The Lymphatic System

The Lymphatic System

“You cannot get better in the same environment you got sick in.”  – Dr. Perry Nickleston


In our email series of learning new things while at home, ;-), I wanted to now talk about the Lymphatic system!    I could go on and on about it, and there is much to know, but I will try to be as direct and concrete as I can.  You will see some links of more resources at the end of the email!  Those who take my classes know I try to actively spark ways that move lymph throughout the body.
The Lymphatic system is the most undervalued and under appreciated system of the body.  People rarely look at the source of tenderness, puffiness, swelling, pain or inflammation as indicators of a backed up lymphatic system.
I am going to convey an analogy that I received from Dr. Perry Nickleston.
“Think of the body as a fish tank.  
The glass is our skin, 
The water is your interstitial fluid, 
The fish, rocks, and coral are your underlying systems.   
The pumps are the lymphatic system that cleans and purifies the tank.
If the water gets mucky and the fist die, you could change the water, you could replace the rocks and coral, but without good working pumps, your water will get mucky again.”
There are two major exercises to get it to move
1). Diaphragmatic Breathing
2). Human Movement

The Diaphragm

We try to cover good use of the diaphragm each and every class.  I have been doing a free class on Facebook Live each Thursday at 5:30pm.  This coming Thursday I will do a guided talk through proper breathing while Kelly plays the crystal bowls!
As far as human movement:
  • If you can think back to Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons and that era of jumping jacks and hopping in place, you are kick starting the lymph.
  • If you think about how kids play, bouncing, hopping, skipping, jumping, you are kick starting the lymph.
  • If you do things that work the joints in a way that moves them quickly in any direction, this kick starts the lymph.

Whatever you do, it is best to move yourself multiple times throughout the day for bouts of 10-20 seconds at a time.  Easy Peasy!

Fun facts:

  • 1/3 of all lymph nodes are in the neck
  • It is colorless
  • A gut problem = a lymphatic problem
  • Any lymph node can cause pain or dysfunction somewhere else in the body (above or below the site)
  • Your calves are. passive pump for the lymphatic system
  • Your lymph vessels, end to end, could circle the globe four times!!!
  • Lymph drains from the bottom up, so if it is blocked, we need to start moving from the top down.
  • This system bathes almost every single cell in the body, except cartilage, nails and hair.
  • Continuously loops in one direction – up the right side and loops down the left side.
  • You have over 15 liters of lymph in the body, which is 3X more than blood.
  • Problems that could show up as a result of poor lymphatic flow:
    • Any auto-immune disorder
    • Lyme Disease
    • Any ‘itis’ condition chronic or acute (tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, bursitis)
    • Spinal Pain (neck pain and low back pain)
    • Joint pain
    • If you hit a training plateau
  • It is the sewage system of the body – It gets rid of toxins that are coming in from the outside especially your skin (remember back to the email of benefits of dry brushing) and through the mouth (remember tongue scraping).

More resources:

Enjoy your discoveries!
Lisa 😉

Mobile App! 

Our app is so handy! You can see all of the classes listed, with descriptions and the instructor teaching.  It is always the most up to date option for classes.

Ohana Blog Home
Our Continuous Process of Teaching

Our Continuous Process of Teaching

Have you ever wondered how much time goes into preparing an hour movement class?   A lot. Like an entire career. 

Continual Learning

We spend time understanding and translating content such as anatomy and sequencing.  But then we meet people like you and we learn.  We learn that we don’t know as much as we should, and we go back to the drawing board of education.  Or that we see something new such as how the body is evolving through too much screen time, too little activity or too much demanding activity.    

All the Avenues of Healing

So we do more education, more study, take it back to the mat and trial and experiment on ourselves; then again see how it lands on you all.  See, we take the hit (of time and money)  looking at all avenues of healing.  Is it the breath, is it just movement, is it the mind, or your past?   Where do we need to concentrate our studies?  What avenue is next?  I know personally I have deviated into many different realms of brain and eye based work, pain science, the ins and outs of the nervous system, common pathology and specifics on the lymphatic and joint function. 

A Plan for Progress

Then after all of our continuous studies, we may feel that there is more work to be done on our end to create a class that generates the most change for long term success.  We may see you once, or we may see you multiple times throughout the week to identify the problems with poor movement patterns that we could help change in your day to day. 

One Size Does Not Fit All

There is a problem with that too, though, because you all are individuals with different pasts, pain biofeedback and traumas.   Depending on people’s jobs, social actives and hobbies, will create a difference of where we need to help you help yourselves.  We know that one exercise program cannot be a one stop shop to what needs to be done.  Individual problems need to be dealt with individual solutions, not just a boxed set choreographed class. 

Ohana Offerings Continue to Grow

Sometimes we have classes that just try to pull you out of the stress state, other classes try to build deep specific strength, and others try to bring more awareness to the patterns in your life that may be causing the discomfort in the first place.

Either way, be rest assured that we at Ohana will always be educating ourselves to make sure we understand all that you are going through, and that you have many class offerings to chose from depending on what you need.

Ohana Blog Home