To put it simply, the lymphatic system is our bodies cleaning system.
How does this “cleaning system” work? Well, as we are all aware our blood runs through our body because of our heart. Our lymphatic system does not have a dedicated pump like our blood to facilitate movement throughout the body.
Lymph vessels are distributed throughout our body along, and part of our muscular system, which means the more we move our muscles the more we flush our bodies of toxins, waste from cells, etc.
Another way to think about it is to imagine an office building. On each floor of the office building are a bunch of cubicles, and in each cubicle is a desk and trash can. The cleaning service then has a large trash can on every floor, whereby the trash from each desk is deposited. Then the larger trash cans from each floor go down to the loading dock, and are emptied into a large dumpster.
How that translates to our bodies, is the muscles in your arms, move the lymph fluid the nodes in your underarms, and from your underarms it moves to the depository under your clavicle/collar bone. We have node clusters as mentioned in our underarms, as well as behind our knees, near our groin, some organs, etc.
So, after watching a YouTube video, or seeing something on your Instagram feed makes you wonder if you need a lymphatic massage the answer may be “no”. Those that typically need lymphatic drainage massage, or those that are recovering from a recent surgery, or if one suffers from lymphedema, or if you have swelling in your arms and/or legs which may or may not include your fingers/toes.
For everyone else, if you want to assist your lymphatic system, the best course of action is to walk, stretch, do yoga, Pilates, or other moderate exercise on a daily basis, as well as being sure you are drinking enough water.