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Fascia and the Lymphatic System

By Jodi Cohen

Your lymphatic network is located within your fascia right under the skin.

The fascial system is essentially a glide system that forms a continuous web surrounding and connecting your body’s muscles, vessels, nerves and organs. The lymphatic is designed to glide within the fascial system.

Since the lymphatic system does not have a heart like the circulatory system to pump the lymph, it relies on our body’s movement by the muscles and fascia to squeeze the lymphatic vessels and push the lymph through the system like a low-pressure hose.

When the fascia is healthy, hydrated, flexible, supple and unrestricted, your tissues can move freely and helps the lymph can move more easily through the lymphatic vessels towards the neck for removal.

If the fascia is bound and restricted because of dysfunctional postures, injury, surgical scarring, inflammation, or removal of lymph nodes, this can create roadblocks in the system.


The Importance of Healthy Lymph

The ability of the lymph to easily move and be removed through the large veins is crucial in maintaining our daily health. When the lymphatic system collects and defends against unwanted bacteria, viruses, and other toxic cells, it prevents infections and diseases from spreading.

The constant movement of unwanted cellular waste out of the region it was created prevents the formation of cysts, improves nerve conduction, restores normal lines of tension and compression across joint surfaces, decreases inflammation of all causes and ultimately contributes to a sense of wellness.

On the cellular level, every cell is surrounded by fascia and lymph fluid (which can become increasingly more viscous, which then creates pressure that can impede the cells absorbing fluid, oxygen, nutrients, biochemistry, hormones and energy that every cell needs to thrive.

For the cell to eliminate waste, it must travel through the fluid of the fascial system surrounding your cells to reach the lymphatic system for elimination.

In short, a healthy lymphatic system relies on a healthy fascial system.

The lymphatic system has a series of one-way valves that contain immune system cells that cut off microorganisms like viruses and bacteria that are sometimes in the lymphatic fluid. These lymphatic nodes are extremely important, and are also surrounded and controlled by the fascial system. Fascial restrictions can impede their function.


How Restricted Fascia Constricts Lymph

Restricted fascia can become more rigid and inflexible which creates adverse pressure and interferes with healthy lymph flow.

The following factors can contribute to fascia restrictions:

  • Lack of activity or being sedentary
  • Emotional or psychological stress that may trigger subconscious bracing
  • Dysfunctional breathing
  • Poor movement patterns and muscle recruitment sequencing
  • Trauma (including a car accident, fall, whiplash or surgery)
  • Infection or inflammation
  • Bad posture (like sitting hunched over a laptop)
  • Scar tissue

​When the fascia becomes stiff and inflexible, muscles become restricted and range of motion is decreased, impacting the many systems the fascia supports, including the lymphatic system.

When the fascia is restricted, lymphatic drainage slows down and is less effective, leaving harmful cells and oxidative waste products in the body for longer.


Symptoms of how Fascia Restriction Compromises Lymph

The pressure of blocked lymphatic vessels can manifest in a variety of ways.

  • Pain in muscles or joints (including knees, elbows, ankles or wrists)joints can become swollen or puffy as inflammation of the joint blocks effective blood flow and nerve conduction across the joint, presenting as pain symptoms and joint instability.
  • Swelling, inflammation, edema and congestion – Your body may in pool fluid to aid in lubrication and mobility of nervous system and the joints. This can present as swollen glands, puffiness in eyes or face, swelling in the fingers (tight rings) or ankles or bloating.
  • Joint or muscle stiffness – subconscious bracing or maladaptive movement patterns restrict motion in and around joints, and through regions in the abdomen, chest, and skull, resulting in limited range of motion, stiffness or pain including headache or lower back ache.
  • Cellulite – the appearance of cellulite is from pockets of fat pushing up through the connective tissue (our fascia), which happens when the fascia is tight and restricted. The fascia looks like layers of spider webs and when these spider webs are restricted they glue together and this binds the fat and creates the appearance of cellulite.
  • Restricted fascia also presents as symptoms like poor posture and reduced flexibility, clumsy, uncoordinated movements, muscle cramps when you rest, intermittent tingling or numbness in arms or legs
  • Congested lymph also includes symptoms like fatigue, headaches, sinus infections and skin issues, such as dry or itchy skin.

How Fascia Release Helps Relieve Fascial Restrictions

The Fascia Release™ blend helps support lymph drainage by helping to stimulate the lymphatic system, release adhesions and fascial restriction, increase circulation, decrease swelling in the tissue. By supporting the fluid dynamics of the fascial system, this blend may help ease a congested lymphatic system and decrease swelling.

As you know, fascia lies just below the skin so topically applying essential oils onto the skin allows for easy and immediate access to the fascia.  The skin is your largest organ and is relatively permeable to fat-soluble substances like essential oils.

Topical supplements play an important role in supporting fascia health and recovery from inflammation. For example, essential oils easily penetrate layers of restricted fascia, creating warmth to break up congestion, increasing circulation, lymphatic drainage and mobilizing adhered tissue.

Essential oils soften the myofascial tissue, allowing the deep and constrained tissue to stretch and move as it is designed to function.  They also have an analgesic effect, relaxing the muscles and reducing pain.

Essential oils can be used to revitalize and de-stress the fascia and muscles, working quickly to break down inflamed, fibrous tissue, removing toxins from the painful area.

Essential oils help with collagen production by reducing free-radical damage. The antioxidant properties of essential oils may also promote collagen growth by both reducing free radicals and increasing collagen cell growth and formation.

Essential oils with detoxing properties help reduce inflammation that may weaken collagen fibers.

The essential oils in the Fascia Release™ blend are uniquely formulated to unravel deeply held tensions, constrictions and energetic blockages in your tissues to reduce pain, improve blood and lymphatic circulation and release fear, repressed emotions, and tension held in the body (organs, muscles, tendons, bones and joints) or the mind.


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About The Author

Jodi Cohen

Jodi Sternoff Cohen is the founder of Vibrant Blue Oils. An author, speaker, nutritional therapist, and a leading international authority on essential oils, Jodi has helped over 50,000 individuals support their health with essential oils.