The lymph system collects and cleans up cellular garbage, which is then returned to circulation as plasma. Lymph fluid movement requires exercise, deep breathing, body movement, and properly functioning organ activity. If movement is disrupted, excessive lymph accumulates in the lymph system and causes swelling. Lymphatic Massage/Drainage opens lymphatic ducts aids in reducing generalized swelling.
Book Excerpt ©
There are three types of swelling. Diffuse swelling occurs with interstitial edema, localized swelling takes place around a lymph node from chronic infection, and there is swelling from myofascial entrapment of lymph and blood vessels.
… Idiopathic edema, a form of fluid retention found in FM, occurs more frequently in women. Interstitial edema is caused by abnormal biochemicals that cause fluid to be retained in the spaces between tissues. These spaces, called interstitial spaces, are part of the ground substance in the myofascia. … You haveto figure out why the edema is building up in the interstitial spaces, and remedy that perpetuating factor. “Treating the cause is the best way to treat the effect.”
The second type of swelling is that caused by obstructed lymph flow. Swelling that occurs around a lymph node is the result of accumulated dead cellular matter and bacteria in the node as a response to chronic infection. Lymph nodes act like filters. The filter—the lymph node—can get stopped up from excessive accumulation of unwanted organisms, like a shower drain clogs with hair. When this happens, the lymph fluid backs up in the lymph vessels causing localized swelling. People with FM, CFID, and CMP can have this kind of swelling; however, it is more commonly seen in CFID patients.
… The third kind of swelling is that seen in CMP patients. This is swelling caused by blood or lymph vessel entrapment by taut bands of muscle fiber, as discussed in chapter 1. Trigger points (TrPs) that occur near lymph nodes may be mistaken for swollen nodes when they are actually TrPs. Lymph fluid, unlike blood, which is moved along by specific vessel mechanics, requires modalities such as exercise, deep breathing, body movement, and properly functioning organ activity to keep it moving. When any of these are disrupted, excessive lymph accumulates in the lymph system and
causes swelling. [In this case, the trigger points must be treated to release the flow of lymph].
I hope you have found this helpful in understanding swelling/edema.
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All answers and blogs are based on the author's opinions and writing and are not meant to replace medical advice.
Celeste Cooper is a retired RN, educator, fibromyalgia patient, and lead author of the Broken Body Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See Saw of Chronic Pain devotional series (coauthor, Jeff Miller PhD), and Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Myofascial Pain: The Mind-Body Connection (coauthor, Jeff Miller PhD) She is a fibromyalgia expert for Dr. Oz, et al., at Sharecare.com, here, and she advocates for all chronic pain patients as a participant in the Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy, here. You can read more educational information and about her books on her website, http://TheseThree.com