Thursday, January 14, 2010

Clothing IV - Lymphatic system

Today we had first lymphatic dranage massage class.
The lymphatic system - a specialized component of the circulatory system - is even more vulnerable to the deleterious effects of constrictive clothes. The lymphatic system contains the following components:
Lymph fluid is clear fluid residing in the spaces between the body cells. It contains cell nutrients as well as waste products of cell metabolism.
Lymphatics are small, blindly ending vessels found in many body tissues. The debrisladen lymph collects in these thin-walled vessels, which are lined with many little valves that keep the lymph flowing toward heart for disposal.
Lymph nodes consist of small clusters of specialized cells that filter out some of the lymph debris such as bacteria, toxins and cancer cells. Lymph nodes are also the manufacturing sites for antibodies - potent weapons against invading germs.
Unlike the circulatory system, the lymph is not pumped by the heart. The thin-walled lymphatic vessels are extremely sensitive to pressure. The lymph is propelled along by rhythmical compression such as contraction and relaxation of the muscles during exercise or massage, diaphragmatic movements from deep breathing or singing, and pulse pressure from arteries lying near lymphatic vessels.
If the lymphatics are functioning properly, the body tissues serviced by the lymphatic system will be cleansed from toxins and other undesirable compunds. On the other hand, if the lymphatic function is compromised by a relatively constant pressure on the thin, easily collapsible vessel walls, the lymph will accumulate in the body tissues leading to congestion and swelling of the involved body part. If fat-soluble toxins and other potentially cancer-causing compounds are present in the lymph, this will result in tissues with a relatively higher toxin exposure than those tissues with freely draining lymph.
Environmental toxins, along with other risk factors such as: genetic predisposition, stress, poor diet, lack of exercise, drugs, alcohol, caffeine and tobacco all play a role in the host of degenerative diseases that plague mankind today - including cancer. If anything were to constrict the flow of lymph from the breast, there would be poor drainage of the breast tissue. When it comes to lymph vessels, it doesent take much force to affect flow. Slight pressure, such as a soft tissue compression, can influence the flow within the vessels.
Many women assume that in order to look well dressed they need to wear an appearance-enhancing unhealthful bra. This is because they have chosen a fashion that emphasizes the breasts.

Restrictive Clothing III

Tight-fitting clothing acts like a shell, forcing the soft body tissues to conform to certain shapes and dimensions. However, a human being is not a snail. When we wear restrictive clothing, we change more than our appearance. We also change the way our body functions, resulting in many health problems. Tight shirt collars and ties potentially interfere with the blood flow to the brain. Knee-high hose and elastic topped socks encourage the development of the varicose veins. Tight pants contribute to stomach cramps, chest pain and heart burn. Tight bands are implicated in male infertility, as sperm needs to be kept below body temperature to stay fully functional. Nylon panties are associated with yeast infections in women. Snug, narrow, bra straps cause neck, shoulder and arm pain in women. Tight shoes - especially narrow toes and high heels - can cause back and hip problems, poor circulation, corns, bunions and hammertoes as well as increasing the hazard of tripping and falling. Corsets, popular from the seventeenth century until the early twentieth century, simply do to the female body what tight shoes do to the feet.

Chronically constrictive clothing handicaps the circulatory system. The body's bloodstream highway must be kept unobstructed. For peak performance, all body cells require a freely flowing bloodstream to deliver oxygen, nutrients and other compounds vital to cell health. Equally important to the cell's vitality is the efficient removal of waste products of cell metabolism, toxins, invading germs, and other unwanted materials which must be transported to the body's circulating waste disposal system comprising the liver, kidneys, lungs, and skin.