Lymphatic Flow and Why it’s important
Lymphatic Flow and Why it’s important.
Lymphatic flow or lymph circulation, is needed to reduce swelling and remove fluid from your system. You can improve lymph flow through exercise & hydration, & warm water footbaths, eating the white pith from citrus fruits, Lymphatic Drainage Massage and rest while using our Wilkoco Therapeutic BBL Pillow.
The Lymphatic System is a drainage network of fluid, organs and vessels that is responsible for the removal of cellular debris, large proteins, foreign bodies, pathogenic agents (bacteria, viruses, toxins etc.) and excess fluid from the extracellular spaces.
There are approximately 6 to 10 liters (10 to 17.5 pints) of lymph in the body, compared to 3.5 to 5 liters (6 to 9 pints) of blood. About 1.5 to 2 liters (2.5 to 3.5 pints) of lymph per day circulate throughout the whole body.
Efficient activation of the lymphatic circulation system can increase this number from 10 to 30 liters (17.5 to 53 pints) per day!
Greater Lymph flow equates with faster removal of excess fluids and other harmful agents : faster reduction of swelling!
The Lymphatic system is not connected to the blood circulatory system, and relies on other methods such as muscular contraction from movement to pump lymph.
Lymph vessels can become clogged with protein deposits or the flow can stagnate or even stop for reasons such as fatigue, stress, infection or disease, emotional shock, physical trauma, lack of physical activity or dehydration.
How this relates to BBL & Lipo procedures:
There are between 400-1000 lymph nodes in the human body, more than half being located in the abdomen.
*the abdomen is where much trauma is experienced by BBL patients, in the form of liposuction. Physical trauma or injury is one of the main ways lymphatic fluid is thickened, slowed or stagnated. Thickened or slowed lymph flow can result in physical swelling and discomfort, and possibly lead to physical issues such as Lymphedema and Fibrosis.
Important methods of promoting lymphatic circulation to reduce swelling and reduce the risks of lymphedema and fibrosis are rest, external massage, muscular activity, vigorous exercise and hydration.
Additionally warm foot baths can stimulate lymph flow : In 1991 W.L. Olszewskil found “Lymph flow increased by 83% during 2hr ergometer cycling and by 117% during a 2hr warm water foot bath.” “There was an increase in lymph flow during the rest period…..and it was most pronounced after foot warming.”
Also new studies have found that Diosmin, an active ingredient (flavonoid) in the white pith of citrus fruits has been shown to effectively support lymphatic micro-circulation by increasing lymphatic contractions. (Ayurvedic medicine has traditionally used citrus pith to support circulatory function in the body.)
In a 1995 paper “A lymphatic function of Daflon 500 mg” by C Labrid found a chemical compound of 90% diosmin was injected into a subject, and lymphatic flow was measured. 10mins after administration of the compound, lymphatic flow was 191% higher than the control. (Daflon is now a prescribed drug for the treatment of varicose veins, piles & lymphedema. )
This information gives you several methods to improve your lymphatic system, helping to reduce swelling and minimize potential post-surgical complications after your BBL & Lipo procedures.
What to Do:
Move – get some gentle exercise early in your recovery – use your body to pump lymph around. As you get further into your recovery you can engage in more vigorous exercise.
Massage – Do Not Neglect your Dr. recommended Lymphatic Drainage Massages!
Warm foot bath – promote lymph flow while resting
Orange Pith – eat the white pith along with the fruit itself for the lymphatic circulation improvements.
Rest – de-stressing aids lymphatic movement, but of course you cant yet sit normally!
Wilkoco has developed a Therapeutic BBL Post-Surgical Support Pillow, that provides a gentle massage effect while you sit by creating zones of differential pressure on your skin surface – the Patent-Pending Pillow is specifically designed to improve localized lymphatic micro-circulation and to work hand-in-hand with your regular Lymphatic Drainage Massages.
No other pillow on the market is designed to address this need to stimulate lymphatic circulation. Don't risk your recovery with just a 'block of foam'!
Olszewski WL (1991). Lymph Stasis: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, and Treatment. Boca Raton: CRC Press. ISBN 978-0-8493-6499-0.