LYMPH Normalization Techniques

Lymph Normalization Techniques

           Hierarchy of Protection Mechanisms - LYMPH - stagnation

Andrew T. Still, DO, said the body will protect different tissues in a Hierarchy of Importance:

   1. Vascular, LYMPHATICS, and Fascia (in this order)*
   2. Nervous System
   3. Organs (Viscera)
   4. Endocrine System
   5. Musculo-skeletal System
      * Vascular, lymphatics and fascia are integrated, but begin with vascular.

Summary from Bruno Chikley, DO, Silent Waves
The lymphatic system is part of the circulatory system, running parallel to the venous blood
supply and supporting the return of fluids to the heart through an amazing and complex
network of capillaries and lymph vessels. The lymph system picks up the 10% fluid loss
of the vascular system, and recycles/returns it back to the heart.

Important functions of the Lymph System:
1. It helps regulate the fluid balance in the body. It is a slow (5-8 contractions/minute for
     humans), low velocity and sensitive lower pressure fluid system.
2. It facilitates the movement of immune cells from the periphery to the lymph nodes.
3. It absorbs cell waste products, such as lipoproteins and fat. Approximately 90% of the
    fluid that leaks from the blood circulation gets absorbed by the lymphatics and circulated
    back in the blood supply.

The lymph vessel network starts in the periphery of the body with unique litle, "feather like"
lymphatic capillaries. The capillaries are highly permeable and will absorb interstitial fluids
with each contraction wherever they are located whether superficially under the dermis (skin)
or deep in the fascia of muscles, tendons, viscera, periosteum, and even the dura matter in
the brain. Thus we find lymph capillaries under the skin creating the superficial lymph system.
This superficial lymph network drains into larger lymph vessels, lymph nodes and then into
trunks joining the deep circulation, eventually flowing back into the venous vascular system
near the heart.

Lymphatic vessels have been found within the dural membranes of the Central Nervous System
called the Glymphatic System within the past 10 years. Not only is the brain and spinal cord
constantly cleansed by the rapid creation and absorption of the cerebro-spinal fluid, the glymphatic
system flushes the brain at night. We know the CSF is in direct communication with the lympathic
system of the entire body. It is not very different than the nature of water "There is no drop of
water in the ocean, not even in the deepest parts of the abyss, that does not know and respond
to the mysterious forces that create the tide."
Rachael Carson, "The Sea Around Us"

All but the smallest lymph vessels have a uniquely engineered valve system that allows the
lymph to flow in only one direction. Each lymphatic vessel segment between valves is called a
lymphangion. Lymphangions operate independently depending upon the amount of fluid present.
Supported by the negative pressure in the lungs and in the heart, arterial contractions, the muscle
pump action of exercise and the impact of ground force, approximately 1-3 liters of lymph per
day flow back to the heart in a human. Dogs, depending on their size, probably produce 0.5 to
1.5 liters of lymph per day.

  Functions of the Lymph Nodes:
   1. Filter and purify the lymph
   2. Move lymph to the heart via rhytmic contractions
   3. Concentrate the lymph
   4. Return some fluid components to the venous system.
   5. Protein recycle system
   6. Houses macrophages and phagocytes to defend the body from
                                                       invading microorganisms
   7. Produce and enable the maturation of T and B cells

  • 75% of the body's superficial and deep lymph circulation (left side of head, left arm, left lung/heart, and everything under the diaphragm and both legs) terminates into the left subclavian vein through the left THORACIC DUCT.
  • 25% of the body's superficial and deep lymph circulation (right side of head, right arm, right lung/heart, and part
    of the superficial liver drainage) will flow through the right TERMINAL DUCT in the right subclavian vein.

    INSULTS to vascular and lymphatic vessels, lymph nodes
    and nerves include:
  • Trauma: A chronic or sudden traction/shear or
    of the vessels or nodes
  • Emotional or mental trauma
  • Chemical, radiation or thermal irritants (toxicity)
  • Electricity or EMF's

    In osteopathy, one core principal of the musculo-skeletal
    system (hierarchy) is that muscles are "movers" or muscles are "protectors". The area of the
    body with a loss of fascial glide in the lymph vessels or nodes will have increased tone in the
    affected area's muscles and surrounding soft tissues. So, dysfunction of the lymphatic system
    will lead to restrictions in the musculo-skeletal system as the muscles "protect" around the
    lymphatic dysfunction!

    Disturbances in the lymphatic compartment cause loss of lymph transport capability and leads
    to lymph stagnation and perhaps even local/global inflammation. Another point to keep in mind
    is that enlarged and dysfunctional nodes are often at a distance from the cause of the problem,
    such as an infected toe causing swelling of the popliteal lymph node at the stifle.

    Lymphatic Normalization Techniques (LyNT)
    Important principles of working with the lymphatics are:
  • Understanding the applied anatomy of the lymphatics
  • Diagnosis is through using a methods of palpation of strategic lymphatic structures
         (such as the spleen and thoracic duct) and lymph nodes in the body to determine which nodes,
         organs and tissues (e.g., musculoskeletal) are dysfunctional. These lymphatic structures and
         lymph nodes may feel warm and painful to the touch or feel swollen or spongy ("boggy") and
         there may be a tightness in the fascia around the lymphatic structures and nodes as well. All
         of these can cause restrictions in the body mechanics of the animal, often in a predictable pattern.

    Diagnostic Dysfunctional Lymph Pattern in a dog, cat, or equine:
    The EXAM usually shows:
       1. Left FRONT shoulder tightness and diminished posterior glide
       2. Right FRONT shoulder tightness and diminished posterior glide (sometimes)
       3. SPLEEN tightness and diminished motility
       4. Left DIAPHRAGM tightness - left side-bend of the body
       5. Heat over SPLEEN (below the diaphragm)
       6. Left DORSAL rotation of the ILIUM
       7. Right DESCENDED sacrum
       8. Left HIP tightness and diminished glide/slide - LH lameness
       9. Left KNEE and ANKLE tightness (fullness of fluid in leg [lymphedema])
      10. General "bloating" and sluggish lymph motility of the body

    Method of RESTORING function
    The purpose of relieving the lymphatic stagnation is to help the body restore the pumping
    of the lymphangions and lymph nodes to aid in restoration of normal functions.
    This is accomplihed using energetic techniques that employ the spleen (considered the master
    strategic lymphatic structure). When energetically connected to an area with lymphatic dysfunction,
    the spleen, as "the lymph node of the blood", has the ability to open up the lymphatic restrictions
    by relaxing the spasms in the adventia layer of the affected lymphatic structures.

    The spleen helps open up the left thoracic duct (draining 75% of body lymph), and the right
    terminal duct (draining 25% of body lymph). Once these two areas are opened, they help restore
    function in the next dysfunctional lymphatic structures next in the lymphatic line of flow to the

    The facial glide improves and the restrictions resolve quickly (since fascia conducts with the
    speed of sound!) and the pump mechanism kicks in. Within seconds, the lymph flow increases
    and seems to improve to approximately 80% of normal in the next 3 - 5 days in most animals.
    The remaining 20% will improve over the next month or two, depending on how severe the
    stagnation was before treatment.

    ORGANS of Elimination
    By restoring lymphatic flow, the body will use the following organs of elimination to remove
       1. Skin - rashes, sores, itchy sites that last for a few days
       2. Lungs - capillary oxygen exchange will release toxins into the lungs to be exhaled
       3. Urine - Phase I liver detoxification moves water-based toxins to the kidneys for further
           filtering and toxin removal
       4. Stool - Phase II liver detoxification will remove lipid-based toxins

    Drinking enough water will help support the organs (skin and lungs) that also absorb toxins.

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