Real Life Chiropractic

Day 14 The Lymphatic System and the Breath

The lymphatic system doesn’t have a pumping mechanism like the heart is to the cardiovascular system. Instead, the 15 liters of lymph juices in your body flow and move according to your hydration, sweating, movement, and breathing. Lymph flow is heavily influenced by breathing as the diaphragm moves up and down the superior vena cava. This is where lymph fluid goes into the heart.1

When we inhale fluid returns into the superior vena cava. Combining the inhale with exhaling causes a vacuum effect which drains the lymph fluid from the legs.2

We naturally massage all of our organs we practice deep breathing. This improves our organs functions and with the squeezing and relaxing sequence of the diaphragm we create a pump. Due to this, deep breathing works to help us remove toxins from the blood, improves metabolism, enhances the immune system and aids in the absorption of fats.

We receive the most benefit in deep breathing with the exhalation. During this phase of breathing we release carbon dioxide. When we exhale more slowly, we are releasing more CO2 than we would normally which allows our red blood cells to become more and more saturated with oxygen.


  1. “Foldi’s Textbook of Lymphology for Physicians and Lymphedema Therapists” – 2nd edition, p.



Till next time. Thank you,

Dr. Josef Patterson DC

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