Updated: Jan 5, 2022
The lymph system provides an infrastructure, a superhighway, for our bodies to collect debris in a fluid called interstitial fluid and dispose of it. The debris collected could be viruses, bacteria, old cells, anything that our bodies do not need.
Every moment of every day our bodies are collecting and disposing of this debris.
The lymph system forms a network within our bodies, the tiny tunnels connecting with ducts, glands and nodes along the way. The lymph nodes act as tiny identification and reprocessing plants. It’s in the lymph nodes that toxic unwanted elements or errant cells are dealt with. Our lymph nodes vary in size and density throughout the body and the largest of them is located in the centre of our body and is so large that its is called a duct, the thoracic duct. The lymph fluid collects in the thoracic duct and is then passed through the venous circulation system to be flushed out of the body via the spleen, kidneys, liver and bladder.
The thoracic duct runs alongside the diaphragm muscle and the action of breathing massages the thoracic duct. This massaging action keeps the lymph fluids moving along their path of purification which is essential for our health and well-being. There is no specific muscle that moves the lymph fluid around our bodies, unlike blood which is moved by the action of the heart pumping. So movement and breath play key roles in detoxifying, purifying and cleansing the body. Our muscles, as well as the action of gravity are vital. A regular yoga asana (postures) and pranayama (breathing) practice is an ideal way for us to move our bodies and use our breath and our muscles to aid this detoxification and health boosting process.
Working with a regular yoga practice can increase general well-being, strengthen the immune system and help to unlock yoga’s potential healing powers.