My name is Julia Anderson and I am a third-year occupational therapy student at Creighton University. In this last semester of school, I am diving deep in the role of occupational therapy in topics such as maternal, pelvic, and women’s health. I am completing part of my time here at Thrive OT to gain further knowledge on these topics and gain more hands on experience. These blog pieces are reflections of what I have learned so far and would love to share with all of you.

March is Lymphedema Awareness Month. As I reflect on the topic of lymphedema, this is an area of health care that I’ve been interested in for years. I was first introduced to lymphedema throughout my curriculum during my OT program. This led to me wanting to learn more and completing a clinical rotation at a lymphedema-based setting. As my knowledge of lymphedema grew, I still did not know the role of lymphatic system support for all populations until beginning at Thrive OT.

Lymphatic system dysfunction can occur on a spectrum, which can make it difficult to know when lymphatic drainage would be beneficial. Lymphatic system dysfunction may be due to trauma, a previous accident, stress, fascial restrictions, lymph node removal, etc..

Who can benefit from lymphatic drainage and care? Would you believe that nearly everyone, lymphatic system dysfunction or not, can benefit from lymphatic drainage? It’s true! Lymphatic drainage has a plethora of benefits for whole body wellness for many populations.

So, what are the benefits of lymphatic drainage from a Certified Lymphatic Therapist?  

  1. Immune System

The lymphatic system is closely intertwined with immune system functioning. Lymph nodes and cells within the lymph system combat viruses and bacteria. Stimulating the lymphatic system assists with the lymphatic support against pathogens and removing them from your system.

  1. Removing Toxins

The lymphatic system also works as a waste disposal system. The lymphatic system detoxes bacteria, viruses, cancer cells, environmental toxins and flushes it from our body. Lymphatic drainage can help our system flush out the toxins.

  1. Hormone Balance

The lymphatic system also removes excess hormones along with waste. With lymphatic congestion, hormones, including estrogen, can build up. Supporting our lymphatic system can help remove these extra hormones and promote hormonal balance.

  1. Gut Health

The lymphatic system is located throughout our abdomen near the intestines as well. This helps with digestion and bloating. Manual lymphatic drainage can help reduce bloating.

Overall, our lymphatic system is a powerhouse and helps our health in so many ways. At Thrive OT, our therapists are well informed on the lymphatic system and manual lymphatic drainage for your wellness. We know taking care of you holistically includes taking care of your lymphatic system!


Cifarelli, V. & Eichmann, A. (2018). The intestinal lymphatic system: Functions and metabolic implications. Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Vol 7(3).

Jensen, Soyna. (n.d.) The relationship between hormones and thee lymphatic system. Dr. Sonya Jensen.

The Lymphatic System: Crash Course