The Lymphatic System, It’s Not What You Think: Interview with Dr. Bruno Chikly

Bruno Chikly, MD, DO, is the author of Silent Waves: Theory and Practice of Lymph Drainage Therapy. His book is the first comprehensive text on the lymphatic system and lymphedema in North America. Dr. Chikly is also the developer of Lymph Drainage Therapy (LDT), a hands-on method of lymphatic manipulation now used by thousands of health care professional throughout the world. Learn more at


How NOT to Start an Interview

I thought it was an innocent question. “The lymphatic system is often described as the ‘garbage disposal system for your cells,'” I began in my interview with one of the world’s foremost lymphatic experts, “is this an accurate way to think of it?” Dr. Chikly responds in an unflustered French accent, “where eezz the divine consciousness there?”

I just compared his life’s work to a garbage disposalI hope I haven’t offended our guest.

But Dr. Chikly shows no sign if insult or injury (later, he admits he was teasing me!). He quickly moves on to an excited explanation of why the lymphatic system is so poorly understood even today. “I don’t think I would describe something like that,” he states. “It’s not recognized because it came very late in history.”

Why So Little Lymph Love in Modern Medicine?

English anatomist William Harvey is credited with the discovery of the blood circulatory system in 1628, but the mere presence of the lymphatic system was barely known at that time and its function was not understood until centuries later. Compared to veins and arteries, lymphatic vessels are usually transparent and difficult to see, even upon dissection.

The historical neglect of lymphatics continues in modern medicine. We are only beginning to discover the many functions of this pivotal system.  According to Dr. Chikly, the progress is slow because, with the exception of lymphedema, medical companies don’t have surgeries or medications that target the lymphatic system so they don’t pay it much attention. “It’s going to explode very soon,” he predicts, “because it’s such an important system for your body and it’s still so mysterious.”

*See Part Two of our interview with Dr. Chikly: Will the Real Cellulite Please Stand Up? Fat, Cellulite, and Cellulitis.

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Hi, MTOT! You are a woman after my own heart. The Dr. Oz episode played a key role in launching the Cellulite Investigation. I wrote a post about it, too.
And as you concluded, I'm not buying it either.

What is Cellulite? The Conventional View (this is back from my anonymous blogging days…)


Very interesting. Just stopped by from SITS and now I'm going to nose around a bit. Good luck on finding the cure! I could use it!:)


Welcome, Tonya. We're giving it our best –it's definitely a group effort here. No way I could solve this case on my own! Thanks for stopping by!

Mommies Time Out Today says:

Hi there! I found you on Mommoyologist and I loves the name of your blog. I did a post on cellulite and while back. It was when Dr. Oz was on Oprah and he said there is absolutely no cure for cellulite. I absolutely refuse to believe that so let me know when you find the cure!

Cameron says:

Are there pharmaceuticals that treat lymph? If not, maybe that's why the medical community is slow to pay more attention to the lymph system.


You're right, Cameron. There's not much money in it for the pharmaceutical industry at this point. I think it's more of a preventative health care issue and they're not big on that sort of thing. It's not good for business.

Corrie Howe says:

So how did you hook up with this doctor for your interview? I am very impressed the lengths to which you will go for your readers.


When I was looking for a lymph drainage therapist for my problem with cystic acne, I discovered that I live nearby one of the foremost lymph drainage specialty centers in the world, the Upledger Institute. My therapist learned the technique from Dr. Chikly himself and offered to set me up with an interview for the Cellulite Investigation.

I must admit it's not ALL for the readers. I also have a vested interest in the subject 😉


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