Kyle Grimshaw-Jones ND, RT

1. The lymphatic system is a one-way system of valved vessels and nodes, which returns most fluid waste from the cells and tissues of your body back to the blood stream.
2. Its flow runs from the periphery of the body back to near the collar bones, where it rejoins the blood stream into the subclavian vein.
3. Blood components and fluid leave the capillary and enter the interstitium (fluid between the cells). This fluid is absorbed into the opening lumen of the lymphatic vessels, and is then dubbed lymph.
4. At any given time there is 4 to 5 times more lymph in the body than there is blood.
5. If the lymphatic system stopped functioning, your blood volume would keep dropping, your tissues would swell, and you would eventually die.
6. The lymphatic system has been discovered in recent years to play a very important role in transport of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), making its function a very important consideration in hydrocephalus.
7. Failure of the lymphatic drainage from localized areas of tissue results in a decrease in the availability of oxygen to the cells, and an increase in cellular waste/toxins.
8. The lymph nodes act as toxin-processing sites. White blood cells act upon these toxins with enzymes and oxygen, breaking them down before they re-enter the bloodstream. These are the glands that a doctor feels up under your chin, for example, during some infections. Tonsils are lymph nodes. There are over 600 lymph nodes inside your torso.
9. Being a fluid, the lymph is moved through the lymphatic vessels by pressure changes.
10. These pressure changes can be achieved in several ways. In normal conditions of physiological function they are achieved by:
* The breathing mechanism
* Skeletal muscle contraction and relaxation - exercise
* Peristaltic contraction and relaxation of smooth muscle which surrounds the lymphatic vessels
11. More specialized therapeutically oriented ways of achieving these pressure changes include:
* Breathing exercises
* Water immersion/water massage/hydrotherapy applications
* Massage or stroking oriented in the direction of the lymph flow
* Dr Vodder's Manual Lymphatic Drainage (registered)
(contact Nadene Allan RMT €“ 0407 793 837)
* Alternating manual pressure and/or suction
* Ian Pettit's RH48 Harmonic Lymphaciser (specialized smooth-bounce mini-trampoline)
* Inverted postures €“ yoga and others
12. The nerve supply from the spine through the autonomic nervous system to the smooth muscle which surrounds the lymphatic vessels must be considered for adequate function. Drainage of venous blood and lymph from the legs is dependant on the nerve supply from the fourth lumbar vertebrae, for example. Drainage of venous blood and lymph from the arms is dependant on the nerve supply from the first thoracic vertebrae, for example. Misalignment, and sometimes the associated crystallization, must therefore be considered carefully.
13. Partially-undigested food particles can be absorbed into the bloodstream from the digestive tract. These include undigested carbohydrate, protein, and fat.
14. Prof. Dr Sir John Whitman Ray (deceased 2001) stated that these undigested particles of carbohydrate and protein can diffuse from the capillaries into the fluid between the cells where they then react with eachother. He said that these then formed particles of mucoprotein which blocked the entry portal to the lymphatic vessels (much like a football on the end of your vacuum cleaner). They were then too big to re-enter the capillary or to be used by the cells for food.
15. He requested Dr Edward Howell (deceased author of Enzyme Nutrition and founder of the National Enzyme Company) to make a specific formulation for the purpose of digesting out this mucoprotein from the intercellular spaces. It is called Lymphatic Enzymes and is still available from Enzymes International +1 715 543 8401, Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin, USA. (The idea was that these enzymes would break down footballs into small enough pieces that they could then fit into the sucker on the vacuum cleaner and be removed.)
16. Dr Ray stressed that body areas with tendencies to numbness, spasticity, or paralysis of varying degrees would not regenerate if they were congested with mucoprotein.
17. This lymphatic congestion is indicated in iridology by the lymphatic rosary in the Jensen system, or the tophi and trabeculae in the Angerer system.
18. It is therefore necessary to ensure that the food a person eats is properly digested. In Ayurvedic medicine ama is blamed as the cause of all chronic disease and is made from undigested food. I believe this ama is the same undigested food particles which block the lymphatic vessel entry portals.
19. For this reason, vegetable and fungal-derived enzymes and friendly bacteria can be used to enhance digestion. These relieve the workload of the pancreas, and free up the reserve enzymes of the body from being used on undigested food material. Supplementary enzymes for digestion are best derived from vegetables, as these activate twice, first in the upper fundic portion of the stomach (working on the initial liquification of the food mass, rendering it hydrophilic (able to mix with water)), and then again in the small intestine. Good sources of these enzymes are:
* Genuine N-Zymes, from the Genuine Enzyme Company, Noosaville, Qld, Australia, 07 5474 2909
* Lifestyle Enzymes Pty Ltd, 07 5474 2909, Executive Digestive, Dairy Digestive, (Practitioner Only)
* Super Food Enzymes (from Enzymes International +1 715 543 8401, Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin, USA)
19. Food sources of enzymes include:
* Kiwifruit €“ contains actinidin (about 6-10 per day)
* Pineapple €“ contains bromelain (same volume as kiwi)
* Mature Green (with just a tinge of yellow) Papaya or Pawpaw €“ contains papain. See John Ray Article 12 points on Mature Green Papaya. This is best made into a smoothie with other fruits so it tastes good. The skin, flesh, and seeds can be included. If the skin is to be used, it should be grown without the use of any external agricultural chemicals.
20. Enzymes used to decongest the lymphatic system should be taken between meals. These same enzymes can be used to:
* Make up for long-standing enzyme deficiencies
* Substitute for non-gut functions of pancreas chymotrypsin secretion
* Accelerate the completion of inflammatory processes
* Regulate cell growth (e.g. in trophoblastic tissue)
* Enhance lymphatic function
* Digest out many years of undigested food particles (starch-protein conjugates) from the spaces between the cells.
21. Sources of these enzymes include:
* Protease & Lymphatic Enzymes from Enzymes International (contact details above)
* Lifestyle Enzymes Inflamase €“ practitioner only (Ph: 07 5474 2909)
* The kiwifruit, pineapple, and mature green papaya/pawpaw mentioned above. The mature green papaya smoothie must only contain fruit to be effective for this purpose. If any protein-containing foods are mixed with it, the enzyme will be used up in digesting this, and will not be available to clean out in between your cells. This distinction may be largely academic, as the same amount of nutrition, protein, and papain enzyme overall is entering your system anyway. (see caution below)
22. There is an international standard for measuring enzyme strength in enzyme activity units. Measurements in milligrams (mg) do not allow a proper comparison of the enzyme strength of one product over another, so you may wish to request product data from the manufacturing company to be expressed in international standard enzyme activity units.
Bromelains and fungal proteases have a low rate of adverse effects. If a person is sensitive to pineapple, they may be allergic to ingesting Bromelain. Caution is therefore suggested. High dose proteases will thin the blood, predisposing to excess bleeding problems, if the tendency exists. People who are taking blood thinning agents may need to cooperate with their doctor to reduce the dosage appropriately. Those with gastric or duodenal ulcers or severe gastritis should also exercise caution, and should probably ensure they always consume food with protease enzymes, and be supervised by a practitioner. If a person suffers irritation or burning sensations (in the stomach) then they should stop taking their enzymes and contact their healthcare practitioner. Long-term protease supplementation may increase the body's need for calcium.
24. It is critical to understand, that you can't force something through a hole that it is too big to fit through. No matter what technique is used, unless long-standing enzyme deficiencies are resolved, the lymphatic system will not drain in areas where the entry portals to the lymphatics are blocked by particles of undigested food.