Have you ever seen those “mini trampolines” and wondered what all the fuss was about? Well, those little “trampolines” are called rebounders and they provide a great way for people of all ages to get healthy aerobic exercise.
One of the many benefits of rebounding (jumping or bouncing) is that the activity helps the body to cleanse its lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is the metabolic garbage can of the body. It rids the body of toxic byproducts of every-day living: environmental toxins, dead cells, cancer cells, nitrogenous wastes, trapped proteins, pathogenic bacteria, infectious viruses, heavy metals, and a varied assortment of other “junk.” Catabolism, or metabolic breakdown, is the process by which these toxic byproducts are created, and their removal is essential to good health.
The lymphatic drainage system is a complex part of the body’s cardiovascular circulatory system. After the circulatory system delivers nutrients and oxygen to the cells via blood, the products of catabolism – or the toxic waste described above – must be taken away through lymphatic ducts. This is easier said than done, however, because unlike the circulatory system, the lymphatic system doesn’t have it’s own pump (the heart.) There are only three ways to activate and speed up the flow of lymph away from the tissues and back into the main circulation. They are:
- Muscular contraction from exercise and movement.
- Gravitational pressure.
- Internal massage to the valves of the lymph ducts.
Rebounding supplies all three, but of these, exercise is the best stimulant!
When a person is inactive for a long time, lymph will not flow sufficiently well to flush away normal cellular waste products. Toxins will accumulate in the body and the person who has been inactive will begin to feel “bad.” (This is why an otherwise healthy person confined to bed with something as simple as a broken bone will find that they feel wretched after a while; the body’s own toxins begin to accumulate and poison the cells in his vital organs.)
Poor nutrition aside, the primary cause of fatigue, disease, cell degeneration, and premature aging is poor circulation to and from the tissues of the body. Poor circulation creates a stagnation of cellular fluids. When living cells and organs are continually supplied with proper nutrients and oxygen, they will thrive – but only if toxic waste substances are simultaneously removed and excreted from the body. This is the main job of the lymphatic system. By moving lymph away from the cells, it becomes easier for arterial blood to enter capillaries and supply the cells with fresh tissue fluid – the delivery system for nutrients and oxygen.
How Our Cells Get Rid Of Waste
The body is (by most estimates) between 70 and 80 percent water, primarily found in the form of a lose protoplasm called interstitial fluid. (Interstitial fluid is the greyish fluid that can sometimes be seen oozing out of a skinned knee when there isn’t any actual bleeding.) There is a continual interchange taking place between the body’s trillions of cells and their surrounding interstitial fluids. Nutrients and oxygen are exchanged for waste products from the cells via this fluid. Arterial pressure moves the fluid into and out of the cells’ interstitial spaces, effecting a constant exchange. Fluid filled with toxic waste is then picked up by tiny tubules or ducts and sent through the lymph vessels to be detoxified.
If these toxic byproducts weren’t removed from the body, living cells would lose their efficiency and ultimately die, because their own waste products would be poisoning them. The system of lymphatic ducts taking away these toxic byproducts are found everywhere through the body, resembling the roots of a tree and running alongside the body’s arterial system (capillaries, arterioles, venules.)
Remember, the lymphatic system has no pump in its vessels to push the lymph fluid along. Instead, the system relies upon the contraction of muscles, passive movement of the parts of the body, compression of the tissues from the outside, and gravity to move the fluids filled with waste to their main garbage dumps in the right and left subclavian veins, found under the collar bones.
At certain points along the “route,” there are straining stations – lymph nodes – to collect the toxins of cancerous growths and specific disease-producing bacteria. Lymph nodes prevent the spread of disease by keeping cancer cells localized or keeping infections from spreading further. Cancer and infection are always present in our bodies but our natural immunity protects us. One of the stimulators of this immune system is exercise.
Arthur C. Guyton, M.D., an internationally famous expert on lymphology, the science of the lymphatic system, said:
“The lymphatic pump becomes very active during exercise but sluggish under resting conditions. During exercise the rate of lymph flow can increase to as high as 3 to 14 times normal because of the increased activity…. An increase in tissue fluid protein increases the rate of lymph flow, and this washes the proteins out of the tissue spaces, automatically returning the protein concentration to its normal low level. If it were not for this continual removal of proteins, the dynamics of the capillaries would become so abnormal within only a few hours life could no longer continue. There is certainly no other function of the lymphatics that can even approach this in importance.”
Lymph channels have valves, even in the tiniest 上水通渠 vessels: larger lymphatic channels have valves every few millimeters, while smaller lymphatic channels have valves even closer together than that.
Every time the lymph vessel is compressed by pressure of any sort, some lymph tends to be squeezed in both directions, but because the valves are open only in the central direction, the fluid moves just one way – toward the main dumping location in the thoracic duct and subclavian junctures.
All of the lymph from the lower body, including the legs and torso, collects in one major duct – the thoracic duct – that extends inside the torso to shoulder level where it flows into the left subclavian vein. Lymph ducts from the arms, head, and neck also enter the subclavian veins under the collar bones. In this manner, the lymph circulates through the lungs, liver, kidneys, and skin to excrete the waste products it carries. This is how toxins created during the course of ordinary metabolism are sent out of the body.