The lymphatic system’s main function is to transport fluid throughout your body, and to detoxify and dispose of metabolic waste. This system is made up of lymph nodes, lymph vessels and lymph fluid, and includes the thymus, spleen, adenoids and tonsils.

Lymph is the protein rich extracellular body fluid that accumulates when the lymphatic system is damaged. To maintain a healthy lymph system, the lymph fluid needs to keep moving through natural motion such as breathing, exercising, even massage and specialized body wraps. Consuming high quality or organic foods and drinking plenty of water are also key. Eliminating processed foods can deter some of the damage and accumulation of metabolic waste products, some of which are toxic. These toxins may present symptoms of low energy levels, fatigue, and mood swings, and show up physically as clogged fatty tissues (or cellulite). The lymphatic system may also be compromised by diabetes or other chronic diseases.

When your lymph system is not working properly, attention may be needed to help balance the system. Lymph drainage is a powerful method of reducing lymph edema and enhancing natural detoxification. Lymphatic drainage body wraps, sometimes known as body contour wraps, are an effective modality that not only enhances detoxification, but also increases circulation of both the lymphatic and circulatory systems.

During this process a body cream is used containing different vitamins or minerals to help promote detoxification. I recommend and use a niacin cream which opens capillaries and brings blood to the skin’s surface encouraging and increasing circulation. After the cream is applied, the body is wrapped for an hour allowing the cream to absorb. Each treatment targets the true source of cellulite by cleansing the tissues where cellulite is trapped resulting in smoother skin and inches lost. Developed by a UCLA Medical Center bio-chemist, this technique was originally formulated to encourage circulatory and lymphatic flow in patients.

Maintaining a healthy lymphatic system is important for your overall health. Not only do your lymph nodes drain tissues, fluids and proteins back to the blood stream, they also allow for the absorption of essential fats and fat-soluble vitamins back into the body.Nodes are also rich in white blood cells (lymphocytes) which are vital in building a healthy immune system; they produce cells that help fight off infections, and filter lymph fluid to get rid of bacteria and harmful (even cancerous) cells.

Assisting the lymphatic system with therapies such as contour body wraps helps the body to balance all its fluid systems (including blood vessels and capillaries), increases circulation, enhances the transport of vital nutrition, and aids in creating a stronger, healthier immune system.

Deb McMahon, R.N., CNHP is the owner of A Healthier You in Palm Desert and can be reached at (760) 360.8877.

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