Lymphatic Drainage – Why So Vital?

Lymphatic Drainage Discussion with Dr. William Lee Cowden

In a conversation with W. Lee Cowden, M.D., we discussed the normal drainage of the lymphatic fluid and the extreme importance of this physiological function for health and vitality. Dr. Cowden stated that the lymphatic fluid should be a milky fluid, but if stagnation develops it can become first like a gel, or even like a paste in some cases, which would make it difficult for the body to heal from chronic illnesses since this would slow nutrient transport to the cells and metabolic toxin transport away from the cells. Therefore, some type of method to drain the lymphatic system may be desirable almost daily by someone who is chronically ill.
Two key lifestyle factors that affect this are exercise and increased water and electrolyte consumption. It is not always possible to increase exercise when one is ill though. Exercise will come later. What can be done though is to drink more water and electrolytes (unless you have kidney problems, edema or water retention; if this is the case discuss water consumption with your medical doctor). Once you are properly hydrated and exercising or moving your body to the extent possible for you, it may be time to look at specific lymphatic drainage techniques. Some are more high tech than others but they will all work well if one sticks with a program. People with chronic infections, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Fibromyalgia often report that they feel much better after a week or so of consistently using natural lymphatic drainage techniques, especially when combined with appropriate supporting natural detox therapies. What are some of these lymphatic drainage techniques?

Types of Lymphatic Drainage


The photograph shows a young lady using a dry skin brush for MLD or manual lymphatic drainage. This can be very effective. Natural Health Sciences of Az provides DVDs that teach one to use this method. The device shown below that is used to help drain the lymphatic system is called a Chi machine or passive exerciser. It is used by laying down and placing one’s ankles in the slots. This type device is becoming more common and works quite well. It causes the body to move in a fish like motion and this puts passive pressure on the tiny lymph channels, pushing the lymph fluid away from the extremities which is the normal direction of flow. The Photon Genie device is shown in the lower picture. This is a photo-magnetic lymphatic drainage device. Several companies manufacture these. The principle of this therapy is that it helps to liquefy the fluid in the lymphatic system and interstitial fluid (the fluid in the space between the cells). It does this by adding ions that change the polarity of particles clumped together to a positive charge so that these separate and can be drained and eliminated by the body’s detoxification organs.


 Indications of Lymphatic Stagnation



Once the Photon-Genie assists in liquefying the lymphatic fluid, as explained above, the Chi machine and/or skin brushing are excellent tools to manually stimulate the lymphatic fluid to drain. Combining several of these methods is an excellent and inexpensive way to promote lymphatic fluid drainage. Lymphatic fluid does not have it’s own pump. Essentially the heart  pumps most of the fluid that becomes lymphatic fluid; small amounts of water or plasma in the blood normally leak out from the blood capillary circulation due to slight pressure from the heart (the blood pressure is very slight by the time blood reaches fragile capillaries) and this fluid leaks out into the tissues into the spaces between your 10’s of trillions of cells. This interstitial fluid, known also as the Ground matrix by holistic practitioners, then gradually works its way back up toward the heart, against gravity if you are standing, collects in lymph vessels, and then larger lymph nodes before finally dumping back into the blood stream just above the collar bone so that toxins can now be processed by the liver and kidneys. This physiological function performs fairly well on it’s own for most people with good general health, but for those with poor health, as noted, this fluid can become thick, and there are often indicators of problems. Swollen lymph nodes, swelling, or other signs of blockage can sometimes be seen. Pallor and poor color can be another indicator. If your tissues are full of waste products you are not going to have good color. You very likely are going to be pale and have dark circles under you eyes. In these situations, the ground matrix, or space between the cells is getting crammed with metabolic wastes and toxins, microbial carcasses, damages proteins, etc. It is in instances such as these that a good natural detox protocol combined with lymphatic drainage can significantly improve people’s reported sense of well being and make them feel better overall.

Proper Lymphatic Drainage Technique


Regarding dry skin brushing, it is not enough to merely brush the skin with the dry brush, it is important that you brush in the direction of lymphatic drainage and so to repeat, the young woman seen in the photos above is using a dry skin brush in much the same way that a properly trained massage therapist would perform MLD or the manual lymphatic drainage created by the Holistic practitioner doctor Vodder from Austria. We offer DVDs that show MLD based on doctor Vodder’s work. If you can find a massage therapist who knows this technique then you can simply get massages as needed. These video’s that demonstrates the precise technique using a dry skin brush are available to those who come for an appointment at NHS of Az. There are a variety of other issues that should be considered. Aggressively pushing your lymphatic fluid without considering immune system support, the condition of your primary detoxification organs such as the spleen, liver, and kidneys might not be such a great idea. This is especially true if you are quite ill. Lymphatic drainage should be incorporated into a holistic protocol.

Lymphatic Drainage Supports Other Therapies


Proper hydration, electrolytes, and herbal and other lymphatic drainage remedies are sometimes also used to assist this process. Lymphatic drainage can greatly improve the success of the Ozone steam sauna (described on this site) as shown by the significant increase of gray, toxic metals sweated out on the towel when the Photon Genie is used before entering the sauna. It can also improve the Laser Energetic Detoxification sessions (also described on this site) based on follow up scans with the ASYRA EDS equipment. In other words, we do an energetic evaluation with the ASYRA. The baseline organ function may energetically show a stressed lymphatic system, and an accumulation of a toxin say for instance, lead or benzene. We do some basic lymphatic drainage, do a Laser Detoxification session for lead or benzene and then later the person comes in for follow up and the lymphatic system shows as normalized energetically on the EDS scan, and those specific the toxins no longer show on the EDS scan. As far as this relates to the value of lymphatic drainage, when lymphatic drainage is done before hand the outcome is often more successful. Successful based on what people are reporting and how they feel. Successful based on follow up energetic scans.



Long Term Lymphatic Support Depends on a Healthy Lifestyle


Once you overcome your health challenges you will wish to simply stick with the healthy lifestyle changes of exercise, good breathing habits, and adequate water consumption which will keep your lymphatic system moving naturally. You can then use these natural detox techniques such as lymphatic drainage only occasionally. After all, as stated on the other pages of this site, natural modalities and good conventional care are only part of the picture; living a healthy lifestyle is the other. The whole point is to overcome your chronic illness and thereafter live as healthily as you reasonably can. This is our long term game-plan for disease prevention and anti-aging. A person who exercise vigorously and eats healthy food, and drinks adequate water will not normally need lymphatic drainage. That is the goal: to become drug free and natural therapy free and a healthy lifestyle is key in this. Living a natural and healthy lifestyle that of necessity must reject the bad diet and sedentary ways of modern man is the best long term solution for disease prevention and anti-aging. Lymphatic drainage is simply one of several stepping stones to regaining wellness so that lifestyle changes can then kick in and keep one well.


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