Brain Drain – It’s All In Your Mind – Or Is It?

Do you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Migraines
  • Tinnitus
  • Sinus blockages
  • Swollen lymph glands in neck
  • Puffy eyes
  • Propensity for sore throats

Of course your first port of call should be to your local GP who will want to rule out more serious causes as well as treat these symptoms.

However one of the underlying causes of any of the above could be due to impeded fluid drainage from the brain, which may just require a gentle manual treatment to either unblock or increase the rate of flow of that fluid drainage, which may then alleviate those symptoms.

For those of you who want to understand where this brain fluid comes from, and why, then read on – otherwise skip to the last paragraph which explains the treatment!

The Science:

This is based on a large amount of research over recent years which I have attempted to encapsulate in a fully referenced extensive article posted on my website. However, these are the main points:

The brain as a living organism
Your brain is made up of billions of living cells all of which need nutrients and oxygen which it gets from the blood. However, these cells are surrounded by waste matter, toxins, bacteria and viruses, and excess plaque forming proteins. In order to prevent brain and bodily malfunction, these are regularly removed from the brain in two different fluids: Cerebro Spinal Fluid (CSF) which surrounds the brain in the outer meninges covering, and Interstitial Fluid (IF) which surrounds the cells in the middle of the brain.

Where does the fluid go to?
The CSF drains out of the front of the brain through a sieve like bony structure called the cribriform plate and into your sinuses around the eyes, nose, and face, your aural nodes around the ear, and also your throat. Eventually it drains into your neck glands (cervical nodes) and then into your blood stream near your collar bone. The ISF on the other hand drains directly to your neck rather than via your face and nasal channels. However, CSF also drains from the back of your head and eventually into your abdominal lumbar lymph nodes. All of this has been proven through the use of modern fluoroscopy and tracer dyes, as well as experimental surgical interventions, and anatomical studies.

What happens when all these unwanted toxins, bacteria and viruses arrive at the lymph nodes in the face, neck and abdomen?
Your lymph nodes contain T and B lymphocytes or white blood cells, which originate in the bone marrow. The former kill bacteria and some cancer cells, and the latter act on viruses. They are assisted by a number of other phagocytic cells. When the lymph node is dealing with this its exit valve temporarily shuts to stop the above reaching the blood, and so it swells (e.g. swollen “glands”) until treated. This is what is called your Adaptive Immune system in that it adapts to produce the right antibodies to fight the infection or virus.

What happens if this flow of fluid from the brain gets restricted?
Well, you can experience any of the previous symptoms. An example of one of the bacteria which can be found in the meninges layer of the brain is Lyme’s disease caused by the bacterium Borrelia Afzelii which can be passed on to humans through ticks found in long grass or woodland and is quite prevalent around here. It can be treated through antibiotics but sometimes lingers on and can lead to meningitis type symptoms or migraines. So it is important that it is flushed out of the brain and into the lymph system for neutralisation. An experiment was carried out by Foldi and others in 1994 in which lymph nodes in the neck were surgically blocked temporarily. This resulted in a gradual deterioration of the myelin sheath surrounding the brain’s nerve fibres and that “ a reduction in the transport capacity of lymphatics draining the brain triggered a viscious cycle with progressive cerebral deterioration” as well as a rise in intraocular pressure affecting eyesite, and there was also some hearing impairment. He provided evidence that lymph drainage alleviated these conditions.

There is a lot of research at the moment into the causes of protein plaque build up in the brain which can lead to certain neurological conditions such as Alzheimers, MS and dementia. It may be that restrictions in the exit of CSF flow due to age or traumas could result in this but further research needs to be done. What can cause this restriction in flow out of the brain? The ISF flows out along the outer walls of the incoming cerebral arteries and these channels can get blocked with age. The CSF flows to the face can be impeded through blockages in the sinuses or nasal mucosa, or even damage to the delicate cribriform plate. It also flows as stated to the abdominal nodes which, if there has been for instance some surgical or gynae intervention, can become less efficient at draining this fluid, and so can back up to the rear of the head causing swelling and headaches

How do I treat the above?
Manual lymph drainage is a gentle skin treatment to accelerate lymph flow towards lymph nodes (of which we have 600!) wherever the symptoms of lymph blockage or restriction might be anywhere in the body, so as to alleviate the above conditions. In the case of the brain, treatment is to the face, neck, rear of head, and abdomen and is only carried out after a full consultation and agreed treatment plan.

For a consultation, please ring Andrew Robertson, Lymphoedema Specialist BSc MLD at: 01403 871637
All treatments are carried out in a Covid secure clinic room and with full PPE

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