In a fascinating study highlighted in Nature Communications, scientists have shown how our brain stays clean and healthy, thanks to a special system connected to our neck. Imagine the brain having its own mini cleaning crew, using tiny channels called the lymphatic system. This system acts like a waste disposal service, carrying away unwanted stuff from the brain. The cool part? These channels link directly to lymph nodes in our neck, known as the cervical lymphatic system.

Here’s the catch – as we get older, this brain-neck cleaning system doesn’t work as well. After hitting 50, it starts slowing down, making it harder for our brain to stay spick and span. This slowdown might be one reason why older people often face brain health issues. Interestingly, this cleaning system works a bit differently in men and women. Understanding this neck-linked brain cleaning process is super important. It helps us get why keeping the neck’s lymph nodes healthy is crucial for our overall brain health. This knowledge opens up new doors for treating and maybe even stopping certain brain diseases, especially as we age.

Fig: Drainage explained

Think of the brain as having a special cleaning system, kind of like a network of tiny plumbing pipes, which helps get rid of waste. This system is split into two parts: the top (dorsal) part and the bottom (ventral) part.

The top part works like channels along the brain’s big veins, carrying waste fluid down through the neck and near the spine. The biggest of these channels is right in the middle of the brain. But when you lie down, this channel gets a bit squished because of gravity, so it doesn’t work as wide open as when you’re upright.

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The bottom part of this system is more about the front of the brain, near where you smell and see. It includes tiny channels near the nerves for smell, sight, and hearing, and near some openings in the skull. This part sends the waste fluid along the outside of some nerves that come out of the brain, going down to the neck. Here, you’ll find a green color in pictures, showing where this fluid is.

Both these systems connect at different spots in the neck, including some neck lymph nodes, which are like cleaning stations. The picture we’re talking about shows how these cleaning fluids from the brain’s covering go directly to deep neck nodes through multiple nerve openings and structures at the base of the skull in humans. This helps us understand how the brain gets rid of its waste through these two systems, keeping it clean and healthy!

How Fascial Counterstrain can help?

Fascial Counterstrain is a technique that can help to improve the functioning of your body’s venous and lymphatic systems, which are responsible for removing waste and maintaining healthy circulation. The best part about this method is that it is completely painless, and relies solely on the skilled touch of a practitioner’s hands. Think of it as a helping hand that encourages your body’s natural processes. By carefully guiding the body, Fascial Counterstrain can help to open up and stimulate the lymphatic pump, which can help to clear out unwanted substances from your body and reduce pressure, especially around the head area. This can lead to a feeling of relief and well-being. Essentially, Fascial Counterstrain is a gentle, hands-on approach to keeping your body’s internal cleaning system running smoothly, ensuring that everything from your head to your toes is working at its best.

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If you’re unsure whether this technique is right for you, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

The source of the research:

Albayram, M.S., Smith, G., Tufan, F. et al. Non-invasive MR imaging of human brain lymphatic networks with connections to cervical lymph nodes. Nat Commun 13, 203 (2022).

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