About The Lymphatic System: The Immune & Lymphatic Systems Introduction
The lymphatic system is part of the immune system. Simplistic descriptions tell us that the lymphatic system is made up of lymphatic vessels and nodes, but the following definition explains it as a vast system:
The lymphatic system is made up of tissues that produce, store, and transport white blood cells and includes a complex network of vessels, ducts, lymph nodes, the spleen, the thymus, the adenoids, and the tonsils. This expansive system is found throughout your body, removing waste from every cell while helping to regulate the immune system. – Jennifer Weinberg
The role of the lymphatic system includes:
- Helping to distribute fluid (plasma and lymph) through the body
- Working with the circulatory systems to distribute essential nutrients to cells
- Helping to transport toxins away from cells.
A primary role of the lymphatic system is to distribute lymph, but what is lymph? It is a fluid “made up of different components as it goes through different parts of the body. Sometimes it contains proteins, other times it contains bacteria and fats.”
How it Works
Breathing & Movement Propels Lymph, Which Drains & Filters Waste
The network of lymphatic vessels and nodes acts like a giant drainage and filtration system for the body. Just like the plumbing in your home, your lymphatic system needs to stay unclogged and flowing well for it to work properly. When the lymph flow becomes stagnant and congested, wastes and toxins begin to build up. This can lead to weak immunity and a wide variety of health issues…
Breathing and other muscle movements help to propel lymph fluid and transport it through many filtration points known as lymph nodes. These lymph nodes contain collections of white blood cells (lymphocytes) that identify and help destroy harmful pathogens or toxins. – Jennifer Weinberg
A key understanding regarding the lymphatic system is that it requires gentle physical movement to function.
Our lymph nodes work to filter and break down viruses and bacteria, providing an important barrier to infections and getting sick. Unlike our circulatory system, our lymphatic system doesn’t have a heart to pump fluid and essential nutrients through the body, so we rely on gentle physical movements to act as a sort of pump for our lymphatic vessels and nodes. Yoga postures are a perfect solution. We can move in ways that direct the flow towards the heart (the natural direction of lymph). – Christy Fisher