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Pro Tips To Understanding the Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system plays a vital supporting role to cardiovascular, immune system, and of course the integumentary system health.

It runs parallel to the circulatory system and is made up of nodes, vessels, ducts, and glands. The body is exposed to over 85,000 different toxins each week, not to mention the natural waste our cells produce daily. The lymphatic system is responsible for eliminating these toxins and waste from our cells.

All of the bodies’ cells are bathed in lymphatic fluid. Fresh, clean lymphatic fluid, filled with nutrients, enters the tissues from the bloodstream thru blood capillaries.  Your cells then absorb oxygen & nutrients from the fluid, secrete waste back into it, while inspecting it along the way.

Arlene White

Contribution by Arlene White

For more than thirty years, Arlene has been actively involved in the skincare industry as a business executive, consultant, and educator. From owning and operating medical and full-service spas to traveling the U.S. helping skincare technicians become experts in their field, Arlene understands the science and the business of skincare.

It’s from that background that Professional Skin Care Training was launched. With access to an entire video library of content, downloadable PDF step-by-step instructions, and 1-on-1 coaching sessions available, Professional Skin Care Training believes “the best keep learning.” For Arlene White, that’s more than just a motto. It’s a way of life.

Professional Skin Care Training

How 600-700 Lymph Nodes in the Lymphatic System Work

Our 600-700 lymph nodes are basically checkpoints that monitor and cleanse the lymph as it filters bacteria and viruses while sending white blood cells that destroy and prevent infection. Think of it like a tissue cleansing river. 

Your lymph system recovers 3 liters of blood fluid each-and-every day, which is more than half of your total blood volume! Unlike the circulatory system, the lymphatic system does not have a pump. It relies on manual movement and manipulation to circulate, like breathing, exercise, or massage. Blockages or inactivity in the nodes affect the filtration process, which results in an increase in the amount of toxins in the blood and lymph system.

How the Lymphatic System Is Impacted by  Facial and Body Treatments?

Well, there are a large number of lymph nodes located in the face, under the chin, and behind the ears, making them prime areas for fluid build-up. The lymph nodes in the face help protect against pathogens that enter the body through the eyes, nose, and mouth.

As we just learned, lymph doesn’t always drain properly on its own. When lymph nodes become congested or swollen, the flow of lymph becomes sluggish and stagnant. On the face and neck specifically, it can lead to clogged pores, acne, pore congestion, dull dehydrated skin, Dark circles, and puffiness around the eyes and face.

Lymphatic Massage

Lymphatic massage can help revitalize the skin and boost immune health on a completely different level than topical treatments can reach. The skincare technician becomes the lymphatic “pump”, moving inactive lymph, eliminating toxins, relieving congestion from sinus colds or allergies, reducing fluid retention in the face and neck, and even shortening the length of a cold.

Lymphatic drainage massage is a specialized massage technique that requires specific training but the benefits are numerous for your client and an easy addition to your treatment.  As a practitioner, the massage techniques are light and easy on your hands, using very little pressure because the lymphatic system is shallow and very close to the surface of the skin. 

When performing any kind of lymphatic drainage, you have to open up nodes lower down (since lymph follows gravity) before you can properly drain lymph above. When it comes to the face & neck, you must open up the lymph nodes along the neck and collarbone first before the lymph in the face can properly drain. I personally begin every single facial treatment by performing lymphatic drainage movements during my first cleanse. It’s something easy and quick but makes a HUGE impact to your clients and their treatments.

Benefits of Lymphatic Drainage Massage

  • Improves cellular turnover and elasticity
  • Improves overall glow and radiance
  • Speeds healing time for acne and eczema
  • Improves allergy symptoms that present in the face and neck like congestion, puffy/watery/itchy eyes
  • Improves and prevents acne

In addition to the huge list of jobs the Lymphatic System is tasked with, it also transports FAT out of the digestive system. Cellulite begins when numerous fat cells collect in one area. The dimpling effect occurs when the connective fibers in the skin pull down in areas where body fat is pushing up. Since the Lymphatic system is a 1-way street, toxins and lymph fluid accumulate in the pockets of fat. Improving the circulation of lymph in areas prone to cellulite can help diminish cellulite from the inside out. Lymph fluid moves slowly without the aid of its own pump, so massage and body treatments can circulate the lymph, remove toxins and improve the immunity of the entire body.

Lymphatic treatments result in skin tightening, decreased edema or swelling, relieves pain, improves the immune system, cleanses the tissues for waste, and improves the flow of lymph fluid throughout the body.

After any treatment, especially lymphatic treatments, I advise my client to drink lots of water, preferably at room temperature. Warm liquids rehydrate and warm the body which thins the body fluids for better circulation and overall better health. 

There are a few contraindications for Lymphatic Drainage treatments; A fever is contraindicated as well as any upper respiratory infections. Acute inflammation is caused by bacteria, fungi, viruses. The germs could be spread by manual lymph drainage. You should not perform lymph treatments on anyone with a heart condition or metastatic or systemic malignant condition is also contraindicated. 

A healthy, active lymphatic system is vital to overall health. Please educate yourself before performing drainage on your clients. It’s possible to do more harm than good without proper training.

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