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52 m a s s a g e & b o d y wo r k s e p te m b e r/o c to b e r 2 0 2 2 Fascia is a connective tissue that is everywhere in the body. Its import has really only been proven by the research community over the last 15 years, but each new study brings us closer to unraveling all the wonders fascia holds. One new question for us to ponder is the impact fascial manipulation may have on another powerfully subtle body network—the lymphatic system. THE LYMPH AND CIRCULATORY SYSTEMS The body-wide network known as the lymphatic system is responsible for removing metabolic waste and other unwanted substances from the body. It is vital to proper immune function. As a complementary system to the circulatory system, the lymphatic system is just as pervasive, with lymphatics found everywhere there are blood vessels. In fact, it helps to think of the lymphatic system as a parallel to the circulatory system, but with a more custodial immune function. The lymphatic system is comprised of bone marrow, the thymus gland, the spleen, lymphatic vessels, and lymph nodes. The lymphatic vessels can best be understood as "lymph capillaries," and like a hospital resident following a senior doctor, the lymphatic vessels can be said to "shadow" the circulatory capillaries. To take this analogy further, we can THE LYMPHATIC SYSTEM AND FASCIA CAN FASCIA MANIPULATION IMPROVE LYMPHATIC FUNCTION? By David Lesondak KEY POINTS • When lymph nodes increase in size due to inflammatory diseases, the fascia hardens around those areas, thereby inhibiting movement. • Lymph relies on muscular contractions to circulate throughout the body, leading one to hypothesize that chronic conditions leading to stiffness and less movement will thereby greatly slow down and inhibit the circulation of lymph in the body.

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