Your Lymphatic System is made up of a network of tissues, vessels, and organs that work together to move Lymph, a watery fluid made up of cellular waste, throughout the body. Think of it as the body’s sewer system removing waste, whereas your circulatory system, made up of the heart, lungs, and blood vessels, which moves blood throughout the body, brings oxygen and nutrients.
Unlike blood, which is pumped throughout the body by the heart, your lymphatic system has no pump and relies on gravity to move lymph. Therefore, it can be helpful to give this system a hand, literally, by manually pumping lymph where it needs to go. Lymphatic drainage is the manual movement or drainage of lymph. Instead of using hands alone, we’ll be encouraging this drainage with help of the Anma.
I’m sure you are familiar with foam rolling, which is a great way to relieve tightness after exercise. Foam rolling is a form of myofascial release. Fascia is a thin membrane made up of connective tissue, that surrounds and holds every organ, blood vessel, bone, nerve fiber, and muscle of your body in place. Trauma, poor posture, dehydration, and inflammation can all have an effect on your fascia, making it tight and causing it to twist.
Healthy fascia is resilient and hydrated. When Fascia gets dehydrated, tight, or twisted, it can pull on muscles, restricting blood and lymph. On the body, this can cause pain, discomfort, and inhibit range of motion. On the face, this can cause sagging and wrinkle formation. Tight fascia on the neck, traps, and chest can even contribute to jowl formation. The gentle movements you perform with the Anma will help to unwind and smooth out the fascia to keep it and the surrounding tissues healthy.