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The Somatic Connection  |   July 2014
Lymphatic Pump OMT Releases Cytokines Into Central Circulation
Author Affiliations
  • Michael A. Seffinger, DO
    Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, Pomona, California
  • Jessica Rich, OMS III
    Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine–Carolinas Campus, Spartanburg, South Carolina
Article Information
The Somatic Connection   |   July 2014
Lymphatic Pump OMT Releases Cytokines Into Central Circulation
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, July 2014, Vol. 114, 587-588. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2014.114
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, July 2014, Vol. 114, 587-588. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2014.114
Schander A, Padro D, King HH, Downey HF, Hodge LM. Lymphatic pump treatment repeatedly enhances the lymphatic and immune systems. Lymphat Res Biol. 2013;11(4):219-226. doi:10.1089/lrb.2012.0021.  
Researchers at the University of North Texas Health Science Center Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine have been investigating lymph flow related to osteopathic manipulative treatment in animal models for several years.1-4 In a recent study, approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, these researchers studied the effects of repeated lymphatic pump technique (LPT) treatments on the lymphatic and immune systems of 5 healthy, adult mongrel dogs. 
For the study protocol, the dogs were anesthetized and intubated. A catheter was inserted into the thoracic duct to monitor thoracic duct lymph flow and leukocyte flux during abdominal LPT administration. A trained osteopathic medical student performed LPT by placing the dog in the right lateral recumbent position and applying a medial and cranial compression to the ventral abdomen just above the costodiaphragmatic junction. Abdomen compression was applied until substantial resistance against the diaphragm was perceived, at which time the pressure was released. Thoracic duct lymph samples were collected 4 minutes before initiation of LPT treatment, during the 4-minute LPT session, and 10 and 86 minutes after cessation of LPT treatment. Two hours after the first LPT session, the protocol was repeated. Investigators measured, analyzed, and compared thoracic duct lymph flow, thoracic duct lymph leukocyte concentrations, lymphatic flux of leukocytes, and immune mediators during the initial and repeated LPT protocols. 
Repeated LPT treatment was found to mobilize leukocytes and other immune factors from an abdominal reservoir sensitive to the LPT. The initial 4-minute LPT treatment session depleted the reservoir; however, the lymph was replenished 2 hours after treatment. The second LPT session effectively remobilized the lymph, releasing an increased amount of leukocytes into circulation. The thoracic duct lymph flux of superoxide dismutase, an antioxidant enzyme, and nitrite, a precursor to the vasodilator nitric oxide, were both increased by the first and second LPT sessions. The thoracic duct lymph flux of cytokine and chemokine release was quantified by measuring interleukin-6, interleukin-8, and keratinocyte chemoattractant. All 3 acute inflammatory mediators were increased by the first and second LPT sessions. The increase in flux of these leukocytes and immune factors from thoracic duct lymph increased their mobilization into central lymphatic circulation. 
The authors of the study provide a scientific foundation for the use of repeated LPT treatment to enhance healthy lymphatic and immune systems. In addition, the findings of this study provide a lucrative in vivo model for future studies of lymph flow on disease processes. This study encourages a more aggressive and consistent approach to the management of infection and edema using LPT treatment. 
References
Schander A, Downey HF, Hodge LM. Lymphatic pump manipulation mobilizes inflammatory mediators into lymphatic circulation [published online December 14, 2011]. Exp Biol Med. 2012;237(1):58-63. [CrossRef]
Hodge LM. Osteopathic lymphatic pump techniques to enhance immunity and treat pneumonia. Int J Osteopath Med. 2012;15(1):13-21. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Hodge LM, Bearden MK, Schander Aet al. Abdominal lymphatic pump treatment mobilizes leukocytes from the gut associated lymphoid tissue into lymph. Lymphat Res Biol. 2010;8(2):103-110. doi:10.1089/lrb.2009.0011. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Huff JB, Schander A, Downey HF, Hodge LM. Lymphatic pump treatment augments lymphatic flux of lymphocytes in rats. Lymphat Res Biol. 2010;8(4):183-187. doi:10.1089/lrb.2010.0009. [CrossRef] [PubMed]