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LYMPHATIC SYSTEM AND EXERCISE
May 11, 2003

Gidday, My understanding is that in order for lymph to be realeased from the lymph nodes, it must be squeezed out through muscle contraction. Have I been misinformed or is this really the wasy it works? If this is the case, what are the pros and cons of having lymph circulation throughout ones system. Thank you in advance for the information.

Response from Mr. Vergel

Regular mild to moderate exercise and massage therapy greatly facilitate lymphatic flow, promoting our immune system's ability to deal more effectively with toxins and chronic illness (e.g., cancer). The lymphatic system collects and destroys toxins, bacteria and abnormal cells and provides a transportation network for the cells of our immune system. Unlike the circulatory system which has the heart to pump the blood, the lymphatic system does not have a pump, and thus, the lymphatic system relies on the contractions of our muscles (during daily activities and exercise) to pump the lymphatic fluid around the lymphatic system. When I organized the First International Conf on AIDS Wasting, we had a lecture on the effects of moderate exercise on immune cells. Some studies show increases in T cells and NK cells. Some of the researches in the audience brought up the fact that this increases in immune cells may be due to the improved lymphatic flow induced by exercise and not becaause of actual improvements in thymus functioning. I think the jury is still out. I hope this helps! nelson



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