What Is IN Lymph, Actually?

I'm sure you don't lose sleep over the composition of lymph... but I do! 

Lymph is always changing... depending on the environment and the situation.

For example, after the Covid vaccine rollouts, I was obsessed with the idea that I could potentially be fast-moving that stuff through the body via the lymph system by doing a lymphatic massage. Without adequate long-term testing, I had no idea what that was doing to my clients. On the side of caution, I advised that if you recently had the vaccine, simply wait for a couple of weeks (just a guess) before having a manual lymphatic drainage massage. Incidentally, now that we know the mRNA does NOT stay in the arm like we were told, I can only cross my fingers that this was a good call. (Too much finger-crossing these past two years, IMO).

I also received requests for lymphatic drainage to help with the harmful effects of the Covid vaccines. Could lymphatic massage help process whatever it was that was causing pain and inflammation in people recently vaccinated? I did not know for sure, but in one particular case, a lymphatic massage allowed my client to sleep through the night, and find relief from the feeling that her skin was on fire due to an acute case of neuropathy. This at least was a good thing.

Furthermore, occasionally I receive a request for lymphatic massage referred by a naturopath doctor who may also recommend an IV drip of, say Glutathione. In these cases, I wonder if my new client should receive the IV before or after the massage. Are we trying to allow the body to process the glutathione, or should we allow it to sit and "simmer" in the body for a while? I always refer my client to check with the intentions of her doctor. It's so important to keep a dialogue going between practitioners!

Are you as curious about what's in your lymph?

Especially in these times, when clients are taking their health matters into their own hands and electing to receive treatments based on brand new research or treatments that have not yet been sanctified by our traditional medical system. I absolutely understand and empathize with my clients, but I also admit that I don't know everything and just want to do good for them.

I KNOW I can move lymph. But I don't always know the effect of that on every unique and beautiful body I encounter... so I study and share what I discover.

The result is...YES! I lose sleep over what can possibly be flowing through any person's lymphatic vessels. (That's sort of my job.) And I don't pretend to have all the answers. There hasn't been enough research on the lymphatic system. A lot of it seems to be circumstantial, which requires more scientific documentation, but I also believe that those who have experienced the beneficial effects of lymphatic drainage can testify to its rejuvenating quality.

Here's some information on the body's composition of lymphatic fluid. Prepare yourself, because this is a partial list.

The Composition of Lymph

A normal body is exposed to various environmental and dietary toxins. If you live in a developed country and are even considering lymphatic drainage, I'm betting this applies to you. Here goes:

WATER:  96% of lymph is water.

COLLOIDS AND MINERALS: Similar to plasma, sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, zinc, copper, etc.

PROTEINS: Lymph recirculates proteins that leak from blood circulation to the interstitial fluid that cushions and protects all your cells and organs. If the lymphatic system did not recover these proteins, your body would experience swelling, auto-intoxication, and ultimately death. The lymphatic system plays a huge role in recirculating proteins from the blood!

LIPIDS: Yes, FAT. In fact, the fat absorbed by your digestive system in the intestinal tract ultimately ends up in the lymphatic system. (Good news! Your intestines are full of lymph nodes!)

CELLS: There are some cells in your body that end up in the lymphatic fluid for various reasons. Some cells are meant to be processed by the lymphatic system. Some of these free-floating cells that end up in lymphatic fluid are

  • Lymphocytes: A sub-category of white blood cells, lymphocytes are cells formed in the bone marrow and are responsible for protecting the body from foreign invaders, maintaining fluid levels, and removing waste from cells. 80-85% of cells are lymphocytes, and are found in lymph nodes, the spleen, tonsils, and the lining of your airways.
  • Macrophages: Think of a macrophage as a "law enforcer" cell that is drawn to a foreign substance that is tagged for removal. Antibodies are proteins produced by lymphocytes that bind to a foreign substance and tag it for destruction. The macrophage detects and engulfs that substance (usually a protein, by the way).
  • "Garbage" Cells: I'm not sure how to say this any other way, but there are other cells in the lymph that cannot be described otherwise. In the wonderful book, Silent Waves, Bruno Chikly describes these "other" cells as "dead cells, migratory cells (e.g. from cancer), mutant cells, submicroscopic cell fragments and debris, DNA fragments, cells which have experienced apoptosis (cellular disintegration following "suicidal" death) and foreign waste cells." When I refer to the CRAP in lymphatic fluid, I suppose you could summarize it like that.
  • Other substances: hormones, enzymes, urea, hyaluronic acid, glucose, histamine, nitric acid, gases, and substances, like colorants, dust, food preservatives, etc. [Unless you're living in a pure environment, we're all exposed to environmental toxins. You can use your imagination here!]

As a lymphatic massage therapist, here's my promise to you...

I'll try to assess the stuff you've been exposed to, what you're trying to accomplish for your optimal health, and also how you intend to travel your world with your best lymphatic system working with you. If it's a temporary situation that you're navigating (i.e. a surgery, or a particularly austere detox)  then we'll work together to get your lymphatics moving with ease. We'll also assess the parts of your body where you may be susceptible to inflammation and toxicity, based on your environment and history. I always trust that you know your body the best –– after all, you live in your body. So you should know. And I can help, because I know how the lymphatic system works, in general. They're a work in progress, these magnificent, wondrous bodies of ours... and our understanding of them is always increasing. 

Your trust in me is an honor. Please contact me if you have questions or comments. I'm always happy to chat over the phone at 512-351-3329 or by email. <<[email protected]>>






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