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Recently we have seen several rumors and a few educational reports that have attempted to address the process of laser tattoo removal and its affects on the lymphatic system. These reports have opened the question of how or if the ink is being digested safely post laser treatment. These concerns are extremely valid and deserve to be investigated further, but we must first take the time to understand the biology and process before making unverified blanket statements that are used scare or sway the public. Personally, I tend to be more concerned with how and what is being used to produce synthetic tattoo inks. Ink recipe is a major factor in determining how safe and fast the body is able to digest and remove these properties. Negative effects, allergic reactions, and slow digestion can often be associated with the bodies reaction to the type of synthetics that are used in non-organic inks and/or the high concentration of metallic’s and Carbon that are added to extend the life and integrity of a tattoo. This is not say that all inks are bad, or to vilify the industry. There are some great ink makers out there who take their product and consumers very seriously. This is to point a light on the fact that every person and their lymphatic system will reacts differently to the recipe or a specific ingredient found in a variety of tattoo inks. 



Through postmortem scientific research we can know that person who has been tattooed will already have ink molecules stored in their lymph nodes, and that the ink can reside there for a lifetime. The un-treated molecules found in the lymphs are much larger and will most likely stay in the lymph node for a longer period of time then molecules that have been broken up into micro particles by a Q-switched or Pico based laser. Post laser treatment your lymphatic system will definitely see a large influx of ink particles flowing through it after the first 1-3 laser treatments, which is much more then if the tattoo was un-treated and going thorough this process naturally. The ink digestion and flow can be aided by following the 12 steps below and maintaining good health. Clients going through this process who have large or highly saturated tattoo will often have symptoms of fatigue or itchiness, due to the amount of ink being filtered through the body. This is why I advise that all technicians should break up large tattoos into smaller treatment areas, shorter treatment times, and schedule their client’s treatments further apart. Technicians should also be informing all of their clients about the benefits of taking care of their lymphatic system during the removal process (pre/post treatment). The lymphatic system supports every other system in the body, including the immune, digestive, detoxification and nervous systems. All of these functions are very important and are essential in aiding the successful process of ink digestion and post treatment healing. Because there is twice as much lymph fluid in your body and no pump system like the heart to keep it circulating, it tends to move very slowly and a client must be regularly active to maintain its efficiency. Inactivity, unhealthy living, depression, and dehydration are all factors that will seriously restrict its flow and slow down the removal process. Below I have provided a list of 12 ways that your clients can help heal and improve their lymphatic system. Following these steps, along with the additional pre/post treatment protocol we teach here at ILA will absolutely guarantee the reduction of treatments that you or your clients will needed for complete removal.


1. Clean up your diet.  Reduce your body’s toxic burden by avoiding processed food, eating organic when possible, and eliminating simple sugars and carbohydrates. Get tested for heavy metal exposure (lead and mercury are very common in the US). The idea here is that the less waste your lymph has to deal with, the more easily it will flow.


2. Investigate any food sensitivities or allergies that may be affecting your digestion. Take a medical-grade multivitamin to support your cellular function, digestion, and elimination. Look into probiotic supplements to help maintain a healthy ratio of intestinal flora. Experiment with a hypoallergenic diet for two weeks to cleanse your system of moderate food irritants. Deal with any troublesome GI issues, including parasites. Read our article on Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and, if necessary, talk to your practitioner about relevant tests.


3. Drink plenty of purified or filtered water – at least six to eight 8 oz. glasses per day. Your body needs hydration to keep the fluids running!


4. Practice deep breathing.  Breathing deeply from the diaphragm, not shallowly from the chest, and through the nose rather than the mouth, is one of the best ways to move lymph fluid through your body.


5. Get regular physical exercise. Walking, running, stretching, t’ai chi, yoga, Pilates, swimming, dancing, or even jumping rope, just five minutes is a great way to get your lymph system pumping; especially if you do them daily. What’s important is that you make it a regular and joy-inducing part of your life.


6. Don’t be afraid to sweat!  A weekly sauna or steam bath is a pleasant way to facilitate a healthy sweat, and sweating helps detoxify the body and so supports lymphatic function.


7. Avoid aluminum-based products. Aluminum-based antiperspirants block sweating and add to your toxic load. Choose natural deodorants instead.


8. Avoid restrictive clothing that press on your lymph nodes. Underwire, tight bras, Spanx, tight jeans, and skirts can impede lymph flow. Try to avoid these articles of clothing for at least 12 hours a day, and definitely do not sleep in tight clothing.


9. Consider regular visits to a lymph drainage massage therapist. This is a wonderful and healthy way to pamper your self (and your internal organs). This is especially invaluable during a detox.


10. Consider acupuncture.  Chinese medical doctors are far ahead of their Western counterparts when it comes to “un-sticking” the lymph system. As a treatment or preventative, acupuncture can be a great way to keep things moving. It can also help alleviate discomfort that may arise while you are detoxing.


11. Examine your emotional issues.  Sometimes we get stuck in a particular pattern of stress that reduces our capacity to make positive changes. Your lymph can become blocked when you are feeling stuck or unable to express yourself. Remember that your life, too, is a progression, and “our biography becomes our biology.” If you find the same situations arising over and over, you may want to take a closer look. Discuss any areas that feel stagnant or obtrusive with a friend, partner, therapist or trusted religious advisor. You may find that as your lymph system unbinds, so does your spirit.


12. A regular nutritional detox and colon cleanse, supported by liver enzymes, will ease your liver and kidney burden, which in turn will decrease pressure on your spleen. Even a two week Quick-Cleanse can do wonders.



Thank you for taking the time to visit the ILA webiste. I hope you found this article interesting and informative. If you are interested in learning more about this subject or the classes or consulting services we offer, please feel free to visit our contact page and leave us an email.


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