Exploring the home of the immune system.
The lymphatic system is an under-appreciated body system that does a lot of important work. It intersects with all of the other major organ systems in the body—so, we can’t talk about overall health and wellness without noting that lymph is everywhere.
The lymphatic, or lymphoid, system is the primary home of the immune system. Like the circulatory system, it consists of large networks of vessels that carry a fluid called lymph. Lymph is the transportation highway for immune cells. It also acts as a waste management system that removes inflammatory pathogens and cellular debris.
Unlike the circulatory system, however, the lymphatic system does not have a pump to circulate its fluid. This creates an opportunity for a phenomenon called “lymphatic stagnation,” which can cause a wide range of health problems.
Why is the lymphatic system so important?
- It targets invading pathogens (bacteria, virus, etc.) and delivers the information to the immune system, so it can destroy the invaders.
- Lymph carries away toxins and poisons that interfere with healthy metabolism and bodily function.
- It reduces inflammation and aids the cleanup process by rebuilding cells at sites of damage, infection or injury.
Want to support lymphatic circulation on your journey to better health? Here are six simple ways:
- Physical movement
- Massage and bodywork
- Increase heart rate
- Deep breathing exercises
- Hot bath
Contributed by Timothy Borowski, M.S., a complemantary health care professional and the founder of Axon Movement, located at Statera Health in Edina. You can find him on Instagram @axon_movement.