The lymphatic system is a network of tissues and organs that transport lymph fluid throughout the body, removing excess metabolic waste and toxins. It flushes toxins via urine, bowel movements, sweat, and breath. This is why in the diagram, you can see lymph nodes congregating around the neck and jaw, chest, armpits, stomach, and groin.
The 6 major parts of the lymphatic system include:
Lymph nodes: are usually located in clumps around the armpits, chest, stomach, thighs, and groin area. Lymphocytes (the white blood cells in these nodes) destroy the bacteria, viruses, cancer cells, or other toxins that are trying to make their way through your body.
Note, when your lymph nodes are swollen, it’s a sign that they’re currently fighting off an infection. Most often, you can feel small, moveable lumps around your jawline, no bigger than a grape. This is what a swollen lymph node feels like.
Thymus gland: creates lymphocytes called T-cells. While the thymus filters and monitors blood content, the T-cells seek out and destroy foreign antigens circulating through the body.
Bone marrow: is important for immune-cell creation. The cells produced in the bone marrow are the same that are produced in the lymph nodes and thymus- lymphocytes.
Small Intestines, known as GALT (gastrointestinal-associated lymphoid tissue) or Peyer’s patches, the tissues in your small intestines are lined with antigen-attacking cells. These patches of lymphatic tissue defend against infections and diseases like E. Coli, salmonella, inflammatory bowel diseases, and more.
Tonsils: are full of white blood cells. Your tonsils protect the body from pathogens being inhaled or ingested. They, and another patch of lymphatic tissue in the throat, act as a filter to catch and destroy bacteria.
The Spleen: filters blood and fights off old or damaged cells. Microbes are destroyed as they pass through the body. The spleen stores red blood cells and iron for future use and break down platelets to prevent blood clotting. This organ in the lymphatic system is most important for maintaining healthy blood.
Your lymphatic system works synergistically with:
The cardiovascular system: Healthy blood makes for a healthy heart and improved circulation. The Lymphatic vessels return faltered body fluids back into the blood.
The Immune System: The Lymphatic system plays an integral role in the immune functions of the body. It’s the first line of defense against diseases and/or inflammation. No toxin or pathogen can enter your body without going through your lymph nodes first.
The Digestive System: Your gut is lined with GALT, fighting off foreign organisms and keeping the body safe from infections. The Lymphatic system absorbs also fat-soluble vitamins from the digestive system.
Interested in maintaining your Lymph health?
Your lymphatic system has key players throughout your entire body. Its main function is to filter your blood, organs, and other bodily fluids from toxins, pathogens, and damaged or cancerous cells. Taking care of your lymphatic system requires maintenance. Unlike your cardiovascular system, however, the lymphatic system can't circulate itself. This is why we need to practice lymphatic drainage techniques.
Interested in learning more? Here at AcuSpa, we specialize in lymphatic health. Call or text us now to book a consultation! We offer a variety of lymphatic drainage massages, and we even offer a one hour consultation where we can evaluate your health and set up a holistic care plan tailored around your current medical history.
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