15 June 2021

Lymphatic dysfunction — everything you need to know

You've probably experienced lymphatic dysfunction before (also known as lymphedema, or stagnant or sluggish lymph). It usually shows up as puffiness in your eyelids or face, and it can also lead to swollen legs or bulging fingers — making it difficult, for example, to remove a ring. Some of us are naturally susceptible to issues with the lymphatic system, while others might develop it due to lifestyle factors. But let's think positive — and take a look at what we can do about it!

What is lymphatic fluid?

The lymphatic system functions similarly to our circulatory system. Lymphatic fluid, or lymph, flows through it, carrying away the byproducts of metabolism and removing certain toxins from our bodies. Fluid flows to our lymph nodes, whose job it is to cleanse the lymph — and therefore the body — of dangerous or unnecessary substances. The lymphatic system is a crucial part of our health, and when it's not functioning as it should, you can see the effects in the mirror — on your face.

Here are some of telltale signs that your lymphatic system isn't working properly:


  • cellulite
  • bags under the eyes
  • swollen hands and feet
  • swollen tip of the nose
  • swollen face (cheeks, chin)
  • pronounced nasolabial folds
  • poorly defined lower jawline

These are just a few signs that your lymphatic system may not be working as it should. Aside from the understandable cosmetic concerns, it's important to keep in mind that lymphatic dysfunction also has a negative effect throughout the body. When the lymphatic fluid can't perform its function to clear the body of toxins, the enitre lymphatic system becomes congested. That allows waste material to make its way into our adipose connective tissue, rather than being excreted as it should. We all know that what's good for our health is also good for our bodies — and problems with the lymphatic system can lead to premature aging, as the immune system struggles to manage underlying infection or inflammation. What's more, your body can seem heavier, thicker, and more bloated (similar to when you're about to get your period!).

What are the causes of lymphatic dysfunction?

The circulatory system has one big advantage over the lymphatic one — it has its very own pump, the heart. Unfortunately, our lymphatic system just doesn't have that advantage. The lymphatic fluid can be pushed along by moving your muscles, but this can also be done manually — for example, by getting a massage. This why we tend to experience congested or stagnant lymph after a long trip, a night of sleep, or a day of sitting at the office (especially if we tend to cross our legs!). Wearing tight clothing can also prevent our lymphatic fluid from flowing properly to the lymph nodes.

How to get your lymphatic fluid flowing

To prevent lymphatic dysfunction, above all, you should try to live a healthy lifestyle. An excess of toxins can also cause our lymphatic system to overwork and function poorly. There is no vitamin, cosmetic procedure, or magic wand that can counteract an unhealthy lifestyle — we bet you know that already! But there are certain strategies that can help move our lymph to the lymph nodes. When combined with a healthy lifestyle, these can work wonders... so we highly recommend that you try them both.

Take care to:

move your entire body regularly — moving your muscles can work like a "pump" for your lymphatic system
dry brush your body — this helps to push our lymph fluid towards the lymph nodes
a daily facial massage — try one of our lymphatic drainage programs!
gua sha massage
regular exercise
avoid excess salt in your diet
stay hydrated — drink plenty of water
consider wearing looser clothing that doesn't constrict large areas of the body, which can inhibit the flow of lymph

Facegroovin' offers plenty of approaches and a treasure trove of programs to target lymphatic stagnation specifically. We can help you get your lymph flowing to where it should be — the lymph nodes — all while improving your circulation, increasing the level of oxygen in your body, and ultimately slimming your face.

Let's get to work!

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