We have two complete circulatory systems in our body: One circulates
blood and the other circulates the fluid that we refer to as lymph or
lymphatic fluid. Blood is usually contained in blood vessels (arteries,
capillaries, veins, etc. while the lymphatic fluids start their journey
as a free-flowing liquid that surrounds the outer cellular membranes of
body tissue cells. The lymph eventually reaches its own special vessels
that lead to our lymph glands or lymph "nodes". Blood brings nutrients
(minerals, glucose, oxygen, etc.) to the individual cells and carries
away some waste products. Many metabolic waste products that result from each body
cell carrying out its duties exit through that cell's
membrane. Excreted waste products are cleaned up by the lymphatic fluids that surround the
Lymph glands act as filters to pull out waste products and toxins, and
process them out of the body. Our bodies were designed to do this quite
well, but we have done some modifications to the original "blueprint"
from which the original human was constructed. Much of our clothing that
we wear places restrictions upon the lymphatic system.
The lymph fluid moves about our body just under the surface of our skin.
Picture a liquid flowing between two layers of plastic kitchen wrap. Think
about what it would take to prevent the liquid from flowing between the
plastic layers. Dropping a dime on the sheets would cause a redirection
of that flow. Our lymphatic flow is almost as delicate. While our skin
is much thicker than the plastic wrap, the idea is similar. Our blood
has the advantage of a heart to serve as a force behind its movement.
Lymphatic fluid has no such pump. It must rely on the movement of our
body parts and our muscles to make the fluid flow to the lymph glands.
When we put
pressure on our skin, we alter (or sometimes prevent) the flow of the
lymphatic fluid. Place a rubber band around your arm, just below the
elbow, that only depresses the skin less than the thickness of the
rubber band. Take it off thirty minutes later and you will see a red
welt that is depressed into your skin. You can bet that the lymphatic
flow is impeded beyond that point. Check that depression again thirty minutes… sixty
minutes later and it will still be noticeable. How long will that lymphatic
flow be compromised? Have you ever seen red welts like this one on your
breasts, chest wall or back when you removed a bra? How about on your
body, after you remove other tight clothing, such as a belt, shoe laces,
tight waistband, stockings, etc. It is believed that this restricts the removal of
toxins that may in fact cause complications, possibly even breast cancer.