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Integrative Family Health Clinic in Bolton and the Greater Caledon Area
4-22 Simona Drive
Bolton, ON

Lymphatic Treatments for Good Health

The proper functioning of the lymphatic system is critical to our body’s ability to drain stagnant fluids, detoxify, regenerate tissues, filter out toxins and foreign substances, and maintain a healthy immune system. 

The lymphatic system is a complex system made up mostly of lymph vessels and lymph nodes working in cooperation to accomplish these tasks. There is an increased demand for efficient lymphatic function during disease, tissue dysfunction, physiologic stress, and infection. Read more about how the lymphatic system supports optimal health and how osteopathic lymphatic treatments can help. 

Important Functions of the Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system has the following functions in the body: 

      1. One of the primary functions of the lymphatic system is to help defend the body against infections, illness and foreign invaders. 
      2. The lymphatic system helps maintain fluid balance in the body, prevents tissue swelling (called edema), and maintains proper hydration.
      3. The lymphatic system plays a crucial role in nutrient absorption, especially for fats.
      4. In addition to removing excess fluid, the lymphatic system also helps remove waste products and toxins from tissues.

Overall, the lymphatic system is essential for maintaining immune function, fluid balance, nutrient absorption, waste removal, and overall health. Dysfunction of the lymphatic system can lead to a range of health problems, including infections, edema, and impaired immune function. 

Lymphatic Congestion

Lymphatic congestion occurs when there is any obstruction to the lymphatic pathways or the dysfunction of the abdominal diaphragmatic action. Congestion promotes the accumulation of waste products and is associated with poor circulation and nutrition of the cells.

Unlike the circulatory system, which uses the pumping of the heart to circulate its blood flow, lymph vessels rely upon hundreds of tiny muscular units contracting throughout the body to propel lymph flow. These contractions enable the lymph vessels to transport numerous substances (like proteins, toxins, hormones, fatty acids, immune cells) to lymph nodes, which can then process them. The action of the muscular units can be hindered or stopped by surgery, trauma, burns, infections, substantial swelling, fatigue, stress, or age.

Osteopathy for Lymphatic Function

Osteopathic treatments can be very helpful in lymphatic drainage particularly in the context of lymphatic system dysfunction. Some key benefits are:

      1. Osteopathic practitioners use hands-on techniques to work on the muscles, joints and tissues which can help in stimulation of lymphatic flow. Gentle pressure and rhythmic movements applied to the skin and underlying tissues can encourage the movement of lymphatic fluid through the lymphatic vessels, promoting drainage and reducing congestion.
      2. Osteopathic treatments use soft tissue work which involves gentle mobilization of muscles, fascia and connective tissues. By releasing tension and restrictions in these tissues, osteopathic practitioners can improve lymphatic circulation and enhance the efficiency of lymphatic drainage.
      3. Osteopathic treatments also involve gentle joint mobilization to improve its mobility and range of motion. By enhancing joint function, osteopathic manual practitioners can indirectly support lymphatic drainage by promoting better movement and circulation of lymphatic fluid throughout the body.
      4. Osteopathic treatments can enhance blood circulation, which indirectly supports lymphatic drainage. Better circulation means improved delivery of oxygen and nutrients to tissues, as well as more efficient removal of metabolic waste products and excess fluid via the lymphatic system.
      5. Lymphatic treatments can help reduce swelling and edema which may alleviate discomfort and improve mobility.
      6. Osteopathic Manual Practitioners (OMPs) assess posture and alignments to identify any imbalances or restrictions that may be affecting lymphatic drainage. By addressing postural and structural issues, osteopathy can optimize the function of the lymphatic system and promote more efficient drainage.
      7. Osteopathy takes a holistic approach to healthcare, considering the interconnectedness of the body’s systems. Practitioners may assess and address underlying structural imbalances or dysfunctions that could be contributing to impaired lymphatic drainage, aiming to restore overall balance and health.
      8. Osteopathic treatments can complement other medical interventions for lymphatic disorders, such as compression therapy, exercise programs and manual lymphatic drainage performed by certified lymphedema therapists. Integrating osteopathy into a comprehensive treatment plan may enhance outcomes and improve the patient’s quality of life.

Overall, Osteopathy offers a gentle and non-invasive approach to supporting lymphatic drainage and promoting overall health and well-being. However, its essential to consult with the Osteopathic practitioner or your healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate treatment approach for your specific condition

Who Lymphatic Treatments Aren’t For

While lymphatic treatments can offer various benefits for many individuals, there are some precautions when you should withhold treatment and consult with your medical doctor:

      • Any acute infections, inflammatory illness in development, fever
      • Any hot, red, congested painful tissues, accompanied by fever
      • Serious circulatory problems
      • Major cardiac problems
      • Kidney or liver failures
      • Hemorrhages, including internal bleedings
      • Active cancer
      • Pregnancy
      • Recent surgery or trauma

This is not an exhaustive list and it is essential for individuals considering lymphatic treatments to discuss their medical history and any existing health conditions with a qualified healthcare provider or lymphatic therapist before initiating treatment. A thorough assessment can help identify any contraindications and ensure that the treatment approach is safe and appropriate for the individual’s needs.

Interested in seeing how an osteopathic lymphatic treatment can benefit you?
Talk to our osteopath today.

How to Treat a Concussion Wildflower Health and Wellness

How to Treat a Concussion

You’ve decided to allow your child to try out for the football team at school. You know that they will be provided with protective equipment so it must be safe. Yet, there’s a voice in the back of your head wondering if this might be a bad idea. After all, 3.8 million concussions get reported each year from sports and 70% of those reports are for children who incur the injury from recreational sports. Before you say yes or no to contact sports for your kids, let’s learn more about what concussions are and how to treat a concussion.

how to treat a concussion
photo courtesy of Ben Hershey

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a type of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) that occurs when the head is bumped or hit with intensity. As a result, the brain slams against the inside walls of the skull. The impact can cause brain cells to get damaged and result in long-term serious health issues.

Concussions commonly occur during competitive and recreational sports and physical activities. They are also common injuries from car accidents and other motor vehicle accidents. Any activity that puts your head at risk of being directly or indirectly hit, bumped, or jolted puts you at risk for a concussion.

What Are the Symptoms of a Concussion?

It’s a common misconception that concussions cause the sufferer to immediately fall unconscious. While this can happen, it certainly doesn’t happen in all cases. Each brain injury is unique and so are its symptoms.

Some of the most commonly reported symptoms include:

  • Pressure in the head and neck
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Blurred vision and dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Memory loss and fogginess
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Difficulty concentrating

Parents and coaches must remember that a child does not have to lose consciousness when they suffer a concussion. They might display one or more of the symptoms above at the onset of the injury. More symptoms can develop over time.

When you witness a child or teenager suffer a head injury, pull them from the activity immediately. Regardless of how badly they may want to resume playing, it’s critical that their symptoms are investigated.

Engaging in physical activity while suffering from a concussion can cause further brain damage.

How to Treat a Concussion

The first step to treat a concussion is to get an official diagnosis from a doctor. They will ask the injured person questions about their symptoms. They may also run diagnostic CT scans of the brain.

In some cases, concussion symptoms resolve themselves. However, for some patients the symptoms remain present and debilitating for a long period of time.

The patient should not return to school, work, or play until they get the green light from their doctor. Until then, the doctor will likely recommend plenty of rest, sleep, and limited physical activities. As they see the patient begin to heal, they may permit gradual reintroduction to school and activities.

The doctor may also suggest that the patient sees an osteopathic manual practitioner. Osteopathic practitioners can help treat some of the symptoms of concussions like head and neck pain and nausea. An osteopath uses craniosacral therapy, fascia therapy and osteoarticular techniques to relieve pain and restore function.

At Wildflower Health and Wellness, our team of qualified and experienced osteopathic manual practitioners can aid in your concussion recovery. Contact us today to learn more.