arthritis medicine

Lymph Drainage

Lymph is a fluid, which is distributed throughout the body with the blood. As the blood passes through the very tiny capillaries, the lymph seeps out, taking with it oxygen and nutrients. In the tissue spaces, it surrounds every cell and supplies it with nourishment. On its return to the heart, lymph picks up the by-products of cell function, waste products, viruses, and bacteria, and takes them through a separate system of vessels to the blood, called lymphatic vessels. These lead to filters called lymph nodes, where the lymph is treated and filtered before returning to the heart. Lymph also relies on the action of the deep muscles to create compression and move it along its vessels. However, in the layer just below the skin the lymph fluid has to find its own drainage, as very little muscle action exists there. If there is any blockage along the way, or if too much fluid is produced, lymph tends to accumulate create swelling, known as edema. Very light massage strokes help to drain lymph fluid and to reduce edema.