutrients, oxygen and fluid to the breast. The vein is a one-lane highway taking away the used blood, and the lymphatic channels are the other one-lane highway draining away the lymph fluid. Two lanes in together, but two separate lanes out." —Marisa Weiss, M.D.

 

Lymph nodes are the filters along the lymphatic system. Their job is to filter out and trap bacteria, viruses, cancer cells, and other unwanted substances, and to make sure they are safely eliminated from the body.

Read about Lymph Detox

Detoxing Foot Bath

Detox Foot Bath is an all natural way to detox the inside of your body through your feet in a relaxing bath. Detoxification begins the moment you place your foot into the foot bath. Detoxification benefits your health and can help the aging process.

Ionic cleansing through the feet has been shown to be very effective in reducing menopause symptoms, menstrual cramps, skin problems, sleep disorders, stress, wrinkles, yeast infections, joint problems and any other number of chronic symptoms. Most people first experience a boost of energy and mental clarity after their first session. Sessions usually last about 45 minutes.

Significant Pain Relief - Improve Memory and Sleep - Liver, Kidneys and Parasite Cleanse - Wrinkles, Acne & other Skin Problems - Enhance Immune System - Liver Detoxification - Purge Heavy Metals  - Increase Energy and Reduce Stress - Internal Cleansing with Full Body Purge - Improve Sexual Health - and more...

 

LymphiX ™ works to further stimulate the lymph system to help increase the body’s metabolism and overall immune system functionality. The LymphiX ™ helps to deliver oxygen to the lymph system, which is essential to healthy cells.

 

 

More on the The Lymphatic System





 
 

Functions of the lymphatic system:

1) to maintain the pressure and volume of the extracellular fluid by returning excess water and dissolved substances from the interstitial fluid to the circulation.

2) lymph nodes and other lymphoid tissues are the site of clonal production of immunocompetent  lymphocytes and macrophages in the specific immune response.

 

Filtration forces water and dissolved substances from the capillaries into the interstitial fluid. Not all of this water is returned to the blood by osmosis, and excess fluid is picked up by lymph capillaries to become lymph. From lymph capillaries fluid flows into lymph veins (lymphatic vessels) which virtually parallel the circulatory veins and are structurally very similar to them, including the presence of semilunar valves.

The lymphatic veins flow into one of two lymph ducts. The right lymph duct drains the right arm, shoulder area, and the right side of the head and neck. The left lymph duct, or thoracic duct, drains everything else, including the legs, GI tract and other abdominal organs, thoracic organs, and the left side of the head and neck and left arm and shoulder.

These ducts then drain into the subclavian veins on each side where they join the internal jugular veins to form the brachiocephalic veins.

Lymph nodes lie along the lymph veins successively filtering lymph. Afferent lymph veins enter each node, efferent veins lead to the next node becoming afferent veins upon reaching it.

Lymphokinetic motion (flow of the lymph) due to:

1) Lymph flows down the pressure gradient.

2) Muscular and respiratory pumps push lymph forward due to function of the semilunar valves.

Other lymphoid tissue: 

        1. Lymph nodes: Lymph nodes are small encapsulated organs located along the pathway of lymphatic vessels. They vary from about 1 mm to 1 to 2 cm in diameter and are widely distributed throughout the body, with large concentrations occurring in the areas of convergence of lymph vessels. They serve as filters through which lymph percolates on its way to the blood. Antigen-activated lymphocytes differentiate and proliferate by cloning in the lymph nodes. 

        2. Diffuse Lymphatic Tissue and Lymphatic nodules: The alimentary canal, respiratory passages, and genitourinary tract are guarded by accumulations of lymphatic tissue that are not enclosed by a capsule (i.e. they are diffuse) and are found in  connective tissue beneath the epithelial mucosa. These cells intercept foreign antigens and then travel to lymph nodes to undergo differentiation and proliferation. Local concentrations of lymphocytes in these systems and other areas are called lymphatic nodules. In general these are single and random but are more concentrated in the GI tract in the ileum, appendix, cecum, and tonsils. These are collectively called the Gut Associated Lymphatic Tissue (GALT). MALT (Mucosa Associated Lymphatic Tissue) includes these plus the diffuse lymph tissue in the respiratory tract. 

        3. The thymus:   The thymus is where immature lymphocytes differentiate into T-lymphocytes. The thymus is fully formed and functional at birth. Characteristic features of thymic structure persist until about puberty, when lymphocyte processing and proliferation are dramatically reduced and eventually eliminated and the thymic tissue is largely replaced by adipose tissue. The lymphocytes released by the thymus are carried to lymph nodes, spleen, and other lymphatic tissue where they form colonies. These colonies form the basis of T-lymphocyte proliferation in the specific immune response. T-lymphocytes survive for long periods and recirculate through lymphatic tissues.

        The transformation of primitive or immature lymphocytes into T-lymphocytes and their proliferation in the lymph nodes is promoted by a thymic hormone called thymosin.  Ocassionally the thymus persists and may become cancerous after puberty and and the continued secretion of thymosin and the production of abnormal T-cells may contribute to some autoimmune disorders.  Conversely, lack of thymosin may also allow inadequate immunologic surveillance and thymosin has been used experimentally to stimulate T-lymphocyte proliferation to fight lymphoma and other cancers. 

        4. The spleen: The spleen filters the blood and reacts immunologically to blood-borne antigens. This is both a morphologic (physical) and physiologic process. In addition to large numbers of lymphocytes the spleen contains specialized vascular spaces, a meshwork of reticular cells and fibers, and a rich supply of macrophages which monitor the blood.  Connective tissue forms a capsule and trabeculae which contain myofibroblasts, which are contractile.  The human spleen holds relatively little blood compared to other mammals, but it has the capacity for contraction to release this blood into the circulation during anoxic stress. White pulp in the spleen contains lymphocytes and is equivalent to other lymph tissue,  while red pulp contains large numbers of red blood cells that it filters and degrades.

    The spleen functions in both immune and hematopoietic systems. Immune functions include: proliferation of lymphocytes, production of antibodies, removal of antigens from the blood. Hematopoietic functions include: formation of blood cells during fetal life, removal and destruction of aged, damaged and abnormal red cells and platelets, retrieval of iron from hemoglobin degradation, storage of red blood cells.

Read about Lymph Detox

Detoxing Foot Bath

Detox Foot Bath is an all natural way to detox the inside of your body through your feet in a relaxing bath. Detoxification begins the moment you place your foot into the foot bath. Detoxification benefits your health and can help the aging process.

Ionic cleansing through the feet has been shown to be very effective in reducing menopause symptoms, menstrual cramps, skin problems, sleep disorders, stress, wrinkles, yeast infections, joint problems and any other number of chronic symptoms. Most people first experience a boost of energy and mental clarity after their first session. Sessions usually last about 45 minutes.

Significant Pain Relief - Improve Memory and Sleep - Liver, Kidneys and Parasite Cleanse - Wrinkles, Acne & other Skin Problems - Enhance Immune System - Liver Detoxification - Purge Heavy Metals  - Increase Energy and Reduce Stress - Internal Cleansing with Full Body Purge - Improve Sexual Health - and more...

 

LymphiX ™ works to further stimulate the lymph system to help increase the body’s metabolism and overall immune system functionality. The LymphiX ™ helps to deliver oxygen to the lymph system, which is essential to healthy cells.

Back to: Body Detoxification Page

 
               

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