Lymphatic drainage is vitally important to making sure metabolic processes run cleanly and efficiently. Your body's lymph system is, amongst other things, a kind of metabolic rubbish dump. It helps the body rid itself of dead cells, toxins, metabolic wastes, pathogenic bacteria, foreign substances and other assorted junk the cells cast off.
Unlike the circulatory system, in which the circulation of blood is controlled by the pumping of the heart, the lymphatic system has no such pump. The plasma which has seeped through capillary walls gathers in the tissues and then slowly enters the lymphatic channels. These are tiny vessels with one-way valves in them for carrying lymph, along with whatever small bits of foreign matter, wastes and bacteria it has gathered, through the lymph nodes and eventually back into the bloodstream.
The normal contractions and relaxation of your muscles and the force of gravity on the body keep the lymph flowing. They act to pump the lymph back through its channels and eliminate these wastes. Regular vigorous exercise encourages this elimination. It brings about a general flushing of the wastes from interstitial fluid and then helps them be carried away through the lymphatic tree of vessels until eventually they empty into the subclavian veins and are eliminated from the body through the actions of all the excretory organs - the skin, lungs, kidneys and colon.
In Europe some of the finest natural treatments for healing involve a kind of massage dubbed `lymphatic drainage' which helps the body do this. It is not only used to treat serious chronic illness and fatigue but even as a beauty treatment for women on the face. Skin-brushing stimulates the tissues beneath the skin, encouraging efficient lymphatic drainage. It is an extraordinarily efficient technique for cleansing the lymphatic system and for clearing away waste materials from the cells all over the body as well as those which, as in the case of cellulite in women, have become trapped in interstitial spaces where they are held by hardened connective tissue and where they build up to create pockets of water, toxins and fat that make the skin look like peau d'orange. Skin-brushing is something any woman with cellulite should do twice a day.