The lymphatic system allows the lymph to flow into the body tissues and to drain every part of the body before pouring into the thoracic veins. Therefore, it supervises the maintenance of the correct tissue fluid balance: the action is carried out on the lymph (liquid that originates from the blood plasma) in order to purify it from the substances “collected” in the periphery, and thus return it to the circulation, ready to carry out its role.
The articulated system of vessels that forms the lymphatic system is very similar to the venous and arterial circulatory system. Unlike blood, however, it is not cardiac activity that pumps the lymph into the vessels, but muscle activity. When this action fails, the lymph tends to stagnate, accumulating in the intercellular space of the tissues and giving rise to edema or swelling. This problem is generally known by the name of water retention and is due to numerous factors, such as a sedentary lifestyle, hormonal dysfunction or hereditary predisposition.
Lymphatic drainage effectively counteracts this problem, since it stimulates the recovery of lymphatic microcirculation and therefore allows the elimination of excess interstitial liquids and waste materials.