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What is MLD

The Lymphatic system is a crucial part of your immune system, and a functioning lymphatic system is key to a healthy life. The Lymphatic system is considered the body’s “second circulatory system” and is made up of lymph, lymph nodes, and lymph vessels.  Lymph carries waste products away from the tissue to the lymph nodes to be filtered.  Manual Lymphatic Drainage, or MLD, is a technique used to encourage the natural drainage of the lymphatic fluid (lymph).   MLD consists of a light, skin-stretching massage that promotes lymph movement. Some of the potential benefits from MLD are reduction of swelling associated with surgeries and/or pregnancy,  decrease in pain and stress,  and improved sleep and skin care.  It is also in beneficial for strengthening  the immune system and promoting the healing process.

What Is The Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system is a subsystem of the circulatory system.  It is comprised of a network of delicate vessels, nodes and ducts that pass through almost all bodily tissues. Its main roles are protecting your body from illness, maintaining body fluid levels, absorbing digestive tract fats and removing cellular waste.

The lymphatic system transports lymph throughout the body so toxins are not able to accumulate and cause disease or illness.  For the average human, approximately up to four liters of fluid are filtered, enriched, and returned to circulation every day via the lymphatic system. Without the lymphatic system, all of our cells, organs, and tissues would be floating around in what would be equivalent to dirty bath water.  Cellular transportation mechanisms would be compromised, waste removal and immune responses would slow, and the delivery of nutrients and repair of cells would be inhibited.

Lymph is a clear fluid that consists of a high concentration of white blood cells and is responsible for helping the body fight infections and diseases.  Lymph collects waste products, bacteria and damaged cells from inside the body's tissues so they can be removed or destroyed.  The lymph is drained into vessels that transport it to the lymph nodes.   Most people are familiar with what a lymph node is.   A Lymph node is a small bean-shaped mass of lymphatic tissue that are located along lymph vessels.  There are between 600-700 lymph nodes in the human body.  Once the lymph reaches the lymph nodes, the lymph nodes filter the lymph fluid and return it to our bloodstream.

In addition to fighting disease and illness the lymphatic system helps maintain body fluid levels.  It collects excess fluid that drains from cells and tissue throughout your body and returns it to your bloodstream, which is then recirculated through your body.

The lymphatic system also aides in the digestion of fats in the digestive tract.  Unlike other nutrients, fat cannot be absorbed directly into the blood from the gut because fat molecules are too large.   Instead, it must be absorbed by another route – the lymphatic system.

woman lymphatic system full body
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