Your body is a power-washer when it comes to keeping your interior house clean. Systems are in place within your immune system to filter out foreign particles, including cancer cells. You want this system to be operating optimally, don’t you? Just like you need to keep your duster handy to remove particles from your home, you need your lymphatic system healthy in order to keep that interior house clean.
Your Lymphatic System
Lymph nodes are oval shaped structures distributed throughout the body, as part of the lymphatic system. The body has more than 600 lymph nodes and they are primarily responsible for clearing the body of foreign particles and thus supporting the immune system. With certain illnesses and conditions, the lymph nodes can become affected. Swollen lymph nodes can occur in illnesses as minor as a throat infection or as severe as cancer and the swelling happens as the lymph node produces more white blood cells to fight the invaders. Doctors use the condition of the lymph nodes to determine the progression of breast cancer, a process called “staging,” which helps in identifying a course of treatment. Breast cancer can spread to many parts of the body, but often spreads first to the axillary (underarm) lymph nodes.
The lymphatic system is also comprised of a network of vessels that drain tissue fluid into the lymph nodes. Supporting the lymphatic system is two fold: enabling the lymph nodes to optimally filter those foreign cells out and helping the fluid of the lymphatic system to drain adequately.
Your Lymphatic System and Your Breast Health
We encourage patients to go bra-free as much as possible (such as not wearing a bra to bed at night). Many bras restrict the flow of the lymphatic system, compromising optimal functioning. We also encourage lymphatic breast massage to best support this important system. Breast massage is a great way to not only support the fluid flow, but relieve stress and heighten your body awareness. Click here to link to our post on breast massage and for a more vigorous option, we recommend this system for lymphatic breast massage.
Computer regulated thermography enables you to take a snapshot of the present functioning of your lymphatic system. With a system as important as this one, it can be very helpful to know how well it is working, and to work with our team to come up with strategies to best enable it to function.
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