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Head lymphatics: a fresh approach to a challenging area.


The anatomy and physiology of head lymphatics and their effects on congestion occurring in areas distal to the head are not yet fully understood. Research indicates a major factor involved is the link between cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) and the lymphatic system. The most important pathway for absorption of CSF is via lymphatics in the olfactory tract, cribiform plate and cervical lymphatic vessels(1).

Case histories indicate that deep-seated congestion, occurring in areas of the brain, head and neck can affect or be affected by lymphstasis in regions distal to them and situated in diverse areas, such as shoulders, axillae, chest, gut, inguinals, or limbs(2).

Clinical Observations

The connection between symptoms related to the head and compromised lymphatics is not always recognised by clients or medical staff. When discussed, it is often noted that particular symptoms only became apparent after the event.

Predisposing symptoms, often resulting in lymphatic congestion, include trauma or severe infections, sometimes occurring in childhood; post surgical intervention; toxic overload in lymph nodes following severe infections such as peritonitis and eclampsia in pregnancy; exposure to toxic agents; and hormonal dysfunction. A case of severe mumps as a child may be an important contributing factor.

Depending on the area involved, different symptoms develop. Gut dysfunction, involving a tight, uncomfortable feeling of bloating, is common. This feeling is exacerbated when food containing processed wheat products, which frequently contain preservatives and other chemicals, is eaten. Other symptoms include headaches; nose blockage; ear or sinus congestion; inability to smell; itchy, uncomfortable eyes; 'bags'/fluid pooling under the eyes; dysphagia; unexplained feeling of heaviness; and swelling in the neck and face.

Problems described by clients also include persistent discomfort, feeling 'fuzzy' in the head, inability to concentrate, lack of clarity, sleep disturbances, long-term malaise, lack of energy, and pain and itchiness that shifts to various areas. These symptoms are often chronic and are slow to manifest.

Whatever the cause, clients with head problems often present with further symptoms relating to truncal oedema--swollen gut, increased trunk size despite a careful diet, and heavy or swollen breasts. Swelling and a feeling of heaviness in the arms, legs, feet or hands is common. Some feel pain, swelling or discomfort in axillary, inguinal, vulval or pubic regions. Often clients experience shortness of breath, or tightness in the chest--possibly related to thoracic duct congestion. There may also be back and/or shoulders soreness and pain (2).

An Exciting Development

Moving watery fluid containing ions acts as a good conductor of electrical current. The magnetic field produced is directly proportional to the flow of current (3). When this principle is applied to lymphatic flow, we can expect a stronger magnetic field to be generated by deep lymphatic vessels and nodal complexes compared to surrounding tissues, especially when congestion occurs.

The method we propose is innovative and effective, specifically targeting deep lymphatic channels, nodal complexes, and other congested areas. The various energy fields used, generated by naturally occurring sources, enable the therapist to precisely locate and treat the area concerned. Consider the amazing properties of the following energy fields:

Quartz Crystal

Quartz crystal acts a powerful amplifier of energy fields. As a transducer, it is capable of changing one form of energy into another. It can convert mechanical pressure to electrical energy--this is known as the piezoelectric effect. Each crystal has a natural fundamental frequency which is referred to as resonance frequency. A crystal's resonance frequency depends on its size and shape--the smaller the crystal, the higher the frequency. It is particularly responsive to minute changes in energy fields(4).

A series of other important frequencies, called harmonic frequencies, are associated with the fundamental frequency. Their wave length becomes shorter and their frequency becomes higher as fields weaken, but harmonic frequencies always remain a multiple of the original natural frequency(5). Crystals can amplify specific harmonics(6).

When quartz crystals of different natural frequencies are placed on the body during treatment, it is likely that they will be affected by harmonics and/or individually resonate with different components of the body. The amplification will be weaker(6), but results indicate that there are widespread beneficial effects(2). This minute, but extraordinarily beneficial flow of energy generated by quartz crystals, can be targeted precisely to where it's needed(6). As with laser, a crystal's energy field is the same width over its distance, without diminishing the intensity of energy flow(7).

Most body structures and/or membranes have liquid crystalline arrays incorporated in them or in the tissues surrounding them(8). It is likely that using quartz crystal during treatment will promote a beneficial or stimulatory effect on these structures and membranes.

Static Magnets

It is fascinating to consider the magnetic energy field emanating from static magnets. Even though there is only one field, the cloud of electrons coming from the side of a freely hanging magnet that faces the magnetic north spins to the left (termed negative (-)ve electron spin), whereas the spinning vortex of electrons from the opposite side spins to the right, (positive (+)ve electron spin)(9).

As can be expected, the effect of (-)ve electron spin compared to (+)ve is different. Amongst other effects, (-)ve polarity relaxes the capillary bed and promotes circulation(10) whereas the (+)ve polarity constricts it. In some instances during treatment, small 750 gauss magnets can be used to effectively control pain resulting from minor injuries.

The use of magnetically-influenced water is an exciting development in this line of research. When a water bottle, or rubber glove filled with water, is placed on the (-)ve side of a strong magnet, the water, a dipole molecule, will exhibit the properties associated with that field.

This means that during a head lymphatic treatment, when a client's head and neck is surrounded by magnetically-influenced water contained in water bottles and rubber gloves, it is probable that the entire capillary bed of the head is relaxed, thereby promoting increased circulation.


Aromatherapy is a valuable tool in the treatment of head lymphatics. The essential oils used are distilled from plants and herbs that are known to have particular properties which are beneficial in specific circumstances. They are stated to be seventy times more concentrated than the plant concerned. Each essential oil has its own intrinsic beneficial properties(11) which can be interpreted when smelt, as a different scent. This is important, especially when toxic overload is involved.

After deeply inhaling the aroma of an essential oil chosen for its particular beneficial effects, clients hold their breath as comfortably as possible before deeply exhaling. The important lymphatics of the cribiform plate area are accessed in this way and deep breathing potentiates lymphatic flow in the thoracic duct.


The results of working with head lymphatics as described above are impressive. Head symptoms greatly improve and benefits are felt throughout the entire body. Swelling noticeably decreases in the specific area previously affected, clothing becomes looser, and both energy levels and breathing improve. Moreover, pain levels decrease, mobility increases, clients feel lighter, and they experience an improved quality of life.

Bowel and bladder flow usually normalise as a result of treatment as well(2). Urine flow has occurred when head lymphatics alone were specifically stimulated at the beginning of a treatment session. This is never done until the head, axillary and inguinal nodal complexes, lateral chest walls, popliteals, hands and feet are all supported(13). Clearly, direct stimulation of such an extensive system, affecting every area of the body (12) should be undertaken in conjunction with trained health professionals.

Case Histories

Results of the two case histories described below occurred after seven treatments(13).

Case 1: Mrs PJC

Mrs PJC presented in February 2010 with swollen legs and ankles that felt heavy all the time. Her right upper arm and elbow, breasts, shoulders, and back were sore most of the time, and she had long-term bowel dysfunction. Mrs PJC had a serious accident as a child that resulted in a fractured skull, a 'broken' eardrum, and a crushed forearm.

After a burr hole operation, a brain haemorrhage occurred and she became unconscious for ten days. She resumed schooling five to six months later. Since then, Mrs PJC has experienced a poor sense of smell; puffy eyelids; bloodshot sclera in both eyes; dilated pupil right >left; occasional dull ache at the back of her head; runny nose draining down her throat, blocked at times; frequent sinus problems; itchy eyes; memory lapses; and an inability to think clearly.

Following her treatment for head lymphatics, Mrs PJC experienced a dramatic improvement in all of her symptoms. Her sense of smell was much better, her pupils were equal and normal sized, her eyelid puffiness had disappeared; both sclera were clear, she no longer has a dull ache at the back of her head, and only occasionally suffers from sinus problems and itchy eyes.

She also has a significantly improved memory and thinking ability. Mrs PJC is now pain free, the swelling in her arm, elbow and breast is gone, and she is noticeably less swollen in all other areas. Furthermore, she has had fewer infections, and they are shorter in duration and intensity. Her breathing and energy levels are much improved and her bowel flow is now normal.

Case 2: Mrs EKS

Mrs EKS presented on 27 October 2009. Her left breast had been damaged by a mammogram twelve years ago leaving the entire breast, lateral chest and left upper arm painful and swollen. She also experienced an uncomfortable bloating and abdominal swelling which was exacerbated by cholecystectomy in June 2009.

Furthermore, Mrs EKS suffered memory lapses and she was often unable to concentrate. She had sinus problems and a blocked nose. Walking was painful due to a sore right big toe following a long-standing injury, and her left finger was also chronically sore following an injury twenty years ago. Despite treatment, she couldn't close her finger properly.

Post treatment with head lymphatics, Mrs EKS showed pleasing results. Her breasts are now pain free, soft, reduced in size, and no longer lumpy. The swelling has gone from her left upper arm and chest, and she feels lighter all over. Mrs EKS can now easily open and close her finger and her right toe has much improved resulting in a lot less pain when walking. She has more energy and her sinus problems are very much better. She says that, 'the most important improvement is a much clearer head and gut feeling far less bloated'.


1. Specifically-designed exercises are given to the client to stimulate deep lymphatics--especially cervicals, chest and inguinals.

2. Strategies that can easily be incorporated into a basic routine are discussed with the client. These methods aim to reduce strain on an already compromised system. They include:

a) Healthy nutrition--It is important to reduce/avoid intake of processed foods, especially those containing wheat and preservatives; avoid modified sugars, fats and oils; eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables; and include a good quality protein portion with meals and snacks. The therapist also explains easy ways to include the correct balance of essential fatty acids in a daily diet. Specific problems need specialised advice from a professional trained in this area.

b) Decrease lymphatic load--Minimise intake of toxins and unwanted chemicals by checking food, and products that are inhaled or used on the skin, hair, and for dental care for harmful additives, preservatives and other chemicals. Choose easily available, less harmful alternatives.

c) Electromagnetic fields--The immuno-lymphatic system is thought to be adversely affected by constant or repetitive exposure to artificially-induced electromagnetic fields(14). Avoid improper use of mobile phones, repetitive exposure to fields generated by a meter box on the adjacent side of the wall to a bed, electric blankets left on whilst sleeping, fluorescent lighting, microwaves. and other commonly-used electrical appliances. Keep at least an arm's length away from sources constantly generating these fields and unplug appliances that are not in use.

3. Assessment--The therapist assesses the client's symptoms and explains the appropriate treatment methods using naturally-generated energy sources. The client's consent is also obtained.


Before commencing treatment, clients have something healthy to eat. Further support during treatment includes using aromatherapy as indicated and offering healthy snacks and fluids as required.

The client's head and neck are surrounded by (-)ve magnetically-influenced water contained in water bottles and rubber gloves. Suitably-sized quartz crystal terminators and water support are placed over major channels and nodal complexes--jugular, upper vertebral, axillary, sub-axillary intercostals, popliteal, inguinal, palmar and plantar plexuses. As needed, tiny crystals are taped over anterior palpable cervical nodes.

Nodes proximal to the internal carotid artery can be accessed as required by longer crystals--posteriorly positioned after all other support is in situ. These nodes are situated at about the level of the upper ear pinna, lower occipital area, close to the mastoid process. This point often feels sore when first accessed.

The pubic area is carefully draped, with legs supported by cushions to enable long quartz terminators to be slid into position, directly accessing the inguinal nodes situated in these previously inaccessible areas. Popliteal nodes are supported by smaller crystals and held in place by adjustable leg bands.

With this basic support in place, head lymphatics can be directly and lightly stimulated using small crystals. The cribiform plate, accessed via medial eye puncta and nasal areas, is treated first, then the zygomatic tract, auricular nodes and mastoid process. Importantly, the therapist also clears retropharyngeal, cervical, and sub-mandibular nodes.

The therapist uses various-sized quartz crystal tools directly over the thoracic duct, nodal complexes and lymphatic vessels in the trunk or limbs during treatment. With careful instruction, clients are also given basic lymphatic exercises and movements to incorporate into their home regime.

We find that deep rotational breast movements done by the client, or therapist with their client's permission, and movements stimulating the inguinals with crystal support in situ, to be very important for effective head clearance. Clients often feel a direct relief of head symptoms when points situated in the area of indentation a little below the anterior iliac crests, pubic symphisis, lower adductor/groin area, axillae, and acromio/clavicular area encircling the upper arm/shoulder, are stimulated.

Other important abdominal points include the cysterna chyli and intestinal trunk, ileo-caecal valve, lymphatic vessels situated in area just below the 'junction' of caecum/transverse colon, and the transverse/descending colon. Clients are also shown an easy routine designed to self-stimulate lymphatic flow from the head and relieve head symptoms. An illustrated chart, simply worded using easy-to-remember memory joggers, is given to help clients to self-treat.


Scientific data supports this new approach to head lymphatics. There are no lymphatics in the brain and spinal cord parenchyma and the important link between the flow of CSF and head lymphatics commences at a microscopic level. Interstitial fluid from the brain and spinal cord parenchyma travels many centimetres through a system of tissue channels before it enters endothelialised lymphatics situated, amongst other places, in the retro bulbar region of the eye, the inner ear, cerebral and retinal blood capillaries, adventitia of the brain arteries, and the Circle of Willis (1,14).

The olfactory route is a major pathway of CSF absorption in the head(1,15). It drains via the cribiform plate, transporting antigens within it to deep cervical lymphatic vessels and nodes(1,16). There is an extensive system of lymphatics next to its surface, external to the cranium (17). Within its submucosa, lymphatic endothelial cells are fused to perineural sheaths of olfactory nerves, appearing to encircle them (1).

The CSF-lymphatic link into nasal submucosa effects the ependyma and provides a regulatory mechanism which helps to balance the repetitive production and re-absorption of CSF (15). All mammals exhibit CSF absorption via nasal lymphatics(15, 17). Retropharyngeal, cervical, submandibular and pre-auricular nodes are specifically mentioned(17) and there are major lymph nodes proximal to the internal carotid artery(18).

When lymphatics of the cribiform plate are blocked, hindering CSF absorption, intracranial pressure (ICP) is raised. This affects lymph pressure and lymph flow. As ICP is raised, other drainage routes become progressively involved (1,14,19). These include most cranial nerves, especially the trigeminal, acoustic, and hypoglossal. The vagus nerve is involved to a lesser degree(1,14,19).

In conjunction with arteries and venules, lymphatic vessels occur in the dura mater, and the intra-orbital portion of the optic nerve(20). Dural lymphatics, sagittal sinus, base of skull(1,14,15), ventricular system, arachnoid space, arachnoid villi, and Virchow-Robin spaces (extensions of the subarachnoid space that penetrate with blood vessels into the brain) are other areas involved(1).

Lymphatic absorption of spinal cord CSF represents about twenty-five percent of total CSF absorption(21). For this to happen, CSF has to pass from the spinal sub-arachnoid to epidural tissues(1). When a tracer was introduced to rabbits' lateral ventricles, it appeared around spinal nerve roots, lymphatic vessels, and nodes of lumbo-sacral and cervical areas(21). In rats, after infusion into cysterna magna, lumbar para-aortic lymph nodes were affected(1).


The ability to effectively stimulate CSF and lymphatic flow in the head has significant implications. Congestion of head lymphatics can affect or be affected by a disruption of lymph flow in distal areas(2). CSF absorption appears to slow down with age, impeding clearance of neurotoxins from the brain. Important areas involved include specialised networks situated in the olfactory and respiratory tracts. Neurotoxic build-up in older people could affect memory loss and may be linked to normal pressure hydrocephalus and Alzheimer's disease(22).


(1) Koh L, et al. Integration of the subarachnoid space and lymphatics: is it time to embrace a new concept of cerebrospinal fluid absorption? Accessed in 2005.

(2) Case Histories Australia Deep Lymphatic Therapists Association 2008-2010.

(3) Tipler PA. Physics for scientists and engineers, 4th edition. New York: WH Freeman & Co, G. Putnam's Sons, 1999.

(4) Oldfield H, quoted by Soloman J, Soloman G. Harry Oldfield's invisible universe. Essex: Campion Books, 1998.

(5) Cassar V. Australian Magnetic Solutions. Accessed in 2008.

(6) Oldfield H. Fellow of the Royal Microscopial Society Oxford. Visiting Professor of Energy Medicine, Holos Univ. Grad. Seminary, Missouri, USA, 2007. Personal Communication on 16 October 2008.

(7) Horobin W. How it works: science and technology, 3rd edition. New York: Marshall Cavendish Corporation, 2003.

(8) Oschman JL. Energy medicine: the scientific basis. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone, 2003.

(9) Davis RA, WC Rawls Jr. The magnetic effect: the science of applying magnetic energy to the living system. Acres, Louisiana, 1997.

(10) Lawrence R. et al. Magnet therapy: the cure alternative. Prima Health, 1997.

(11) Franchomme P, Penoel D. L'aromatherapie exactement. Limoges: Roger Jollois, 1990.

(12) Rohan JW, Yokachi C. Color atlas of anatomy, 3rd ed. New York: Igaku-Shoin, 1993.

(13) White RD. Case histories, 2009-2010.

(14) Casely-Smith JR. Modern treatment of lymphoedema, 5th edition. Adelaide: Bowden Printing, 1997.

(15) Mollanji R, et al. Blocking cerebrospinal fluid absorption through the cribiform plate increases resting intracranial pressure. Am J. Physiol Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol 2002;282(6):1593-1599.

(16) Walter BA, et al. The olfactory route for cerebrospinal fluid drainage into peripheral nervous system. Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology 2006;(32):388-396.

(17) Johnson M, et al. Evidence of connections between cerebrospinal fluid and nasal lymphatic vessels in humans, non human primates and other mammallian species. /content/1/1/2. Accessed in 2004.

(18) Upham R, et al. Cervical lymph nodes are found in direct relationship with internal carotid artery. Clinical Anatomy 2003;23:113-147.

(19) Johnson M, Papaiconmou C. Cerebrospinal fluid transport: a lymphatic perspective. News Physio Sci. 2002;(17):228-240.

(20) Killer HP, et al. Does innunohistochemistry allow easy detection of lymphatic in the optic nerve sheath? J Histochem Cytochem 2008;56(12):1087-1092.

(21) Bozanovic-Sosic R, et al. Spinal and cranial contributions to total cerebrospinal fluid transport. Am J. Physiol Regul. Integr. Comp.Physiol 2001;281(3)909-916.

(22) Johnson M. Lymphovenous Canada: New Research developments in understanding lymphovenous disorders http://lymphovenous Accessed in 2007.
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Author:White, Rosemary D.
Publication:Journal of the Australian Traditional-Medicine Society
Article Type:Case study
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Sep 1, 2010
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