The lymphatic system is a primary detoxification system for cleansing and eliminating toxins out of the body. The liver, the bowels, and the kidneys are other primary detoxification systems. The lymphatic system is an entire network of tiny vessels throughout the body for the transport of fluid, toxins, excess waste and proteins.
Just as the circulatory system circulates blood throughout the body, the lymphatic system circulates fluid throughout the entire body. We have 600-800 lymph nodes in the entire system, and 1/3 of those nodes in the head and neck region. Another 1/3 are in the abdominal region. And the rest are scattered throughout the rest of the body with a cluster of them under our arms, the groins, and behind the knees.
Just like the heart pumps, the lymphatic system has its own pump called lymphangions but these lymphangions pump at a rate of 6-9 bpm which is a lot slower than the rate that our heart pumps.
The chief functions of the lymph system are restoration of excess interstitial fluid and proteins to the blood, absorption of fats and fat-soluble vitamins from the digestive system and transport of these elements to the venous circulation, and defense against invading organisms.
So when we start shaking a bunch of toxins loose and/or killing off harmful pathogens, it’s like throwing a bunch of trash down an in-sinkerator. Our system of pipes can get clogged up if there is not enough fluid and pressure to flush it through our lymphatic system and excrete it. Another point to be remembered is that since our lymph pumps at such a slow rate of 6-9bpm to be effective, if it pumps too fast the fluid will not have time to pass through. This would be like a heart that is in tachycardia or fibrillating and it does not pump enough volume of blood through the system.
A chronic state of sympathetic overdrive – being in a fear and flight mode- can trigger the lymphangions to pump too quickly and pump shallow. This state of stress and fear causes the lymph system to be irritable and fibrillate like a heart when it is in tachycardia or having palpitations.
Likewise, being in a state of rest, breathing slowly and deeply will relax the sympathetic nervous system and stimulate the lymphatic system to flow more effectively, and also calm the digestive system. You can also stimulate lymphatic flow with exercise, a manual lymphatic drainage therapy, and lymphatic tools such as a lymph machine or a chi machine. Get rid of the soft cushy fungi in the system that also contributes to the congestion of the lymph. Stop eating the foods that can be congesting to the lymphatics.