What is Assisted Lymphatic Therapy (ALT) and How Can It Improve Your Health?
Our bodies have 50% more lymph than blood and tends to be the most underrated and misunderstood part of our circulatory system. However, the importance of the lymphatic system is becoming more apparent as it plays a critical role in supporting our immune system and fighting pathogens. Many health challenges can be caused or exacerbated by a compromised lymphatic system.
The lymph system is responsible for removing waste, as well as delivering nutrients throughout our body. This is accomplished with a network of lymph nodes and collection vessels that act as a filtration and purification system. Unlike the blood circulatory system, the lymphatic system does not have a pump. Without assistance, Lymph is only moved with exercise (muscles moving), it’s own fluid pressure and also by nerve pulsations.
Lymphatic flow can be compromised by toxins, scar tissue from surgery or injuries, tight fitting garments, stress and even aging. Those who exercise less, who have more sedentary occupations and who may be exposed to more chemicals may also have a more congested lymphatic system.
ELT is quite different than manual lymph drainage, which can also be effective. However, ALT is a full body therapy that can stimulate the lymph at a greater depth and will enhance lymph flow with far less time.
Using a combination of vibration, light, and electrical waves to stimulate lymphatic flow, ALT helps to dislodge trapped proteins (not to be confused with nutrient proteins) to release their bond. The congested lymph is liberated and will flow out into its normal filtration and reabsorption channels.
Why Does the Lymph Stagnate and What Can Result?
The lymphatic flow can stagnate for many reasons, such as toxins, swelling, chronic inflammation, lack of physical activity, stress, fatigue, emotional shock, age, and poorly fitted under garments. When lymphatic circulation slows down, the regeneration of cells becomes less effective. This condition allows toxins and proteins to accumulate around the cells, causing cellular oxygenation to decrease and tissue regeneration to diminish.
Congested lymph minimizes the effectiveness of the lymphocytes, whose main purpose is to clean up cellular waste and assist in removing it. It also can cause swelling in one or more areas of the body and studies show that 80% of individuals with stubborn weight loss have congested lymph.
How ALT Stimulates Lymph
Assisted lymphatic practitioners can facilitate nature by stimulating the natural peristaltic contractions of the layers of muscles located along the lymphatic pathways. Stagnating fluids, toxins and wastes will be drained through the natural flow of lymph. During this passage the body will generate production of more lymphocytes to reinforce immune response and increase energy resources. Advanced practitioners of Assisted lymphatic therapy are trained to interact with the fluids at different levels, from the superficial circulation to the deep lymphatic pathways.
For those who experience lymphodema, ALT provides lymphatic mapping and rerouting techniques to achieve maximum drainage.
When used in athletics, pre and post application of ALT can decrease muscle/tendon strain and healing time for injuries.
Some important contributing factors for congested lymph:
Exposure to heavy metals, pesticides and herbicides
Possible indications of stagnant or congested lymph:
Fatigue or Loss of Energy
Fibrocystic or Tender Breasts
Colds or Flu
Stubborn Weight Gain
If you suspect you may have sluggish or congested lymph, in addition to ALT there are several things that are beneficial:
o Deep Breathing: We teach specific deep breathing exercises to maximize the “pumping action” to help move lymph.
o Dry Brushing: This is a popular therapy to improve circulation. This is done prior to bathing and these specific brushes can be found in most health food stores or online.
o Movement: Walking and other exercises can also assist in the movement of lymph. Rebounding (mini-trampoline) is especially helpful.