The Lymphatic System

To be completely honest, I’ve never been the one to jump up and down and go running straight to the newest “health fad” I hear about. I believe in most of them.. if they actually make sense. And I don’t ever mean NOT to go running there, as I’m genuinely interested in trying new things. Especially those things that I feel would improve my health. For some reason, though, I just don’t ever find myself joining in on all the latest trends. However, being a Certified Thermographic Technician, I’m always looking for ways to help my patients improve their scans. With that, I will say that many, MANY of our patients are found with lymphatic congestion. Up until 7 months ago, I didn’t even know what the lymphatic system was or that we even had one! I mean, I guess I learned a little about the lymphatic system in my training to become a technician so don’t let me lie. But none of it was in-depth nor did I really need to understand it to actually pass my training. So when the doctors started throwing around this term in some of our reports and our patients began to ask about it, I took major interest in learning as much about the lymphatic system as I possibly could!  And, as it has continued to be on my mind, I have really attracted it into my life. Majorly. As lymphatic everything all of a sudden started showing up everywhere! It’s funny how that works, right? Becoming and attracting what you think about is a very real thing. And, as of yesterday, I can officially say that I jumped straight into one of those “health fads” I all of a sudden started hearing about and scheduled myself my very first Lymphatic Deainage Massage.  I walked in with absolutely zero idea of what to expect and walked out with 1,001 words to write to YOU! I couldn’t be more excited to share my experience. 

I want to start off by saying that lymphatic drainage massage is NOT a health fad. Or a trend. It may have just recently gotten MY attention but the knowledge of lymphology in general has been around for a very long time with a mention of the lymph nodes dating all the way back to the 5th Century BC by our great father of medicine, Hippocrates.  (1)  In the 17th century they saw several emerging discoveries in the field of lymphology and Olof Rudbeck (1630-1708) of Sweden was probably the first anatomist to consider correctly the lymphatic circulation as an integrated system of the whole body. (2) So, as you can imagine, there is a lot of known information about the lymphatic system! But since it is such a complex system there is also a lot that is unknown! My advice to you would be to find someone who understands it well enough to explain it at your level of competence. I found myself to be very lucky to have had the pleasure of working with Karina Kincaid at Nectar of Life in Fair Oaks, CA. Karina is a holistic esthetician and lymphatic drainage specialist with over TEN years of experience.  And her knowledge really shows that! Karina studied at the Chikly Health Institute where they taught her the importance of treating the whole person. I love that she takes into account the mental, physical and social factors of each of her clients. After all, your body and your mind are not separate entities. In order for true healing to occur, we must understand that. I’m going to go into a few details about my experience with Karina in just a second but first I wanted to explain a little about the lymphatic system itself so anyone who is reading this can understand it’s true importance in our overall health. 

The lymphatic system is a network of tissues and organs inside the body that help get rid of its toxins, waste and other unwanted materials. You know, sort of like a garbage disposal. The primary function of the lymphatic system is to transport lymph. Lymph is a clear, kind of yellowish fluid that carries white blood cells that help fight infection throughout the body. So you can imagine it’s importance for the entire immune system! Once this lymph gets to it’s lymph nodes (there are about 6-700 of them throughout the body) it is then filtered before returning back to the bloodstream.(3) But, unlike the circulatory system, the lymphatic system does not have a pump to keep the fluid flowing. This is why, at times, it can become congested due to things like dehydration, stress, improper diet, lack of movement, tight clothing, etc, etc. We do NOT want stagnant lymph fluid as it can trap the toxic waste in the body’s tissues instead of allowing it to flow. We definitely want it to flow. 


Karina Kincaid at Nectar of Life, as a matter of fact, is the perfect person to help with that. Her lymphatic drainage therapy consists of very gentle rhythmic movements that do just that – help your lymph flow. I was in and out a little throughout my experience since it was so relaxing but I do remember most of it so I’ll try to paint a picture for you guys of what an incredible, relaxing, health-promoting treat this was for me!


When I first walked in I was immediately impressed by the murals on the wall. It felt so.. warming. Karina was sitting at the front desk with a welcoming smile. We chatted briefly about the fact that I’m a complete newbie and had no idea what to expect. She assured me that I was in the right place for the right reason and asked me to fill out a patient intake form before we headed to the back where she was going to explain it all to me. There were some very informative posters on the wall in which Karina explained them very well. It wasn’t hard to follow along and made enough sense to me where I felt comfortable with my decision to use her services. Like I mentioned before, I’m not one who usually jumps into things I see or hear about so this was kind of a big deal for me to be here. She offered a robe but also gave me an option of wearing what I was wearing. I chose to do that. She gave me a few minutes of privacy to take my jewelry off, use the bathroom if I needed to, drink some water and climb into the big, comfortable bed that I didn’t know yet but I was about to fall asleep in. I opted into not only a lymphatic drainage massage but also a botanical facial followed by a rose-quartz crystal face roller so the entire hour and a half that I was there was heavenly bliss. I was given the option of aromatherapy if I chose it. Being so sensitive to synthetic smells I was curious to find out what kind of essential oils we would be using and was thrilled to find out that they were doTERRA. Ummmm yes please! And so we began.

As if the aromatherapy wasn’t enough to unwind me immensely, Karina goes even a little further and started the session off with a sound bowl. Between that and the heated, warm lavender-scented rags that began to touch my face, I drifted off into another world of luxurious relaxation. A world that I haven’t felt in quite some time. I was in and out a little throughout the entire process so the rest is kind of a blur. I do remember her asking me if I was open to energy healing and again, yes please! As I lay there, half asleep, half trying to stay awake so I can get the full experience, I started to remind myself that this IS the experience. In and out, in and out. I was so relaxed, it didn’t matter. And although I can’t recall it all due to this fact, I do remember her focusing on certain areas like my neck, armpit, my upper inner thigh area (which I learned is where my inguinal nodes are) and my liver. It was actually quite an interesting feeling when she was able to open up and drain my liver. I felt it!!! It wasn’t like a good feeling or a bad one. Or even one I can attempt to explain. I just felt some sort of sensation and right after I felt it she said something along the lines of ‘oh I just opened your liver’. My only thought was ‘yeah you did!’ Incredible! All of those gentle, rhythmic touches did not feel like much while I was laying there on the table but they were aiding in many things throughout my body such as helping recirculate my body fluids, stimulate functions of my immune system, balance my autonomic nervous system, reduce swelling, relieve chronic and subacute inflammation and detoxify my body. Can I get a third YES PLEASE! I’m sure there are a few things I missed somewhere in there but wow doesn’t  that make you wonder how much better you might feel with a gentle, rhythmic motion yourself? I will tell you that I’m pretty amazed at how great I feel just 24 hours after my drainage massage. Oh and I can’t stop peeing. Bye bye toxins. Hello energy! And thank you, Karina. 

Once the massage and facial was finished I took a couple of minutes to even come back to it. I stood up and immediately had to pee. She noted that that was normal and I would likely be peeing a lot for the rest of the day as my body continues to flush itself of the toxins that were trapped in. Boy was she right. I was greeted back in the lobby area with a glass of filtered water, a card Karina had pulled for me from Louise Hays’ powerful thought cards and a new, rejuvenated feeling that left me ready to take on the rest of my day! 


Moral of the story – DO IT. Don’t put it off. I feel so amazingly blessed and have thanked myself multiple times today for putting myself first yesterday and taking care of ME. I slept like a champ, my energy is out the roof, my skin is glowing and my lymph is flowing! What more could a woman ask for!? 

And, if you’re local to us, do it at Nectar of Life with Karina Kincaid! Mention this blog and you’ll receive $30 off your very first visit.