The Importance of the Lymphatic System
You’ve probably felt those little swollen knots near your throat, on your neck, armpits or even your groin areas at some point in your life. Those happen to be your lymph nodes, and we all have anywhere from 600-700 of them throughout our bodies.
Lymph nodes are located just under our skin and are actually a part of the lymphatic system, along with the lymphatic vessels, tonsils, adenoids, spleen and thymus. Take a look at this handy graphic detailing the lymphatic system from Live Science.
The lymphatic system is a very important part of the human body and is a huge player on our body’s immune defense team. Our lymph nodes are like filters or “traps.” They trap and clean toxins, germs, bacteria, viruses and other foreign substances traveling through, as well as help us fight infections and disease.
When you have swollen lymph nodes, it could mean you have a cold, the flu, an ear infection or perhaps you’re dealing with a mouth sore…
Another time you may notice swollen lymph nodes is just after vaccination. I noticed dozens of swollen lymph nodes on my son’s neck after he was vaccinated the first time.
Some sources explain that the virus and other foreign proteins in vaccines actually clog our lymph nodes.
I found an interesting article that goes way back to 1920, in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association [Volume 19: page 323-325]. It was written by Dr. F.P. Millard, who was a prominent Osteopath of Toronto at the time. The article is fascinating and definitely worth the read.
Dr. Millard explains how swelling in lymphatic glands from poisons injected into the bloodstream are much different than the swelling of the glands from a childhood disease or illness that is caught.
“I dare any number of “old-school” physicians to vaccinate, say, fifty children or adults and make a report, with the one object in mind: that of noting the effects from a lymphatic standpoint and resultant throat complications. Out of fifty vaccinated (successfully) cases they would find that from four to six would either develop glandular swellings in the throat, with ear trouble of some form, or a tonsillitis or diphtheria and possibly mumps.
In my twenty years of practice I have been constantly studying the lymphatic system, and I have noted several hundred cases that had been vaccinated by those who practice such procedure, and in going over these glands, I have noted the peculiar feeling when palpating, quite unlike the swelling found in these glands when nature left alone is combating some infection. In other words, the effect upon lymphatic glands from poisons forced into the system, as vaccine virus, is quite different from the enlargement of these glands due to any children’s disease of an infectious type.
Dr. Mercola, a doctor you most likely recognize, also explains:
“Vaccines clog our lymphatic system and lymph nodes with large protein molecules which have not been adequately broken down by our digestive processes, since vaccines by pass digestion with injections. This is why vaccines are linked to allergies, because they contain large proteins which act as circulating immune complexes (CICs) or “klinkers” which cause our body to become allergic.”
Interestingly enough, my son developed eczema, asthma and food sensitivities very early on in addition to having swollen glands. It was because of this and the hours of research on the subject that I decided to stop vaccinating.
There are many reasons associated with swollen lymph nodes, but whatever the cause may be, if your nodes are swollen, that’s a good sign your body is fighting something.
Recent Discoveries Find Lymphatic Vessel in The Brain
An updated view of the human lymphatic system. The old version, left and the new version, based on the recent discovery | Courtesy of the University of Virginia
Pretty recently, in June of 2015 to be exact, a group of researchers from the University of Virginia discovered lymphatic vessels in the brain that, until now, have never been known to exist. They published their work in Nature, the weekly journal of science.
In a preview of the article, the scientists state:
“The discovery of the central nervous system lymphatic system may call for a reassessment of basic assumptions in neuroimmunology and sheds new light on the aetiology of neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases associated with immune system dysfunction.”
You can listen to an interview which features the lead author of the study, Johnathan Kipnis, who is also the director of the Center of Brain Immunology at the University of Virginia, to get the entire scoop.
Dr. Mercola helps put this new information into perspective.
“It’s becoming increasingly clear that your brain, your immune system and your gut microbes are intricately linked.” He says, “Autism, for instance, is associated with gastrointestinal problems and potentially an over-reaction in the immune system. It wasn’t always clear how such connections occurred, but now both a gut-brain axis and a pathway from your immune system into your brain have been uncovered.“
Lymphatic Massage & Dry Skin Brushing
In an article on LiveStrong.com, it explains how lymph massage may benefit the immune system.
“The immune system is tied to the lymphatic system. In fact, if flow of lymphatic materials slows, the immune system weakens. MassageTherapy.com states that lymph drainage massages can improve the function of the immune system and increase the production of antibodies that fight off infections.”
You could think of it like clearing out a traffic jam, or unclogging a drain so things can run smoothly again.
I recently learned how to do a self-lymphatic massage simply by watching a few videos on YouTube. The first time I did it, I actually felt a swollen lymph node drain! It was enough evidence to tell me that the massage was doing something.
Check out this helpful how to video from LMT, Heather Wibbels to learn how to do a self-lymphatic massage.
Another way to support the lymphatic system and help keep the toxins moving out is by dry skin brushing. According to The Holistic Health Library, “dry brushing not only removes layers of dead skin and aids in unblocking pores, it enhances the function of the lymph system. When you do skin brushing, you help your lymph system to clean itself of the toxins that collect in the lymph glands.”
If the lymphatic system is flowing smoothly, the lymph nodes can continue to produce the white blood cells your body needs to better ward off invaders.
Watch this quick video on how to do dry skin brushing. Natural Healthy Concepts’ certified nutritionist, Theresa, also explains some added benefits.
- You can get one of the natural dry skin brushes here.
There are other ways to keep your lymph system flowing as well. Exercise, red foods like beets and berries as well as hydration all help decongest your lymph.
In the words of John Douillard of LifeSpa.com, “Your lymph is your body’s biggest drain – keep it unclogged.”