Understanding (or the Misunderstanding) of the Lymphatic System

Understanding (or the Misunderstanding) of the Lymphatic System

There is still some conflicting Information about the lymphatic system, and some unknowns as well.  We are still LEARNING more about the lymphatic system every year as science and research continues to advance.  For example, we still do not know why 75% of lymph is drained through the left side of the body to the cardiovascular system and 25% of lymph is drained through the right, as depicted in this infographic (pictured right).  There are many theories why there is such uneven distribution of lymph collection and redistribution to the cardiovascular system, but none of these theories have been scientifically proven to be factually correct.

New research studies are providing new information and updates about the lymphatic system every year.  In past MLD classes prior to 2015, it was regularly taught that there is no lymphatic tissue or intervention within the cranium or central nervous system.  We now know that theory was wrong. [i]   

One research study reported prior to 2015, that “The brain...has been thought to lack lymphatic vessels, as they’ve never been found….These vessels may have gone undiscovered until now due to their hidden location. The method the team used to prepare the meninges kept these layers intact. The researchers found similar structures in autopsy specimens of human meninges. Organization of the vessels in the human central nervous system will now need to be determined.” [ii]

Lymphatic vessels in the brains of mice were only recently discovered through use of new high-powered microscopes. Prior to 2015, we thought that the lymphatic system and central nervous system were two completely separate systems without intervention.

The cranial lymphatics (aka glymphatics) is a perfect example of a major discovery that was only made a few years ago.

Despite not having a total understanding of the lymphatic system, we have learned enough to know how to manipulate it to reduce swelling, with services such as manual lymphatic drainage.

To learn more about manual lymphatic drainage or the lymphatic system, please register for quality, affordable, professional training at: https://ceinstitute.com/

[i] Louveau A;Smirnov I;Keyes TJ;Eccles JD;Rouhani SJ;Peske JD;Derecki NC;Castle D;Mandell JW;Lee KS;Harris TH;Kipnis J; “Structural and Functional Features of Central Nervous System Lymphatic Vessels.” Nature, 16 July 2015, U.S. National Library of Medicine, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26030524/.

[ii] “Lymphatic Vessels Discovered in Central Nervous System.” National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 14 Dec. 2021, https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/lymphatic-vessels-discovered-central-nervous-system.



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