It takes muscle to move lymph….
What is lymph? The lymphatic system is a net-like system strung throughout the body to support the body’s natural immune system. You may know your lymph only by the swollen nodes in your neck or other parts when you suffer from a common cold or infection. But, large, intricate and complex lymphatic chains are also found in the abdomen, the chest, and throughout the entire body.
Why is the lymphatic system important? Waste products and foreign material in the body (including bacteria, viruses, food particles, waste products, pollen and dust) must circulate through the lymphatic system to be identified as hazardous and removed. Think of the lymph as a conveyor belt and the nodes as the quality control stations. Movement of these materials through the lymphatic system is essential in determining what stays, what goes and what the immune system will produce antibodies against. Therefore, it regulates the immune system, inflammation, and functional elimination.
Whereas blood flow is powered by the heartbeat, lymphatic flow is dependent on muscular contraction. The squeezing and stretching of muscles pumps lymph. And, as the lymph moves, foreign materials reach the lymph nodes activating immune mediators. Without movement, the lymph would “pool” and become stagnant resulting either in a hyper-reactive or hypo-reactive immune response. So, movement is essential to a healthy immune system. If you move those limbs you will move that lymph!