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Article: What Is The Lymphatic System?


What Is The Lymphatic System?

lymphatic system legology

How are your waterworks?  Bit personal I hear you say.  Maybe.  But the question isn’t necessarily about what you think.  Waterworks, for me and Legology, refers to one of the most significant of our body functions: the work done by our lymphatic network.  Have you read up on the lymph yet?  I ask because until recently, it took a back seat to the circulation in beauty and wellbeing circles.  Without blood flowing through our veins we would not be standing, granted.  But what few people realise is that without lymph flow we would also be in trouble.  These two systems, the one carrying nutrient-rich blood around the body, the other removing the waste that the body doesn’t need, are integral to our survival. 

So what’s the lymph all about? 

In the simplest terms, lymph is your body’s natural waste disposal unit – hence, waterworks.  It runs all around your body in a network of vessels, just underneath the skin, removing viruses, bacteria and any other toxic matter your body doesn’t need.  It’s a semi-opaque milky fluid, coursing along, carrying the waste with it, to hundreds of lymph nodes sited in places like your armpits, groin, neck, chest and behind knees where the waste is metabolised or filtered really to be expelled from your body. 

Genius really.  It’s intricate and complex.  But the lymph has an Achilles heel, and that is that unlike the circulation it doesn’t have a heart to pump it around your body.  Which means it only moves when you move.  Bit of a design fault that, especially when you think how important a healthy lymph is to our survival.  It tells us a lot too about why our systems get congested and sluggish, both of which affect our shape. 

When the lymph slows down, because we’re not moving enough, what happens is that the waste that would be carried away builds up.  It collects in tissues and around fat cells, and that can make us feel puffy.   

lymphatic system

Wonder why your tummy sometimes feels a bit bloated?  Or your legs feel heavy?  Knees and ankles puffy?  Cellulite?  Yes, a sluggish lymph is behind all of these unsexy issues suffered by most women from time to time.  Of course, hormones and diet have an impact on this.  But lymph, and the congestion caused by a build up of waste, has a big role to play. 

With cellulite in particular, lymph holds the key.  When waste builds up around fat cells it pushes them out of alignment – squashes them together – and that’s what creates the uneven bumpiness on the surface of your skin.  So it’s not actually fat as much as the environment around the fat cells.  And that’s why we always say cellulite is about flow not fat. 


Obvious answer is to move more – that’s the first step.  But there are other ways to keep the lymph healthy.  Make these part of your daily life: 

  1. Drink water – as important as moving, still mineral water is one of the best waters to support the lymph in flushing out toxins.  What it does is to dilute waste, which facilitates its movement through the lymph network.  Water makes up 95% of our lymph fluid and less hydrated you are the less ‘fluid like’ it becomes.  Keep drinking the water! 
  2. Body brush – it goes without saying that your day should start with body brushing.  Dry skin, damp or wet, you should be brushing with natural bristles, up from your feet to your knees, over thighs, and from wrists to shoulders.  This action pushes lymph along and should take no more than a minute and few flicks of the brush to do everyday. 
  3. Massage – another way to push lymph along.  Massaging cream or oil into your skin activates the lymph.  The Lymphology® complexes in all of Legology’s products will enhance lymphatic drainage massage because they contain ingredients to promote deep drainage.  Double support! 
  4. Eat protein – quite simply, meat, fish and cheese, all proteins, help flush water from your system.  Carbohydrates, on the other, hand ask your body to retain it.  A balanced diet is vital, but given the choice between steak or pasta you now know which call to make.   

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