Facts & Functions
The Lymphatic System is a network of tissues and organs that help rid the body of toxins, waste and other unwanted materials. Its primary function is to transport lymph – a fluid containing infection-fighting white blood cells – throughout the body.
The system primarily consists of lymphatic vessels, similar to the circulatory system’s veins and capillaries. These vessels are connected to lymph nodes where lymph is filtered. The tonsils, adenoids, spleen and thymus are all part of the lymphatic system.
There are hundreds of these nodes in the human body. They are located deep inside the body (around the lungs and heart) or closer to the surface (under the arm or groin).
Lymph – a clear, colourless fluid. Plasma (see Blood Components) leaves the body’s cells once it has delivered its nutrients and removed debris. Most of this fluid returns to the blood circulation through tiny blood vessels and continues as venous blood. The remainder becomes lymph.
Unlike blood which flows through the body in a continued loop, lymph flows in only 1 direction — upward toward the neck. Lymphatic vessels connect to 2 subclavian veins on either sides of the neck near the collarbones, and the fluid re-enters the circulatory system.
Spleen – the largest lymphatic organ, located on the left side of the body just above the kidney. It controls the amount of red blood cells and blood storage in the body, and helps to fight infection. If the spleen detects potentially dangerous bacteria, viruses or other micro-organisms in the blood, it creates white blood cells (lymphocytes) to fight along with the lymph nodes against invaders. The lymphocytes produce antibodies to kill the foreign micro-organisms and stop infections from spreading. Humans can live without a spleen, although people who have lost their spleen due to disease or injury are more prone to infections.
Thymus – a small organ located in the chest just above the heart. It stores immature lymphocytes and prepares them to become active T cells, which destroy infected or cancerous cells.
Tonsils – large clusters of lymphatic cells in the pharynx, they are an essential part of the body’s immune system. They fight bacteria and viruses entering through the mouth or nose, sometimes becoming infected themselves.
In the past, tonsillectomies were performed very often with undue haste. SoundWaves Health Clinic has been very successful in killing the bacteria and viruses causing tonsillitis – painlessly and non-surgically!