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Lymphology

Written by Amy Hall
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The Study of Lymphology

Lymphology is nothing more than the study of the lymphatic system, which includes the organs of the lymphatic system and the diseases and conditions of the lymphatic system, including lymphedema. This system is much like the circulatory system, in that it pumps fluid throughout the body that eventually reaches the heart. However, the lymphatic system contains four to six times more vessels than the circulatory system.

Even though the lymphatic system contains more vessels, it only produces 1.2 - 2.0 ml (less than 1 teaspoon) of fluid! Your circulatory system processes 3.5 - 5.0 liters per minute! We can speed up the lymph flow however through techniques, such as Manual Lymph Drainage and Complete Decongestive Therapy.

What Does the Lymphatic System Do?

The lymphatic system picks up viruses, bacteria, carbon, fats, cellular debris, dyes and many particles that are too big for our venous system to absorb. This fluid/particle mixture is then delivered to the lymph nodes, where they are cleansed and returned to the lymph vessels. These lymph vessels contain "one-way" valves that keep the fluid moving forward.

The lymph is then delivered to more lymph nodes, where it is cleansed further before it is passed onto bigger lymph vessels and finally dumped back in the heart. The study of lymphology helps us to understand how to best keep our lymphatic system in working order, and how to treat conditions, such as lymphedema, when they do occur. Researchers work every day to find new treatments and advances in the treatment of primary and secondary lymphedema.


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